Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell: A Bland Narrative Enhanced by Top-Notch Imagery
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The animation film Ghost in the Shell took the world by storm in 1995 with stunning artwork and a futuristic storyline. Picking parts from the original Ghost in the Shell manga, the Hollywood remake of the movie takes us on a visually appealing futuristic ride interspersed with philosophy.
Set in 2029, cybernetics are the rage among the people. The line between humans and machines are blurring. The Major (Scarlett Johansson) is a one-of-a-kind human-robot hybrid in a synthetic body. Equipped with a skin-colored suit with flowing fluorescent hues, the Major marks her entry to fight robots and cybernetic criminals in the city.
While the first half portrays the Major as an unstoppable killer machine, the storyline deflects into her search for the truth as they delve into her past. Director Rupert Sanders has brought the anime version to life with flowing holograms around neon-colored buildings and the lively advertisements. The film leaves you with such a visual impact that it is hard to focus on every animate object at a time.
Scarlett Johansson easily overshadows the fleeting screen time of Kuze (Michael Pitt), Cutter (Peter Ferdinando) and the rest of the cast with her stone cold cybernetic performance. The subtle romance between Major and Batou (Pilou Asbaek) is a delight to watch.
Jess Hall’s cinematography is remarkable, and the film’s music brings honor to the anime version by retaining some of the original tracks
At first, Ghost in the Shell might seem similar to Matrix and Avatar given the similarities in the way characters plug in and enter the virtual world. But soon, you realize that Ghost in the Shell is a virtual ride that can hold its own.
A little into the second half, the script takes a downward turn and gets further dragged down by a slow-paced narrative and boring dialogues.
On the whole, Ghost in the Shell daringly questions the blurring line between machines and humans. Despite lacking a rock-solid narrative, it manages to engage the audiences by delivering a thought-provoking ending and top-notch imagery.