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Headscratchers: The Usual Suspects
  • So Keyser Soze kills off everyone who knows what he looks like, then reveals himself to a policeman just to taunt him?
    • He didn't reveal himself. Kujan didn't realise the story was fabricated from the noticeboard until Soze had left, and the fax with the description didn't come through until after Kujan rushed out.
    • I think this was taken care of with the whole "You think a guy like that comes this close to getting caught and sticks his head out? If he comes up for anything, it will be to get rid of me. After that... my guess is you'll never hear from him again." This was the equivalent of the "one last job" before retirement for Kint/Soze. His revenge on the Hungarians is complete, he surely has more than enough money and contacts to live totally behind the scenes for the rest of his life. It doesn't matter that the cops have a description or fingerprints, once he's out of the police station - "...and like that, he's gone."
      • How is that not revealing himself? Soze didn't know the fax was coming, but he knew the fact that he used names from the noticeboard would cause Kujan to eventually realize who he was. Which works for me if it's just that he couldn't come up with names on the spot. But if he was doing this deliberately, knowing that it didn't matter if Kujan knew what he looked like since he could just disappear, why did he (try to) kill that other guy?
      • Kujan figuring out the names came from the bulletin board wasn't guaranteed to happen (that wasn't even his regular office, keep in mind), and even if he did realize Verbal was making the whole story up, that would just prove that Verbal Kint was hiding something, not that he was Keyzer Soze.
      • I've always maintained that Soze has lost, and lost badly, at the end of this movie, for exactly this reason. At the beginning of the story, Soze initiates the whole plot to kill "the one guy who could identify him." At the end of the film, every law enforcement agency on earth has copies of his mugshot, fingerprints, plus a recording of his voice. On top of which, the authorities also have an eyewitness statement from the badly burned Hungarian implicating Soze in multiple murders, which statement is admissible as evidence under the deathbed statement exception to the hearsay rule. Maybe this film is really a subversion of film noir.
      • I believe Verbal didn't plan to mention Keyser Soze at all. He'd just slam together a story he thought would fit what the police knew, and then be done with it. However, once he found out that they knew that Keyser Soze was somehow involved, he had to stick more or less to the truth about the incident. That the police knew of Keyser Soze told him that they had an eye witness, and then it was only a matter of time before they could arrest him. Realizing this, Verbal continued his story with Keyser Soze as the great architect behind it all, and in a way so Keaton would be believed to be Mr. Soze.
      • That could be true. Notice how Verbal reacts with "Oh, fuck!!" when Kujan asks about Keyser Soze? Probably, he thought he'd be able to get through without mentioning Soze.
    • Who's to say that Verbal Kint is Keyser in the first place? He may just be another agent, planted by the man himself to divert suspicion. It's not like we ever see him killing the eyewitness on the boat; there may very well have been more than one Keyser Soze gunning down Hungarians that night.
      • To take it into possible Wild Mass Guessing territory, there may not be a Keyser Soze in the first place. Maybe some guys got together and decided to make an old campfire story into a false identity, designed to scare the willies out of their competition.
      • Keyser Soze is the crime equivalent of Nicholas Bourbaki?
      • You're missing the point. The "Keyser Soze=Satan Incarnate" storyline comes entirely from Verbal. The other officer at the precinct confirms that he's heard of Soze, but doesn't seem to regard him as much more than a run-of-the-mill crime boss. Verbal makes him out to be such a fantastically diabolical figure that Kujan is driven to doubt that he even exists.
      • Didn't the eyewitness call him a devil as well?
      • Yes but that could be because he had heard stories about Keyser Soze. On the other hand, the guy who could identify him was well protected, so either the Hungarian mob believed the stories or they where at least partially true.
    • I always thought that the real reason for the whole mission was not to kill the one guy who could identify Keyser Soze, but rather to kill the people involved in the mission, who (the messenger in any case claims that) Keyser Soze has grudges against.
      • If Soze simple wanted revenge on the other suspects, he could've done it much sooner and easier. It makes more sense that Soze wanted to take out the Hungarians and the witness, and using these guys who had previously wronged him would be a perfect revenge.
    • Something else to bear in mind is that, until very near the end, Verbal most likely has no idea that one guy from the ship saw his face, realized he must be Keyser Soze, survived the explosion, and proceeded to talk to the police. As far as he knows, the cops have no reason to even begin to suspect "Verbal Kint = Keyser Soze."
  • This may be more for Wild Mass Guessing than It Just Bugs Me!, but why would Soze allow himself to be brought to the police station in the first place? If he was the only survivor of the incident on the boat (other than the badly burned Hungarian), couldn't he have just walked off into the night before the cops arrived there?
    • He needed to find out what the cops knew, to see if someone else survived, and give a plausible story to fool the cops.
    • Well there was a lot of machine gun fire going on, and an extended death sequence (the only part we know for sure actually happened). Presumably half the precinct arrived with sirens blaring before he could get away.
