Film Review-The Usual Suspects

Are a few ways to describe a film which is possibly one of the greatest movies of all time. The critically acclaimed “Usual Suspects” is a movie that is so gripping and cryptically clever that it becomes a maze that you are happy to get lost in. The Usual Suspects is best described as an atmospheric film-noir which, even eight years since its release continues to captivate audiences with its riveting plotlines and cryptically challenging characters, leaving audiences aching to see more.

Just as you think you have grasped the plotlines, it suddenly energetically meanders into many different possibilities and directions. This film takes no prisoners, a simple cup of tea or a trip to the bathroom will leave you struggling to catch up on your return! The cast of the film are best described as outstanding; performances are flawless from beginning to end.

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With a cast as solid as this, and many actors playing against their usual ‘types’ (Steven Baldwin, Benicio Del Torro to name but a few) On screen chemistry between characters shines through the screen, an unusual mix of characters/actors who compliment one and other extremely well. Gritty performances from actors such as Kevin Spacey, and a support cast which provide the audience with both humour, intrigue and mystery. The enigmatic quintet capture audiences by the fantastic web this film weaves. The story is held in two different time frames.

In the present; held in an LA interrogation room, Verbal Kint (spacey) sits across a desk from the cop unfolding a criminal tale as he remembers it. Viewers throughout are kept guessing of what the truth really is. Kint attempts to convince the police that a mythical criminal mastermind (Keyser Soze) not only exists but is responsible for the huge crime that has taken place leaving his four partners in crime in a multi million dollar heist that begins the film with a huge, impressive explosion in San-Pedro.

But the question that is on everyone’s lips.. is Keyser Soze a lie or a legend? Shifty, inventive con man Verbal Kint lures his interrogators (and us) into the incredible maze that has us all confused and lost in at points. The Usual Suspects constantly builds to its climax, what starts out as a small job soon snowballs into the giant, international hunt for the infamous, mysterious crime ‘lord’ Keyser Soze.

As it moves on to the finale, Soze’s shadowy presence becomes increasingly more ominous and important. As we sit there, like puppets on a string, our thoughts and feelings no longer ours and instead being left at the hands of the fantastic puppeteer, the director! We are slowly let into the story; at the beginning the people actually on the screen know a lot more than we do. Gradually however, the frequent deceptions and plotlines are untangled by the flashes from past to present.