IIf you dare to suggest that the live Ghost in the Shell remake isn’t completely terrible, chances are you’re getting a confused dog look from some movie fans, all the while questioning your sense of sense. morality. The 2017 adaptation, directed by Rupert Sanders, was instantly rejected by many when it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would play Major Mira Killian, who, in the original manga, anime films, and television series, was definitely a young Japanese woman. The whitewashing controversy escalated infinitely when it was reported that the filmmakers were planning to use CGI and other visual effects to make Johansson look Asian, which would have been biblically disastrous and unforgivable if they had gone ahead with it, it was bad. enough that it was even considered.
The subsequent reaction was completely understandable and virtually eliminated any chance of the film receiving positive reviews across the board. And it’s a shame, because Ghost in the Shell is far from the soulless remake of Hollywood that many expected and still say it is. It’s an absolute visual feast, complete with riveting action scenes and a heavily tailored plot that, yes, dare I say, more than justifies your creative choices.
Set in the near future, where the line between humans and machines has been so significantly blurred that people are now hanging around with robotic limbs, internal organs, and eyes, the plot follows Major Johansson, a cyborg supersoldier who investigates. suspicious events surrounding his past. Naturally, she soon discovers that the company that placed her organic brain in a mechanical shell separated her from her family and erased her memories. The real twist, however, is that Major actually it was a Japanese woman before the people of evil technology put her in their hands.
For many, that reveal sparked even more outrage, but it didn’t particularly bother them in Japan, where some fans felt that the protagonist’s non-traditional appearance actually served the film’s themes of self-identity and the blurring of natural and mechanical bodies. . . After all, it is literally a story about a young woman whose life and likeness have been taken from her. Even Mamoru Oshii, the director of the anime films, argued that Major’s physical form was immaterial, as he was not in his own body. “The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is totally assumed,” she told IGN. “[Her name] and her current body is not her original name and body, so there is no basis to say that an Asian actress should play her. “
The decision to set the film in a culturally ambiguous city, even though it was shot in Hong Kong, was also highly criticized, but as producer Steven Paul explained, the intention was to create an “international world” with people of many nationalities, which makes perfect sense considering they are destined to be part of a forward-thinking, futuristic civilization. Even if dirty strip clubs are still a thing.
In any case, the furor surrounding this adaptation shouldn’t detract from the many things it does well. Johansson is undeniably natural in the role, playing his bionic character cool enough, but never failing to forget that there’s a haunted human mind hidden behind his detachable face. And even though the story is drawn directly from the source material, the main character’s past mystery remains surprisingly engaging, with his real-life memories appearing in the form of cryptic “glitches.”
Even Major’s faithful colleague Batou (Pilou Asbæk) is more developed than you might expect, as he openly admits the emptiness of his forced life, as well as his endearing affinity for stray dogs. A half-decent metaphor in a blockbuster? How dare they.
Visually, that “international world” the characters inhabit is strikingly done, with giant holographic advertisements rising as tall as the surrounding buildings, while low-angle shots of grimy apartment blocks add gritty texture. The opening sequence, in which Major’s synthetic body is constructed to the sound of Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe’s faith-inspiring score, is neatly and respectfully adapted from the 1995 anime, and the kaleidoscopic action scenes and light involving cloaks of invisibility, slow Motion-shattered glass and splashes of water provide images worthy of framing and hanging on the wall.
It may not be as ambitious or deep as Blade Runner 2049, which was released the same year, but with enough character depth and intrigue to back up the visuals, Ghost in the Shell is far from a hollow robot from a movie.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism