There's a pretty heavy accent on evil in The Usual Suspects. And goodness? Not so much.
Sure, technically David Kujan's one of the good guys, but he's a little bullying and unappealing—the audience's sympathies are lodged with timid, little Verbal…who turns out to be something other than timid.
The arch-criminal Keyser Söze is an evil legend, but he also feels like an avenging angel. He pays back criminals and bad guys for their sins, in a way—even though Söze is obviously involved in those sins himself (organized crime, drug dealing, etc.) To hear Verbal tell it, Söze is so bad he's like the devil—an ace of evil who flourishes by convincing the world that he doesn't exist.
Questions About Good vs. Evil
- Are there any good guys in this movie? If you had to pick one, who would it be? Explain.
- Who is the most evil character in the movie? How does Söze's brand of evil differ from that of Keaton and the other criminals—if it does? Explain.
- Does evil triumph over good in this movie, or is there another way of explaining what happens?
Chew on This
Keyser Söze represents an almost-supernatural form of evil—going far beyond the normal run of criminals.
Keyser Söze portrays himself as a mythical embodiment of evil in order to shroud his own real, mundane identity in mystery and doubt, protecting it from view.