Trope Workshop:Interrogation as Framing Device

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A work begins with a character captured (or they are captured very shortly into the work) and the rest of the work uses their interrogation as the Framing Device for the plot.

This is naturally subject to Unreliable Narrator. A Sub Trope of Whole-Episode Flashback and How We Got Here. Since the character has to be alive to be interrogated, their survival (and the interrogator's if they are introduced in the flashback) and capture is a Foregone Conclusion.

Examples of Interrogation as Framing Device include:

Film[edit | hide]

  • Slumdog Millionaire has this as the framework of three quarts part of the film. The main character is being detained by the police on suspicions of having cheat in a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? expy show, and the ensuing narrative is him telling the policemen that he knew the answers he gave for perfectly natural reasons related with his life story.
  • The Usual Suspects narrative is the interrogation of the only survivor of a deadly shootout. Sadly for the inspector doing the interrogation, he has the ultimate Unreliable Narrator sitting in front of him.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Monster Hunter International: Nemesis opens with Agent Franks being interrogated by someone who, quite unusually, is not afraid of him. The reader is led to assume this is the US government debriefing him after his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the process of Clear My Name but in actuality, he's being debriefed by archangel Michael after he died in the attempt. Being the inspiration for Frankenstein's Monster, Frank's death is not entirely permanent. Unusually Franks dies again after being revived. This is done by Chunky Salsa Rule, after accomplishing his goals and only a few pages left before the end of the book, but it's also not permanent. Before coming back to life again Franks gets warned his permanent death is coming soon..

Oral Tradition, Myths and Legends[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • This is used in Alpha Protocol, but only by midway do you realize who is interrogating Michael. Michael repeatedly gets the chance to lie and mislead during this, and how much his interrogator likes him (determined by the responses he is given) is even tracked. Only at the end is it revealed that Mike intentionally let himself get captured to be tracked to the secret base he is being interrogated in, with his escape the final level.
  • Used in Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Used in Persona 5

Other Media[edit | hide]