I have chosen to write about the closing sequence (1 hr 36 minutes - the end) of ‘the usual suspects’ as it is one the of the most iconic movie endings in American cinema. It adopts the form of a neo-noir, crime thriller. The scene shows the end of an interrogation of ‘Roger Kint’ (later understood to be Keyser Söze) by Special Agent Dave Kujan and the dramatic realisation that follows.
There is a strong use of close ups and extreme close ups in this final scene. Source 1 shows the close up of the agents face as he notices a name from the protagonist’s story on the notice board and the truth of who Keyser Söze really is begins to fall into place. As the camera begins to zoom in on various parts of the notice board, we see that the whole interview has been a fabrication using these images (Source 2). The camera flits, the shots only being seconds long, between this and an increasing zoom on the agents face. This eventually becomes an extreme close up of his eyes (Source 3). This is an example of internal focalisation as we view the notice board through the agent’s eyes. This is re-emphasised through the extreme close up. This technique builds the tension of the situation as we as the viewers are putting the pieces together along with the agent.
At the same time, the camera is cutting to shots of the fax machine and this also adds to the build-up of the scene, as from watching the film, we know it will be a drawing of what Keyser Söze should look like. It is also interesting that the throughout the whole interview the wall had seemed completely unimportant. We have been focused on the agent and Söze, and all of the elements that become key at the end have been in the background of the shot, but we have been focused on the foreground.
If we look in depth at the extreme close ups on Söze’s supposed bodily defects (Source 4) and the very end close up on his face, you could suggest that they are two of the most well recognised and significant moments of the film. The singular focus and close up on Söze’s leg as it begins to walk normally adds to the impact of our new found awareness. It is such a lasting shot as something that you have associated with a character for the whole film (the fact he is crippled) is revealed to be a complete lie. Also, the very last shot of Söze’s face (Source 5) paired with the quote ‘and like that…..he’s gone’ is significant. His face is initially shown close up and in bright light, and then it quickly cuts to a black screen for the words ‘he’s gone’. The director here uses contrast in lighting to emphasise that although the villain was right in front of the agents (and the audiences) eyes, it is likely Söze will never be found again.
Music and voice is very significant in this scene. Previous statements that Söze has made throughout the interrogation are edited over the scene (as well as the music) as the camera shows random pieces of information he has taken from the wall (shown Source 2), and this makes us as the audience think back to how we have watched the film and automatically taken on false information. Quotes such as ‘I know he was a good man’ (Söze talking about Keaton) that are repeated here, change the whole meaning of the sentence now that we know that he truly was a good man, and was being framed. It is an interesting editing technique as the random pieces of information we hear, all muddled together, add a sense of chaos and sudden realisation to the scene.
The non-diegetic sound is also important, as when the realisation sets in that everything the…