Film Analysis: The Usual Suspect

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Bryan Gagnon Dynamic Visual Storytelling 11-26-14 Term Paper In August of this year I wrote a reflection paper on my favorite film The Usual Suspects directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. I chose this film for its “wonderful story, surprising twists, fascinating characters and great acting performances. At the time I wrote that paper, I had little if any knowledge of the storytelling tools. I just knew that as an audience member I appreciated the film for its fine craftsmanship and superb acting. After eleven weeks in visual storytelling class, I now have an understanding of the storytelling tools and how they can and must be mastered by a director to result in a successful film. I viewed “The Usual Suspects” again,…show more content…
The film is now shot from Kujan’s point of view, and Singer exposes Kint’s dishonesty by zooming in on specific words as Kujan sees them, woven with flashbacks corresponding to points in the story from Kint’s narrative. Singer’s editing pace is fast and furious. In fact, the edited scenes move so quickly that it is difficult for the audience to notice all the evidence of Kint’s lies. He has seriously misjudged Kint, and has released a dangerous criminal. The audience is fully engaged as the film charges ahead, and can really feel Kujan’s emotion largely due to Singer’s rapid cutting of the film. Singer treats his soundtrack in the same manner as his visual work in his final scenes. The soundtrack is loud, jarring and frantic. Singer cuts in and out using pieces from the interrogation mixed with voice clips from the flashbacks. Singer’s intentionally frantic use of loud, repetitive sound intensifies the already desperate mood Singer creates with his fast paced editing. As Singer treats the audience to this collage of words and sound bites, he cuts to an extreme close up on Kujan’s face. This technique effectively makes the audience experience in real time the chilling realization that Kint is in fact Keyser

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