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#Film Review: Ghost in The Shell (2017)

Release Date: 31 March 2017

Venue: Vue Cinema Leeds

Director: Rupert Sanders

Rating 4/5

This film is certainly not a waste of time for it has something for everyone, i.e. some good action, as well as some thoughtful comments on humanity.

In the near future, humans are able to upgrade themselves with robotic features to enhance their ability to fight and survive. However, they go further than that. Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first cyborg with a human brain created to fight cyber terrorism. She is the first one of many more to come.

There would be nothing wrong with that, if it was true and if circumstances surrounding Major’s creation were not so terrifying. As we learn throughout the movie, she has been snatched and killed, and her memories have been programmed and changed. She discovers the truth while fighting with a perceived terrorist, only to discover he was a failed attempt and she is not actually the first created cyborg with a human brain. When confronting the doctor Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) who created her Major learns there has been 98 failed attempts to create someone like her. Major then changes sides and starts fighting against her creators, however, not without the help of former colleagues who also turn sides. She also finds out she was a fearless girl who use to think that technology is destroying the world, only to be snatched to become a part of technology herself.

The film is, however, more than just fighting and an interesting sci-fi story of a new world in which everything is possible, including deleting and downloading memories, becoming invisible, upgrading parts of body that no longer function, etc. The film indirectly touches upon religious views according to which soul cannot be transplanted even if it becomes possible to transplant brains in the future. In this movie, soul is called a ghost but it is the soul that writers are discussing. This soul ultimately comes out, after Major stops taking medicines blocking her true memories. Thus, soul cannot be replaced or re-programmed even in the world of a super advanced technology.

Film then also goes further to show us what makes us human. Therefore, Major tells us several times that we are all obsessed with our memories while it is actually our actions that define us. She also tells us that our actions define our humanity, and it is humanity that makes us distinctive. Absolutely beautifully said and the main message of the movie goes along with religious views stating humans should not play Gods and try to create super humans. We are indeed beautiful and distinctive as we are, if we would only learn to appreciate that.

There are a couple of flaws in the movie, i.e. Major normally has visible robotic marks on her body but this is not visible a few times, which is an omission of the make-up team. In addition, the world of flying cars and super humans could have been portrayed in slightly more details. However, other than that the film was a truly enjoyable experience, with plenty of action as well as food for thought. Scarlett Johansson is flawless however. Her statements on humanity and what makes us human, as well as pain upon discovering who she really used to be, were flawless and very convincing.

Thank you for reading.

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