WMG: The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

In the 70s, Keyser Soze decided to fund a comedy troupe using the alias "Monty Python"
He needed a break from endless killing, and decided that the world needed a few more laughs, so he decided to front a few talented British comedians. Unfortunately, he couldn't shake his penchant for cloak and dagger tactics, and was only comfortable acting as a faceless Man Behind the Man. Hence, not even the comedians themselves have any idea who the hell "Monty Python" really is (or if he even exists), yet he continues to influence the world of comedy to this day. He has become an elusive, mythic figure whose name is synonymous with "surreal, eccentric humor". In short, he is the Keyser Soze of comedy.

Verbal Kint confessed to the murder of Dean Keaton during the interrogation
Towards the end of the movie, Kujan accuses "Verbal" of lying about the death of Dean Keaton. Kujan claims that Verbal couldn't possibly have actually witnessed Keaton's death, and given that Keaton had faked his death before, he could still be alive. Kujan's screaming leads Verbal Kint to yell out, briefly, "I did, I did kill Keaton." Before quickly correcting himself. Kujan doesn't notice because he's so convinced that Keaton's guilty, he didn't hear that Verbal literally said, "I killed Dean Keaton" In that little slip, Keyser Soze nearly gives the game away.
"Kobayashi" is actually Keyser Soze
He's older, making more room for the time it would probably take to become one of the most powerful criminals in the world. He's less amazingly steeped in American culture, vernacular and geography for a Turkish crime lord than Verbal, he never gets directly involved, let alone enters a police station and gives clues that could ruin a cherished identity, etc. Verbal Kint's a real guy, a conman(obviously a much more capable one than he claimed), he just doesn't have cerebral palsy. He's Keyser's infiltrator who helps him stay on top, and also even plays Keyser sometimes, such as on the boat, while "Kobayashi" remains completely behind the scenes and his face remains a secret. Intended? Doubtful. Plausible? Certainly.
  • I like that theory-I kind of thought something similar was possible- as you say, "Kobayashi" is Soze and the guy we know as Verbal is actual "Kobayashi"- Soze's Amoral Attorney and/or Dragon.
    • I assumed this much after about the second viewing based on the scene where they have Kobayashi at gun point and he seemingly calmly tells them they can kill him and it won't matter. Watching it again, there seems to be a small amount of doubt and tremor possibly in his voice. Maybe not... but maybe so?
The twist ending is partially conscious of one twist ending from The Twilight Zone
(To give credit where credit is due, this WMG came from my Film Arts professor). In "The Howling Man", a man lets the Devil escape imprisonment, allowing Satan free reign to cause evil—in The Reveal, where the scraggly, incapacitated prisoner gains the horns, pointy ears, trimmed beard, and controlled demeanor more normally used as shorthand for Lucifer over the course of a brisk walk, the man realizes what just happened but is powerless to undo the mistake. Considering that Soze is consistently compared to the Devil, and Kobayashi's demeanor when you see him driving the getaway car is nearly demonic, it is possible that there is a very subtle Shout-Out gong on here. But it may just be coincidence; there are enough dissimilarities for it.

If nothing else, the music is kind of similar. Observe the ending montage in The Usual Suspects and the ending montage in the episode in question.

Keyser Soze is the Greek's son
Consider their near identical business operations and practises. Both ar concerned with drugs, people trafficing and murder. They both remain behind the scenes having others as thir spokesmen. Now consider Soze's possibly German father and the fact that the Greek says he is not really Greek. The story Verbal tells Kujan about Soze in Turkey is actually the story of the Greek before he came to America, where he had a son who would be a naturalised U.S. citizen. They both use the legend to create a mythical supernatural status, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Fucked-With.

Other than changing the names, where he was on the docks during the final shootout, and that he's Keyser Soze
Verbal Kint told Kujan the real story. Verbal tells the truth to Kujan, knowing already that Kujan's obsession with Keaton and the fact Keaton had faked his death before would blind Kujan from the truth. And allow Verbal to walk away...

Keaton knew Verbal Kint was Keyser Soze all along but didn't think Soze would kill him
. Keaton was the only one among the other criminals who knew Kint and could vouch for him. Keaton's background as a crooked cop who kept having all these lucky breaks happen his way suggested Soze was his guardian angel for a long time, waiting for the opportune moment to call in his favor.

