Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Usual Suspects- Defining Thriller;

Definition of Thriller Genre: Thrillers have the job of being able to thrill and confuse an audience, if this is unsuccessful then the film has not followed the characteristics of a Thriller and been ineffective. Thrillers often overlap and become part of sub-genres most likely mystery-thriller or horror-thriller. The genre also involves fast paced plots, frequent action, notable heroes and villains who are advantaging equipped with weaponry.

The Usual Suspects was directed by Bryan Singer in 1995 and written by Christopher McQuarrie. The plot involves a twist which engages the audience in working out or solving an enigma but the audience finds the final moments of the film more clear when the story unravels. As The Usual Suspects is a crime mystery thriller the police where majority involved in the storyline and became the centre focus of the film. Thriller often over cross other genres most likely mysteries, crime and action to wider the audiences interests and expand their marketable strategy. The identity of the villain is usually known from the beginning of the film but only revealed and made clear at the end. The villain in The Usual Suspects is played by Kevin Spacey who takes on duo characters Roger Kint and Keyser Soze. The two separate characters are played off each other and even have different effect on people such as Roger Kint who is a disabled character and seen as the weaker member of the usual suspects. On the other hand, Keyser Soze is compared to the devil, an evil mastermind who remains a mystery to those who continue his legendary story.
Death is most likely to be written into the plot of most film genres because it creates an emotional atmosphere for the film to have universal meanings which can relate to the audiences real life. In thrillers there is always death but the plot doesn't identify the killer at the time and the deaths are mostly always cold blooded. There is a considerable difference between the deaths in horror and thriller films because horror is an extension onto thrillers because they are more graphical and there main motif is death. However, the killings in thrillers are distance and less graphic usually in result of a large scale criminal activity taking place. All in all thrillers maintain the mystery of the killer right up till the very end and in majority of the films the police find the killer is right under their noses.
The use of stereotypes in thrillers connotes the villain as they come out of their shells and hold an unreliable first hand account of the plot and lie to cover their tracks. The easy route of playing with stereotypes means anyone can create an new identity and villains do this to stay clear of any conviction. The Usual Suspects deals with time-shifts to keep the audience on the edge of their seats so they must pay attention in order to figure out who the killer is. The story is told in flashbacks which has a great effect on confusing the audience on who the killer is because each flashback changes the point of view. The post-modern films plays around with conventions and usually have a big impact on the way thrillers are written. Villains suggest their tactic in little hints across the film but always remain a coldness and lack of humanity surrounding the killer. This explains why the main motif in The Usual Suspects is to fool other characters and the audience with clever planning.

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