“Who’s Keyser Soze” – Roger “Verbal” Kint

Kevin Spacey 2011

Who is Keyser Soze? Tagline number one. Five Criminals. One Line Up. No Coincidence.

Tagline number two. In a nutshell, this is how one of the best neo-noir thriller films in the history of the cinema could be described. True, but not quite. There is much more than meets the eye: so many little things, details, and the way it was presented is masterful.

“The Usual Suspects” had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1995, and now it has a status of the cult film, mostly due to inspired directing, great writing, and stellar performances of all actors included.

It was directed by Bryan Singer, written by Christopher McQuarrie (won an Oscar for best writing), and the usual suspects are Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin and, of course, Kevin Spacey (won an Oscar for best actor in a supporting role). Awards well deserved. (Notwithstanding Spacey’s recently discovered dirty laundry.)

But, who is Keyser Soze?

If you have seen the film you know it already, but, according to Spacey, the actors didn’t know who he was up until the work was over: “Bryan Singer, who directed that film, had managed to convince every one of the major actors in that movie that they were, in fact, Keyser Söze. I remember when we screened it for the company of actors, Gabriel Byrne was stunned that he wasn’t Keyser Söze. Went out into the parking lot and had an argument with Bryan Singer. For a half an hour.”

Great films are made to last and to be watched over and over again. “The Usual Suspects” is most definitely one of those films.

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