It was never about killing the 'one person who could identify Söze'.
Headscratchers seems to have established that if the entire set-up (assuming, aside from the obvious details, that Verbal is more or less telling the truth about what happened) was really about getting rid of the single person who could identify Keyser Söze, the events at the very end of the film basically render everything a rather bad loss for Söze. But think about it realistically for a moment and you realise that there's almost no way this man can be that elusive; and even if he is, what actual threat is the mere ability to identify a face with an urban legend? Without solid evidence of crimes, Söze's as scott-free as ever whether someone outside his organisation can put a face to his name or not. So it's very unlikely that whatever the Suspects were brought upon that ship to do, it was to provide a cover for Söze to kill the supposed sole person who can identify him. It may well have been to let him kill the Hungarian, but whatever reason he had to want to do that so badly most likely wasn't that he could identify him.

Of course, that doesn't stop the idea of the faceless criminal out to assassinate the one man who does know his face being an incredibly powerful story tool for Verbal to use on Kujan, as is attested to by its enduring nature among real-life viewers. It's perfect for his purposes; it draws Kujan in and gets him interested in Söze and gives him both a Magnificent Bastard persona to attach to his hated figure of Keaton and at the same nothing in the way of useful clues as to Söze's real motive for being on the ship that night - which would of course be extremely useful for Kujan is finding some of the solid evidence mentioned earlier to pin to Verbal/Söze, rather than just a spectre of hearsay from the criminal underworld. And, just for the icing on the cake, it makes Söze (i.e. Verbal himself) just sound Badass. The guy may be a pragmatist, but he that doesn't mean he has no ego whatsoever, right? Related to the previous entry. In Verbal's story, Soze got revenge on the other mob bosses by killing off their families, their contacts, etc. The Hungarian on the ship was the final person he needed to kill to complete his revenge. As his revenge is complete, he retires with his ill-gotten gains to some remote place and is never active again, which is why he doesn't care about the police knowing what he looks like. "And like that, he's gone."
Soze and Kint are both inventions
It seems pretty obvious on further reflection: why throw around a name like Keyser Soze if you have the means and skills to essentially change from one skill to another? The character played by Spacey is not actually known as Keyser Söze, he's probably not even Turkish - it's a story made up by him in the persona of Kint, who also is a made up character. In the end, the police have two names the have no use for. After all, a name like Keyser Soze (which to a German speaker still sounds like Kaiser Sauce) is likely to be fake. Sure, Soze exists as a carefully placed myth, but remains as such. Spacey's character disappears, and without probable cause, his mugshot will soon be forgotten. The Kint persona and possible the Soze persona have both served their purpose and will be shed like an old skin - or as Kint put it "And then ... you'll probably never hear of him again."
The part of Keyser Soze was written specifically for Kevin Spacey
Why else would they have the same initials?

It fits with the fact that Word of God says the role was actually written with Spacey in mind.
The Soze in the film is not the original Soze. He's his son.
Verbal Kint doesn't look old enough to have been married with children. However, it wouldn't be too shocking if he was simply Soze's son continuing the family tradition of being a Magnificent Bastard. The story about Soze shooting his children is true, but Verbal Kint is simply the kid who survived by hiding when the thugs came in.

Keaton helped Hockney with the truck hijacking at the beginning of the movie
Two of the other three brought to the lineup are the ones who play around, but Keaton and Hockney are the ones who answer the question straight. Hockney is said by Kobayashi to be the one who did it, so Keaton may be as well.
  • Verbal may have also been involved in the job as well, given that he also says the line straight.

Verbal Kint's escape was in Kujan's head.
This is not to say that he didn't escape, he did. But rather, every event that Kujan is not present for is seen through Kujan's imagination. This is the only way to explain the presence of Kobayashi, after he was established as a fiction. Except that Kobayashi turns out to be a real person, though probably not with that name.

All of the events Verbal Kint described to Kujan really did happen, just not the way they were shown onscreen

At the very least, the names of the parties involved, such as Redfoot and Kobayashi, were clearly invented by Verbal on the spot, and his descriptions of where he was when the others got killed during the attack on the boat all appear to be untrue.

However, we see that the person who he referred to as "Kobayashi" is real, as he is the guy who picks Verbal up at the end, and more likely than not is Verbal's lawyer. So it's likely that the events that happened were true, but certain aspects may have been fabricated or several of the names changed in order to keep Kujan from being able to trace anyone who had actually been involved with Verbal, thus preserving the Keyser Söze identity. For example, the gang's meeting with "Kobayashi" where he gives them their police files and assigns them to rob the ship of the supposed cocaine and money probably happened. In addition, the murder of Saul Berg and his bodyguards, and the robbery of the New York's Finest Taxi Service, and the fact that all five men were rounded up by the police for a lineup, were certainly true (and Keaton's definitely went down the way it's shown on film because Kujan is present when Keaton is arrested for the lineup), and such facts could be easily confirmed with a few phone calls to the LAPD and the NYPD. The important key to being a great liar is to stick as closely to the truth as possible. In this case, it means that many of the broad outlines of the story which Verbal told are true.