Narrative Theory on The Usual Suspects

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    22-May-2015
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  • 1. The Usual SuspectsAnalysis of narrative in the openingtwo minutes

2. In the first two minutes we haveidentified that the film begins with: Non linear New equilibrium Disequilibrium Restricted narration The hermeneutic code- what is thesignificance of the water? 3. Non linear Non linear- used to make the audience feel excluded from thestoryline, and makes the film feel fast paced, as they feel they havemissed something. This creates a state of confusion for the audience, this is a typicalconvention of a psychological thriller. It is non linear as it begins with calm water but then jumps into lastnight. This makes the audience feel disorientated, as they do notknow what has happened in general; let alone last night. 4. New equilibrium and disequilibrium. We decided that it starts with the new equilibrium (water)then goes into the disequilibrium from last night. Music- sad contradicts the calm water. Juxtaposed the waterand can also be said to be paired with it the water couldrepresent something melancholy. However this is deliberately left pretty ambiguous so as toconfuse the audience and keep them on their toes, leavingthem wondering. The Usual Suspects opening soundtrack 5. Restricted Narration This creates suspense and tension amongst the audience as It makes the audiencefeel involved. The view point of the man is significant because there is nothing to connote atypical convention at this point of the film, which generates questions in theaudience as to what film genre this could be. The gasoline on the floor, could be misinterpreted by the audience as water ashinted at in the titling sequence. But through his point of view, we see that he issinister and it is gasoline that he has ignited with fire. Because it is from his point of view we see the dead man which shocks theaudience and creates tension and unease in the audience as they begin toquestion what has happened, we can tell that the two men are linked and itcreates questions as to how this situation has developed. 6. The hermeneutic code Because it is from his point of view we see the dead manwhich shocks the audience and creates tension and unease inthe audience as they begin to question what has happened,we can tell that the two men are linked and it createsquestions as to how this situation has developed. The titling being filmed over calm waters isnt typical of athriller, and is not obvious as to what genre the film is. This then questions why the water is there and whatsignificance it holds in the film. 7. The hermeneutic code also raises questionssuch as why is the other man we areintroduced to urinating on thedead/unconscious man and lighting him onfire; this is not what normal people do and weas an audience start to wonder what occurredfor the man to act so drastically and if he ismentally stable, as this is a psychologicalthriller.