The Usual Suspects (1995) – The Devil’s Greatest Trick

“The Usual Suspects” is probably one of the best plot-twist films I’ve ever seen. This is one film which makes me like its genre in addition to a variety of plots. At least, it makes you sleepy because of the process. But, it’s always interesting when you watch it closely as possible. It’s one of those movies that makes the audience have to think a lot. Additionally, it’s an unclear non-linear plot and your most hated type of movies. Yeah, it’s just about talking and talking.

Speaking of taste, movies like this weren’t too much in demand. I could imagine back at the time this film first premiered. There is a horror in this one because of the twist. Today, this film is just a gimmick. It makes you think like a fool if you succeed to understand this movie by means. Just it makes you like a smart person. At the very least, I watched these movies before they considered themselves as detectives. Just like “The Sixth Sense”. Roger Ebert as well hated this film so much. Yet, in my opinion, it’s one of the best thriller movies ever.

It’s about five criminal who reunited in the line-up thanks to their work. After their mission failed, it was known by the police. The line-up scene is probably one of the funniest. Benicio Del Toro as Fenster farted, again and again. It made Bryan Singer feels annoying about it because of the five actors couldn’t act seriously for one day. Besides, there are Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollack, and Kevin Spacey. The plot will run non-linear where we see Kevin Spacey as Verbal’s character being interrogated by Dave Kujan. After the incident in a ship that caused all his friends to die, Verbal himself survived.

In the middle of the film, the movie will tell someone behind the incident. The brain behind everything, one of the most feared mobsters in the dark side of society, Keyser Söze. The movie isn’t too long even for a duration of not nearly two hours. It would make you sleepy because the pace is too slow. The movie doesn’t focus too much on those processes. But, the film focuses only on the plots, so there are so many thousands of questions. It required to watch a few times if you can notice some of the clues in this film. The point is Keyser Söze own guess.

The movie is about a heist, their mission in dealing with a series of robberies they did. But, it’s not about that. Just like “Reservoir Dogs,” behind the heist as the main theme of the film. Instead, the film focuses more on predicting the villains. Have you succeeded in convincing the movie or you convinced by the movie? That’s the point of the entire movie.

Now, Bryan Singer has never directed films like this again. He prefers to take expertise in the “X-Men” franchise. I think it’s quite an irony that this isn’t part of his trademark. The movie has good directing, transitions between scenes, between flashbacks, and between backgrounds. They are difficult to recognize yet difficult to keep up. Christopher McQuarrie as the writer tried to make the dialogues interesting with a little clue in it. So, the audience kept on the track while the film was running. Therefore, he won the Oscar award in the Best Writing category.

Kevin Spacey as Verbal is the MVP in this film. The film focuses only on its own character and how his point of view with other characters. He becomes one of the weakest characters and deserves it for his role in this film. He puts forward more expression, how to apply the dialogue, gestures, gimmicks, etc. and I think, not all actors who can act with perfect character and can deceive the world. In fact, his speech when he got the Oscar award was still a mystery where he spoke to who Keyser Söze really was. The way he delivers to it and its execution at the end of the film is one that is indeed worthy of being said as the most plot-twist film in general as I have said.

At last, who is Keyser Söze actually? With a non-linear plot, “The Usual Suspects” seems difficult for some people regardless of its duration which I think isn’t up to two hours. Coupled with solid dialogues, it’s better for you to go to bed instead of forcing. In the end, I shouted: what the frick? Some parts will make you sleepy but I continue to force it and this is also the minor problem of this film.

John Ottman’s score is composed with a little touch of horror on the thrillers’ impressions but is very helpful for what’s offered from the plot itself. “The Usual Suspects” without Kevin Spacey also feels like a movie that has nothing special in it and this is what makes the whole film claim to make Kevin Spacey’s name more of a mysterious character in that year. Today, it’s just a gimmick but you can appreciate this film from a different perspective.

5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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