When i watch the usual suspects, i am struck that redfoot refers to kobayashi as a limey. iirc, the old boy doesn’t talk like a limey…at least not like a limey who speaks with an english accent. am i missing something?
Well… it kinda seemed like a Indian/British accent to me.
But what was up with his name “Kobayashi” which is unmistakably Japanese. The guy didn’t even look like a quarter Japanese.
My take was that his whole character was a bit of a joke (it was made up on the fly anyway, if you remember!). He was simply inventing this hybrid personality to fool the cops.
I’m with cankerist. Having seen the movie many times, I’d point out that what we hear coming out of Kobayashi’s mouth is what the detective probably imagined he would have sounded like. Or what Verbal implied that he would sound like. When he picks Verbal up at the end, we don’t hear him speak, so we really can’t know for sure what he sounds like. It’s all in the mind and ears of the beholder, or the cop, or whoever Verbal is speaking to at any given time.
Well, Pete Postlethwaite is from Chesire, so I guess that’s “limey” enough.
He was cool as Obadiah Hakeswill in the various Sharpe movies, too.
Postlethwaite has done a lot of good work – Brassed Off, most notably.
Wasn’t Kobayashi one of the names Verbal just made up? I seem to recall the brand of coffee they were drinking was called that or something similar, implying that he’d just given him a false name on the spur of the moment
It was the name of the company that made the coffee cup that Det. Rabin was drinking out of while interrogating Verbal - it was printed on the bottom, where Verbal, who was sitting, would have seen it the whole time.
When Kujan realizes that everything Verbal talked about came from the board behind hime, he knocks the coffee cup off the desk. The camera zooms in as he leaves and you see Kobayashi Porcelain on the bottom of the cup.
It goes further than just giving a false name. The entire movie may or may not have happened. Remember that all the events of the movie come from Verbal/Soze’s retelling. The scene in the police station confirms that many of the characters and details were made up on the spot. What really happened is unknowable.
Brilliant conceit and a brilliant movie.
I concur, fruitbat. It is, bar none, my favorite movie.
The more you think about the plot, the more you have to consider that, not only is the majority of the movie a flashback, but a flashback that may have never happened.
Yep, it’s about time for me to rewatch The Usual Suspects.
Kobayashi’s incongrous name and accent is the glaring hint throughout the film that Verbal is Keyser Soze, a hypothesis proven when we see Kobayashi Porcelain on the bottom of the shattered coffee cup. It’s like a gentle nudging elbow to the ribs from Bryan Singer.
There are other clues too, if you watch carefully, all centred around the lawyer (who is the only tangible link between Soze’s story and the real world of the film). In the scene where they temporarily abduct him and threaten him with a gun, there’s a blink-and-miss-it moment where he makes eye-contact with Verbal, as if looking for a hint on how to play it.
Fiat lux, sorry I don’t think so. The story was told by Verbal, everything we see is “seen by his eyes”, therefore there aren’t that kind of clues, at least IMHO
Fiat Lux isn’t talking about a clue given by Verbal to Kujan, but rather a clue given by the filmmakers to the audience. That would be okay, although I myself don’t know that they’re there. The one Fiat Lux mentioned is the only one I’ve heard; are there others?
On the DVD commentary, Chris McQuarrie seems to say that even he doesn’t know exactly which details really happened and which were made up by Verbal. However, he also makes it a point to say that not everything in Verbal’s story was invented; Verbal gave Kujan the basics of what happened, but changed/added some details to cover for himself and make Keaton look guilty. I really like this interpretation (and being from the screenwriter, I’d say it’s fairly reliable); if Verbal/Soze was just making up everything, then the whole story is basically nothing more than a criminal yanking a cop’s chain to get himself out of trouble. That in itself isn’t so much – what makes it a great story is how Soze took the facts and brilliantly manipulated them to serve his own ends.
For example, there obviously was a Kobayashi (although that wasn’t his real name) because we see him at the end, not just in Verbal’s flashbacks. Much like Kobayashi’s name not matching his ethnicity gives us a clue that Verbal is lying, the actual appearance of “Kobayashi” at the end gives us a clue that Verbal wasn’t lying completely.
As many others have said: a great movie!
I think it’s “Keyser”–especially when Dean Keaton says it right at the beginning.
My favorite moment of the whole movie (another little hint from the filmmakers) is when Dave Kujan says “Convince me” and then Verbal smirks when Dave turns away.
I’m with JuanitaTech, it’s time to rent Usual Suspects for a home movie fest. Be sure to listen to the director’s commentary track. “Did the dog get out OK?”
Well, there’s the part where Verbal blurts out, “I’m Keyser Soze!”
If my son marries a white woman, and they have a son, his surname will be Ueno but I doubt he’ll look very Japanese at all.
That’s why the whole Postlethwaite-playing-Kobayashi worked for me.
But then again, I’m not the brightest person around. I feel very dense actually after reading this thread!
Tsubaki! No need to feel dense. People who know lots about movies obviously have nothing more productive to do with their time.
“Kobayashi” spoke with a very accurate British-educated-Pakistani accent. Note the way he says “pah-kis-THAN” (and the fact that they swarthied ol’ Peter up for the role) – it’s how many native Pakistanis say it.
I remember reading that the character was Japanese in the original script. Chris McQuarrie alludes to it in this interview.