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There are twist-ending films that make it very rewarding to come back to see them over and over again, trying to identify the pieces of the jigsaw that you missed out the first or second time. This was true for the Usual Suspects when I saw it originally, when it came out in 1995. First time, it was a mind-blowing finale, second and third time it was fun to relax and smile knowingly at the deception. Now after quite a few years, the film has lost quite a bit of its thrill, I have to say.

What I found interesting is that, knowing about the fictitious nature of the flashback sections, I lost interest in those bits almost entirely. I still found it very watchable, that director is a great entertainer after all, but knowing that the story within the story cannot divulge any real hints as to the actual events that occurred, my attention almost exclusively awoke whenever the story returned to the interrogation room. Maybe that’s what is the major flaw of the film: it is not a Whodunnit of the kind where you can play along, say Sixth Sense or Memento, but you are a passive observer to a pleasant crime piece, which will turn out in the end to not be what it seemed to be. Still, to be noted, excellent entertainment also thanks to the splendid cast, most noteworthy maybe Pete Postlethwaite and Chazz Palminteri, but Kevin Spacey’s Oscar-awarded performance as Verbal Kint will certainly be the one to be remembered for the ages. Will see it again in a couple of years for sure, let’s see how it will have held up…

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