D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
The Usual Suspects, 1995.
Directed by Bryan Singer.
Starring Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite and Kevin Spacey.
The Usual Suspects is a stylish little neo-noir with a meager $6 million budget and was screened out of competition at Cannes then offered a limited release before it eventually took off. The film went on to earn writer Christopher McQuarrie an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Kevin Spacey an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
The film centres on the police interrogation of small time conman with a limp, Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint, after he is one of only two people to survive a massacre aboard a boat docked in the Port of Los Angeles. As the police grill him, they get the entire back story of how he and four other criminals were brought together to do several jobs that led them to be working for the infamous and mysterious mob boss Keyser Soze.
The police believe they already know who the real Keyser Soze is and getting Kint to spill the beans on what he has saw should surely be the final nail in the mob boss’s coffin, but Kint doesn’t give them the answers they want. As Kint tells his story and it unravels in flashbacks anyone could be Keyser Soze. The flashbacks tell of how the men were brought together, the jobs they were involved in and then the moment they were made aware they were working for Soze and that they had no choice but to do as he asked.
Finally the men are led to the boat docked at the Port of Los Angeles and instead of finding the cocaine they were told they were looking for they find just one man being guarded. The man has sworn he can identify Soze and one gang plan on selling him to another who are looking for the illustrious mob boss. Kint and the others arrive and all hell breaks loose, as Soze has planned on being there to kill the man who can identify him before finally disappearing for good. Are all the police’s questions answered? Do they know who Keyser Soze is? Can Soze be caught? You will have to watch to find out.
The Usual Suspects is a film you must see before you die as it has one of the most iconic endings in film history as the real identity of Keyser Soze is revealed.