I enjoyed this Movie more for it’s special effects than it’s adaptation as a story: 3 Stars.
Ghost in the Shell is an intricate blend of futuristic, sci-fi anime; and it works.
I particularly liked the Aristotle- like philosophical statement that is mentioned a couple of times throughout the movie;
I am paraphrasing but it goes something like: “People think they are who they are based on their memories. But the truth is: You are what you do.”
Because the movie deals with cyborg robots, this metaphorical analogy of GIGO (Garbage in Garbage Out) Programming for success is inspiring. So in essence, we also gain some self-help value from the story.
The story begins with a living human brain transplanted into a sophisticated human-like cyborg; an arms corporation’s dream: the perfect weapon. Programmable, compliant and without fear.
Major (Scarlett Johansson) is unique. She is a synthetic cyborg with a human brain that was retrieved from a crash victim. She is the ultimate weaponised law enforcement instrument designed to defeat the world’s high-tech criminal element. However, a terrorist mastermind has developed the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them. Major is uniquely qualified to target this problem. However, she discovers from the arch villain Kuze (Michael Pitt) that her creators have been economical with the truth concerning her former existence as a human. She discovers truth in this and soon develops an identity crisis and seeks to discover who she truly is. Major’s search takes her to where her creators, most notably the doting Dr. Quelet (Juliette Binoche) don’t want her to go. Based on the Japanese anime manga story: ‘Mobile Armoured Riot Police’ illustrated by Masamune Shirow, the story becomes a bit dull and cliche.
Interestingly, transplanting a brain between organisms has actually proven to work: a very controversial (so controversial it had to be shut down) experiment in America during the 1970s involved transplanting a severed monkey head to another monkey’s body. Lo and behold, once the attachment was made, the monkey opened its eyes and showed levels of awareness and consciousness.
So, the idea of it one day happening, in some form or another in the future, is not totally out of the question.
Also, the question of deleting memory from the brain has proven fruitless as well. No one knows where memory is stored in the brain. Experiments with mice dissecting their brains with the aim of forgetting a well-known maze route has failed; leaving scientists with the view that the location of memory is much more complex than first imagined. So, scientifically speaking (not as sci-fi as the writers imagined), the fact that Major has flashbacks of her previous existence, is plausible.
Ghost In The Shell has probably more prophetic value as a stark view of things to come and with a high Box Office turnout; expect a sequel.
Better than average Sci-Fi flick: 3 Stars.
Take Care & Cheers
Written: Jonathan Herman, Jamie Moss.
Director: Rupert Sanders