Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #35 WGA Script of All Time - The Usual Suspects (1995)

[Quick Summary: A group of cons are blackmailed into a smash-and-grab job, but it multiplies into a nightmare, all orchestrated by a mysterious Keyser Sose.]

I love how this script fools the audience the right way.

First, the script plays fair with the audience the entire time. It lays out all the clues.

ex. Dean was lying on that dock. Sose stands above him.

Second, everything has two meanings, though the audience does not know until the end.

ex. We believe Verbal's account that Sose probably killed Dean...except later we learn why Verbal so easily lied about Sose.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Trying hard to trick the audience = Bad.

Playing fair & twisting expectations = Excellent.

The Usual Suspects (1995)
by Christopher McQuarrie

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