Ghost in the Shell
Original title: Koukaku Kidoutai
Release date: November 18, 1995
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Original Manga: Masamune Shiro
Screenplay: Kazunori Ito
Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Iemasa Kayumi
Regarded by its fans as one of the best sci-fi films out there, Ghost in the Shell is the story of Major Motoko Kusanagi — a cyborg agent of a counter cyber terrorism unit known only as Section 9. Their latest threat is a powerful hacker nicknamed The Puppet Master. He is attacking human minds and controlling their bodies for his obscure motives. Set in the year 2029, where humans have melded with machines, a hacker with this much power could potentially paralyze an entire nation. Major Kusanagi and her team must stop him before he wrecks more havoc.
This small synopsis does the movie very little justice though. I have to agree that Ghost in the Shell (the entire franchise) is Sci-Fi gold. It deserves a live action rendition even.
What is most notable about this movie is that the concept in itself is very close to our current reality. This is Sci-fi we can relate to whether we love the genre or not. You see, aside from having put technology inside of humans, this world still remains on four wheels and propelled boats. Trash is collected the same old way, buildings aren’t higher than your average skyscraper. This is something I must praise about Ghost in the Shell. It gives us a highly possible outcome to all the meddling humans are doing with Artificial Intelligence. The director makes sure we catch this by adding beautiful angles of the scruffy concrete walls, neon propaganda billboards and populous fashion boutiques of the city accompanied by a dramatic chorus of girls in the background. Looks like 2011 more than 2029.
At the point where we stand humanity is merely a step away from Ghost in the Shell‘s reality. That humans can have whole prosthetic bodies, augmented brains and have access to the internet from their very brains is not so farfetched after all. Yes it’s a homage to the machine and all it’s capabilities but it is also a story that addresses some of humanity’s biggest questions. Amongst all this new technology: What makes us human? How do we measure our existence? Motoko’s only organic part left was her brain. And for all her super human capabilities she lived asking herself these very questions.
Like it? Buy the DVD at Amazon.com |