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“U” is for The Usual Suspects (1995)
ntil I saw this movie, I didn’t know who Kevin Spacey was. I think a lot of people were in exactly the same position and now everyone knows his name. This was a breakout film for Mr. Spacey and indeed the director of the movie, Bryan Singer.
Both have of course gone on to be huge stars in their respective fields, but I think that The Usual Suspects was the making of them. Its audacity to trick and fool the viewer is outstanding and this one keeps you going until the very last minute of the movie.
The story is a convoluted one. Its starts with the destruction of a large boat in a harbour and its only survivor points the finger at one man – Keyser Söze, a ruthless criminal mastermind who pretty much runs the city. A police line-up with 5 different people end up revealing much more about the dealings between them and Soze, but one US Customs agent is determined to get to the truth about the elusive Keyser Söze and who he really is.
I really don’t want to give the plot away in this film because I know for a fact that many people haven’t seen it. Although WHY NOT! This should be in anyone’s list and currently resides at number 23 in the IMDB Top 250 movies.I think it should be higher than that however. The Usual Suspects in my opinion, is an extremely clever film and it isn’t until the final reveal is given that you realise just how clever it has been. Suspicion is thrown onto many of the characters during the course of the film and indeed any one of them could be Keyser, but there are subtle clues given along the way.
The cast list is impressive here aswell which adds to the film’s quality. Besides Spacey, there is Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Pete Postlethwaite, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Pollak. The film itself was very cheaply made and took back a generous amount, but I wouldn’t say it was anything like a smash hit at the time. It has more of a film that gets hyped up a lot by word of mouth and of course by people like me on blogs such as this, but when you see it for the first time and get it, you will understand why. The winner of 2 Oscars, this classic movie will always be fondly looked upon and will remain in my list of best ever films until the end of time.
Fun Fact: The line-up scene was scripted as a serious scene, but after a full day of filming takes where the actors couldn’t keep a straight face, director Bryan Singer decided to use the funniest takes. A making-of documentary shows Singer becoming furious at the actors for the constant cracking-up. In an interview (on the Special Edition DVD), Kevin Pollak states that the hilarity came about when Benicio Del Toro “farted, like 12 takes in a row.” Del Toro himself said “somebody” farted, but no one knew who.