10.2.11

My Soul to Take Is a Filthy Liar

No single actor was cast as Keyser Soze. In every scene that featured the character a different actor played the role. This is because the film was narrated by Kevin Spacey's character, and as an unreliable narrator who, according to his own admission had never really set eyes on Soze, he could not be expected to offer a coherent picture of the man.

Soze only appears in a single scene outside this framing device, and that's the very opening, in which Gabriel Byrne is murdered. The one piece of information we have going into the movie is that Dean Keaton is dead, and someone that he verbally identified as 'Keyser' is the killer. Everything else is up for interpretation, making the film difficult to unravel as a mystery - the only way to solve it is to pay attention to the one scene of objective truth. It's full of misleads and red herrings, but because of the film's structure, it doesn't count as the audience being lied to. It's the audience being conned, which is a very different idea.

My Soul To Take (hereafter referred as 25/8), like The Usual Suspects, is a mystery - but unlike the noir film, 25/8 has no framing device to explain away its cheating. Which it does. Once 25/8's murders begin, the audience is presented with two possibilities: 1 - The main character's demon-possessed father did not die sixteen years earlier, and he's now killing a series of teens who were all born on the night he 'died'. 2 - The demon that had possessed the father had now possessed one of the seven teens, and that person is now running around killing the other six.

In order to fully explain the film's lies, it's now important to enter into a spoiler alert territory, what with this being a mystery and all-

That guy's the killer. The one on the left. Note how much shorter he is than the main character, who's the guy on the right. Let's take a look at the killer in action!

See how he towers over that Asian kid? His shoulder is lined up with the kid's face! Now let's see him standing next to the kid earlier.

He's slightly shorter than the Asian kid. Now let's establish that the cop who's about to get stabbed is roughly the height of the main character.

Now look at that same cop getting stabbed by a murderer who's slightly larger than he is:

And now here's the killer grappling with the main character:

Kind of a tall drink of water, isn't he?

Demon possession can accomplish a lot. Characters can speak in different voices, get freaky eyes, even fight like monsters. They can't get taller, though. Only stuntmen can do that. And stuntmen can do it only to artificially create mystery where there logically cannot be one.

I can't stress this enough - Shorty is, by far, the most logical suspect for the entire length of the film, but the viewer dismisses him right away because he's far shrimpier than the killer.

Which makes you a liar, mister Craven.

Hey, a craven liar! Neat!

1 comment:

The Divemistress said...

I do believe the film even calls attention to the fact that Alex is too short to be the killer. Someone says, "you're too small" or something like that, and then someone else responds, "well, you know, possession and all" suggesting at least one person was aware of the problem.

I would have much preferred for the original killer to still be alive. That would have solved every problem present in the script, and I'm not convinced that wasn't the idea at the start of this whole big mess.