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The Usual Suspects (1995)

And like that... he's gone — Written by Talie on 31.05.2010

There are films that remain a mystery for the viewer. Makes it a weird scenario, confusing storyline, poorly chosen cast. But there are also those, which from the very beginning play with the viewer. And precisely such a film are The Usual Suspects, one of my most beloved movies.
And all begin with the murder. We don't see face of a killer, only his victim. After the killing, murder makes a fire. We see the flames, and the camera begins to zoom to do the rope reel, staying on it. A few minutes later, we find out that someone survived. And the cripple of New York, Verbal Kint, begins his story. The explosion in the port, the death of 27 people, drugs and money. Kint and four other suspects. The story told by him is logical and credible. But it turns out that nothing in it is what it seems.
And the whole time director plays with a viewer. From the approximation of the line gives us the information and signs. The genius lies in the fact that we are not aware of that until the very end. We take this game because of the belief in the story. Some kind of agreement between the viewer and the director makes us believe in what we see on the screen. We let ourselves be carried away by the story, not trying to discover it yourself. We believe to Kint because he had witnessed the incident, perhaps watching it hidden behind ropes.
And why did we get carried away? This question is difficult to tell. Perhaps because it tells by the cripple. Agent Cujan simply says - "I'm smarter than you." Cujan makes it clear that he is the master of the situation. Kint may refuse to testify, may resist, but Cujan will force him to testify and to say everything he knows. So it will be better, when Kint will start to talk. And Verbal starts to talk. Creates his story, discovering new elements, combining everything in one unit. Kint creates the illusion and makes Cujan is convinced that he gets what he wants.
Singer leads the game in this film a good way. He does it so skillfully that the viewer, although he has before his eyes of all the necessary elements are not able to deposit them into one whole. Only when the film reveals the whole story, he realizes how skillfully been cheated.
Some time ago I read, that this film should be watched only once, because when you get to know the story, it is not longer interesting. I believe that nothing is further from the truth. In my opinion, this film should be seen several times to fully explore how masterfully is constructed this story .
Two simple examples. When Kint sits in an interrogation room, he begins to look around. And we're with him. We see a cigarette box, pictures on the walls, neutral face of criminal. And we do not realize that precisely from these, seemingly, meaningless items, this man is building its history. What seems to be a curious look around the room, it really is a creation of history. Choosing what will fit best to create a credible whole. After learning everything we realize that the answer was always within reach, but we just couldn't see it.
Second example. There's a moment in the movie, when agent Cujan tells to Kint truth about Keaton. Cujan is standing behind Verbal, so he don't see that Verbal is smiling. When I saw this scene for the first time, I thought - what an idiot. He has lots of trouble but he's smiling... But for the second time I understood that at this moment for a while Kint revealed his true face. When he heard that it was Keaton who was behind all this, and Verbal protect him, because he is stupid, Kint just can't stop smiling. He knew the truth and he knew how much Cujan was wrong. However, he was so calm, that the smile disappears when the agent looks at him again.
Such gems are in this movie a lot. They flee from us because we listen to the story, not paying attention to seemingly unimportant details. Anyway, the director did not help our task and he leaves the story incomplete. Who is Kobayashi? Fictitious name, an alleged lawyer, a trusted man. He knows all the facts, we don't know about him anything.
This movie is brilliant. Makes it an excellent scenario, interestingly plotted storyline (although initially apply retrospection can be a bit confusing), but above all well-played characters. Particularly Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint. Attracts the attention of the viewer in almost every scene. His character is dull, not conspicuous, treated with disdain. But there is something in him which intrigues and makes the viewer believes him. And this cripple eventually wins, reaching the goal.
This is one of the few films that from start to finish attracts our attention. And though today may seem not very visionary, (I know people who say that they knew about everything from the beginning) I let myself be carry away by this movie. And it will never change.

The Usual Suspects Reviews