by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright April 2017
Assignment: Comment on Ghost in the Shell
o The structure is classic. The theme is a classic one. The major plot point is that Major, the protagonist, is an android with a human brain. In Act One she is introduced as an anti-terrorist warrior, one who is real good at what she does. In Act Two she is fighting the main bad guy and also begins questioning who she was before her transformation. Act Three is about her discovering answers to that question, and defeating the evil company director who authorized the program that made her.
o The characterizations are pretty conventional. Major is helped by a sidekick who also undergoes some enhancement himself after getting blown up by a bad guy bomb. There is a sneaky evil director running the program that made Major. There is an obvious evil terrorist bad guy who turns out to have been created by the same program that made Major, and isn't so bad in the end. The most unconventional character is the company chairman who turns out to be a clever good guy.
o The major theme is exploring how much humans and robots should mix in a single body -- how much is good, how much is too much, and can a hybrid body stay good for society? A secondary theme is questioning how much should be hidden from the person being experimented on?
- Use of Setting
o The best part of this movie are the settings. They are innovative and well handled. They reminded me a lot of Blade Runner and looked like a nicely updated version of that, and a lot less dystopian. All-in-all the settings worked well for me and were the best part of the movie.
- What worked about the film. What didn't work?
o The settings worked real well for me. The story was so-so. Its major virtue was providing a nice format for the settings. The characters worked just fine for me. They were pretty standard, and for this kind of movie that was OK.
All-in-all, thanks to the innovative settings, the movie worked well for me.