    • Pragmatism. If a massive shootout goes on and there are no survivors, that's suspicious. There's going to be an investigation either way. If he (Verbal) is the sole survivor, that's less suspicious plus he's in a position to steer the investigation anyway he wants (such as someone else). But possibly, this wasn't the real plan (getting caught) and he had another plan in place but ended up getting caught anyway. After all, if getting caught was part of the plan, he'd not have to make up a story. Perhaps the original plan was simply get everyone killed so it looked like the suspects (save Verbal) were hunting down Soze (due to their debts) and found out the Hungarian knew his face. They went to make an exchange for the info and the exchange got blotched, resulting in a massive shoot out. Verbal would never have been there and the police would have assumed that, while suspicious, the story makes sense.
  • Why does the DVD menu give away the surprise ending? Is this because It Was His Sled?
    • Well, we gave it away here. Did you expect them to keep it a secret after they had your money?
  • To steal one from Cracked, why does the most powerful criminal in the world—a man who people are willing to pay millions of dollars to have described to them—drop dozens of potentially incriminating clues while waiting to post bail on a relatively minor weapons charge?
    • Because if he didn't, agent Kujan would assure that a large quantity of criminals would want to get at Verbal Kint. That would mean A: that criminals could potentially reveal his true identity or have him killed, and B: that agent Kujan would have suspicions raised against the supposedly low-key, small-time (relatively speaking) crook Verbal Kint. How many years did it take for Keyser to set up the persona of Verbal Kint? He didn't want anything to destroy that persona, not if there was a chance to walk away without the police suspecting Verbal. And when he started his tale, he didn't know that the police would find out that Keyser Söze was involved, so anything incriminating would his lawyer take care of.
  • Bugs me: $91 MILLION. In cash. For Keyser Soze? Really?? That much cash would be obscenely heavy and bulky. Also,where would you deposit that much? In cash? W/O hearing about it.
    • Keyser Sze is legend of the underworld. But if he is real and he has as much influence and enterprise as Kobayashi said he does (Guns to Belfast, materials for a nuclear reactor in Pakistan, narcotics, etc), then killing him would not only garner the Hungarians a lot of clout within organized crime, it would open up a lot of territory for them to take over. That can be worth $91 million.
    • You wouldn't deposit that much cash. You'd laundry it or just hang on to it. It's not like criminals could just deposit money directly anyway.
    • Wouldn't it also depend on how large the bills' denominations are? We briefly saw (some of) the money in the back of the van, so we have a rough idea of how large it was.
  • Bugs me too: If the money was real...what happened to it?
    • Probably seized by Customs/FBI. They knew the amount of money involved in the deal, so it stands to reason that they found and dealt with it.
  • Bugs me three: An international MASTER criminal that nobody knows by face anymore involves himself in a crime that could lead to his death or conviction and extended imprisonment for...what again? Because somebody could identify the way he looked at one time? Apparently plastic surgery and/or hired assassins don't exist in that universe.
    • Plastic surgery doesn't work the way you think it does. And hired assassins still leave a link to the man. Ultimately, he wanted no links at all to connect one to the other. He wanted to remain a myth not be just a guy with a lot of money. And, don't forget that the suspects all had debts to Soze. So Soze can get everyone to kill everyone else for him. Had Verbal not been caught, it may very well had looked like the suspects were hunting down the Hungarian for information on Soze and it looks like they all turned on each other.
  • It Bugs Me how many people seem to think that Verbal knowing things that he wasn't present for is a clue. It might be, but only if you assume that we saw the entire conversation in the cell. Most of the things he knows are things that he could reasonably be told by the others - and do you really think those guys weren't comparing notes about their arrests and interrogations?
    • And while we're on the topic, at least one part of Verbal's story has to be more or less accurate, since it's unlikely that Kujan wouldn't notice Verbal making up events in which Kujan was present (i.e. the arrest of Keaton at the start of the film).
    • I think most people were referring to the end of the film when they say that. How could Kint know how each of the members died? I mean sure he saw Keaton get shot (in his story anyway) but how did he know that Mcmanus died with a knife in his neck? How did he know that there was no dope on the boat when he was on the dock faraway from the other members ? I think people had these questions in mind when saying that theory.
    • Remember Kint is an Unreliable Narrator. We don't actually know how much he says is true. Kujan knows about the lineup. But we don't even know if the gang was involved in the Taxi Service job or Saul Berg's murder, or if Kint is just taking credit. Nobody who is alive knows what "Kobayashi" said to them or who he really was. Even the fence "Redfoot" may or may not exist. They know that there was $91 million in cash at the dock, supposedly to buy cocaine that was never there. All that Kujan really knows for sure is that five guys were arrested for a hijacking in New York, released, and then six weeks later four of them turn up dead in California or go missing, and Kint is the only known survivor.
      • Some of the boat stuff takes place after Kujan's "I'll tell you what I know. Stop me when this sounds familiar..." line, which suggests that some of the boat stuff might be guesses by Kujan about the lack of cocaine, the killing or Marquez, etc. In general, I just assume that Verbal and Kujan are just telling guesses bits of information they know, and guesses about what was happening based on what verbal was hearing, and the finer details are being filled in as a movie convention. (Either way, Kujan comes across as someone who would catch obvious oddities in a story pretty quickly, so presumably verbal isn't actually describing details he would have no way of knowing, as Kujan would probably notice pretty quickly.)
The Truman ShowHeadscratchers/FilmUp in the Air

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