Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review
We started the week by going to the movies. The movie of our choice was Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlet Johannson, a very capable American actress (I still remember her in the Horse Whisperer as a child actress).
The film has a tinge of that excellent iconic film, Blade Runner of the early 80s, starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young as well as that heart-thumping performance of that excellent actor, Rutger Hauer. It has that apocalyptic feel to it.
The story was based on a Japanese manga, of the same title, thus some unfounded controversies have surfaced. The selection of Scarlet to play the Major is a typified Hollywood whitewashing in the eyes of a few. Apparently whitewashing is when a white actor is cast to play a role of ‘historical’ non-white’ which is deemed rather racist.
I can think of a few Oriental actresses that would have made a good Major, Korean Han Ji Won for one. However the film was made especially for world cinema goers and because it is fast-paced there are so much to see, too much goings on; reading subtitles or listening to heavily accented actors delivering their lines would definitely be a challenge and may detract viewers from fully enjoying the film in a cinema, where there is no access to rewind button. LOL
Asians are perplexed about this issue. The Japanese audience did not mind, in fact they were expecting an A-list Hollywood star to play the role for worldwide audience.
Being from the Orient myself, I did not have any problems with the casting of Scarlet. It was me who proposed to Peter to go and see the film as soon as we saw the trailer a few months back. I still remember how good Scarlet was in Lucy.
It is those pc brigade and pressure groups, who are stirring it up, thereby influencing prospective audience and fans into altogether not going to see the film, thereby missing a good movie.
I believe this controversy has affected the movie a lot and thus there were news that the film had flopped in the box office.
This is sad as the film is rather good. Scarlet did very well playing Major. And the story is a good hokum to tell. A very plausible scenario that could happen in the future.
Ghost in the shell is about the rise of technology. So much so that some scientists working for Hanka Robotics, presumably based in Japan, started experimenting on creating human robots as weapons.
There were pockets of activists and bloggers working against the excessive technology that is being implemented.
The irony was that these activists against technology were carted off to the lab and experimented on one by one until No 99 was the one deemed ‘perfect’. Number 99 had the brain of the activist Motoko Kusanagi encased in a perfect mechanical body. Motoko had been completely brain-washed and told that she was Major Mira Killian, working against terrorism.
Motoko or rather Major in her new guise had become a killing machine.
As I said the film is fast-paced and thrilling, worth a watch even for just the sheer ingenuity of the SFX and CGI.
In the end if we allow such pressure and over political correctness to influence movies and entertainment, the movie industry will be run aground.
Let us not be sheep corralled in PC machinations.