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The Usual Suspects - Film Analysis

Paper type: Analysis
Pages: 3 (693 words)
Categories: Art, Camera, Cinematography, Film, Technology
Downloads: 8
Views: 311

The director uses a number of cinematic techniques and embeds a whole variety of other techniques to create a dark environment. The opening foreshadows the sinister state of mind and atmosphere throughout the whole of the motion picture.

A broad panning shot across a body of water is accompanied by sinister music; developed to boost the visual experience. This design of music is utilized in many scenes to stress and to sustain the spooky atmosphere. Outstanding option of camera angles attained included meaning by showing the complete sight of the landscape, a harbourside dock through a continual extreme long shot.

The author intentionally utilizes an entire series of cam angles to contribute to the general sense of secret, sustained through the movie.

High angle cam shots are used in the opening series to convey the helpless and ultimately more inferior individual or ‘victim’. These continuously changing cam angles create a component of confusion among the audience, contributing to the success of this distinct criminal offense genre film.

The audience is left almost clueless at the particular electronic camera movements, emphasizing the shape of an unidentified and strange figure; described as Keyser Soze.

The story is told as a series of flashbacks, linked with real-time authorities interrogations with the core character, Verbal. The plot is skillfully crafted to walk around in a loop, with the ending ultimately being at the start, making the audience slowly piece together ideas and imagery, bit by bit to comprehend the fairly complicated structure of the movie. The director utilized voiceovers to avoid tedious components of movies, observable in lots of modern-day day movies. Character and plot developments were accomplished rapidly, and no sacrifice of speed was yielded. There are constant intertwining scenes from the past and today, only letting the audience finding out bit-by-bit, like the detective’s frame of mind.

Much like the directorial style of Memento, the director constantly uses flashbacks and voice-overs to display crucial plot developments and to maintain characterization. Recurring medium and close-up shots of Verbal give clues to expose the identity of this mysterious figure. The same pleonastic music utilized throughout the preceding opening sequence is continuously played through moments of such symbolic imagery. The scene of Verbal lighting a cigarette is exemplified by the recurring imagery through these flashbacks, and the instances of dialogue between the investigator and Verbal.

When one of the ‘usual suspects’ dies, the others decide to bury his body in a cave, and there is an excellent long-shot which slowly fades to black and then ends up to be the coffee in Kujan(investigator’s) mug. Symbolically this can be interpreted to be a gesture to imply that Kujan has Verbal almost in a prison, trapping him from the outside world, searching for the ultimate truth. The ending of the film is the addition of all the individual comments exchanged in this cat and mouse game between Verbal and Kujan.

The grasp that Kujan once had on Verbal is now lost, as symbolized by the dropping of the coffee mug, with flashing imagery of Verbal’s sayings and his clever conversations with the detective. There is a close up of the shattering of the mug, and this is symbolic of how Verbal is now ultimately free and out of the grasp of Kujan. The camera angles quickly pan around the billboard, closing in on particular notices and photos, the basis of Verbal’s whole ‘honest testimony’.

The scene of Verbal walking outside of the police station and lighting a cigarette is again this recurring imagery, a medium and close-up shot of this same stance which is emphasized innumerably throughout the movie’s entirety. Again pleonastic music is used to increase the irony of the detective’s quotes “I’m smarter than you. You’re a crippled and dumb person. That’s why he chose you…” A final close up shot of Verbal smiling “…and he vanished just like that”, as if he was actually the ‘devil’ he was describing. The audience comes to realize from the last few concluding scenes that the mysterious, silhouetted figure is actually the narrator and also the crippled man, Verbal. The pleonastic, sinister music eloquently concludes the movie, and leads to the credits.

Cite this essay

The Usual Suspects – Film Analysis. (2016, Jun 26). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-usual-suspects-film-analysis-essay

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