Who is Keyser Soze? Where is Keyser Soze? These are two questions that keep the audience guessing, and these questions form the core of The Usual Suspects, directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, who won the Oscar for his screenplay.
The Usual Suspects has a plot that twists and turns from one direction to the other. It starts with a gripping opening sequence on a pier, with a boat exploding in flames. We move to Agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) interrogating one of the two survivors from the bombing, Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey in his Oscar winning role for Best Supporting Actor) about the bombing and Verbal’s part in it. Verbal’s story starts six weeks earlier. The other survivor is a Hungarian man who can describe this strange man called Keyser Soze. And so we follow the story through Verbal’s point of view. Verbal’s story is laden with crime, as five guys (including Kint) join together through a police lineup and the rest of the story kicks off to the climax at the boat and the subsequent revelation. This is a whirlwind of crime, rapid dialog and hairpin curves everywhere.
Bryan Singer and Chris McQuarrie, from the first frame, create an intriguing story that keeps you guessing. All the shots are carefully poised to give you clues, but you only find them at the last minute. All the actors in this movie are not heroes, and it’s a colorful cast: Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Pollack as the main characters and supporting cast does a fine job as well. These guys are criminals, but you actually like them. The score of this movie stays with you, and that’s the job of the score. All of Kevin Spacey’s dialog is great, especially all that dialog about Keyser Soze.
Why would I want to see this movie again? Because you will always find something new that you hadn’t seen before and then you add it to your findings. Every year in America, they have this Usual Suspects sitdown. And every time they find something new and note it down. This joins my plot-driven list of movie which include Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski and Fight Club…Cult films like these should be studied.