Monday, May 26, 2008

The Usual Suspects

So I know both the TOK classes have watched or are in the middle of watching "The Usual Suspects". I've already seen it before and now that I'm watching it again I realize that some pieces of information that I took for being true turned out to be false. However, at the time I did not question the validity of the information.
In the movie, how do you know what you know and why do you accept it to be true?
Were there any points in the movie when you did question the validity of the information that was presented?
Please discuss but try not to give too much away for the people who haven't finished it yet. Thanks :)


Rachel said...

We finished it, and I thought it was a great movie. This is the first time I've seen it, and I took a lot to be true based on sense perception-sight, to be precise. I took for granted that every scene took place at some point in the timeline of the play; an inductive leap on my part. I think this movie is successful particularly because it facilitates that specific leap, providing seemingly accurate empirical evidence to support it. With the final "aha" moment (don't worry, not a plot spoiler), that leap is proven false to the extent that the sense of truth you spent the entire movie developing is destroyed. It is ironic, because by the end, you know the one thing you spent the rest of the film trying to find out, but you have no idea if what you took for granted in trying to reveal the identity is true. It's a great epistemological twist

Rachel said...

p.s. when I said play, i meant film. but you probably already figured that out.

SamanthaJo said...

I have not finished the movie yet, so I'm not sure what is false that I now believe to be true. Right now, however, I believe what I believe because of what I have been shown and told by the narrator (Verbal). There does not seem to be a reason to not believe what he says, but the impression I'm getting from others who have finished the movie is that his account of what happened is not accurate. Verbal is an authority figure because of his involvement in the events, so he seems trustworthy. It is a little confusing though because the sequence of the events is confusing (some stuff happened earlier, but is being told from the present). Overall, the information is a little confusing, but I know I have placed a lot of trust in Verbal as an authority figure.

Simone S. said...

I agree with Sam. I believed Verbal's story because he seemed to have the authority. I also think this is because through our sense perception of his character, he does not seem as threatening or strong as the other characters and so we're more likely to believe that his account is reliable. Also, because this is a movie, we're more likely to be drawn into the story aspect and are less likely to spend more time analyzing the information. We know that it is expected of the audience that we suspend their disbelief.

Jason said...


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