The Usual Suspects - Critical Film analysis.

Essay by i3ombermanHigh School, 11th gradeA, October 2003

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The Usual Suspects - Film Analysis

The director uses several cinematic techniques and embeds a whole range of other techniques to create a dark atmosphere. The opening foreshadows the sinister mood and atmosphere throughout the entirety of the movie.

A wide panning shot across a body of water is accompanied by sinister music; created to enhance the visual experience. This style of music is used in many scenes to emphasize and to sustain the eerie atmosphere. Excellent choice of camera angles achieved added symbolism by showing the full sight of the landscape, a harbourside dock through a sustained extreme long shot. The composer deliberately uses a whole range of camera angles to contribute to the overall sense of mystery, sustained through the film. High angle camera shots are used in the opening sequence to convey the powerless and ultimately more inferior person or 'victim'. These constantly changing camera angles create an element of confusion amongst the audience, contributing to the success of this unique crime genre film.

The audience is left almost clueless at the particular camera movements, emphasizing the silhouette of an unknown and mysterious figure; referred to as Keyser Soze.

The story is told as a series of flashbacks, intertwined with real-time police interrogations with the core character, Verbal. The plot is cleverly crafted to go around in a loop, with the ending ultimately being at the start, making the audience slowly piece together clues and imagery, bit by bit to understand the relatively complex structure of the film. The director used voiceovers to avoid tedious elements of films, observable in many modern day films. Character and plot developments were achieved quickly, and no sacrifice of pace was conceded. There are constant intertwining scenes from the past and the present, only letting the audience learning bit-by-bit, like...