Ghost In The Shell (2017), past and present  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in

I watched it a few days ago and promised myself I’ll write down my thoughts before this forgettable creation disappears from memory. On the plus side, I identified a Romanian actress in it.

DrDahlinI have first seen the Romanian actress, Anamaria Marinca (imdb-am), in 4-3-2, then in Fury, and now as Dr. Dahlin, facilitating the main character’s “deep dive” .

I made a GIF to celebrate it, also on imgur in the link below.

Ms Marinca makes an interesting role. As usual, I’m curious what’s in the script and what’s her creation. For instance, was the smoking bit in the script? Probably yes, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it was her contribution to character rendering.

Seeing her next to a big star such as Scarlett Johansson and holding her own was awesome. She did that in Fury next to Brad Pitt just as well.


That’s quite interesting, since the movie creators must have known that they open themselves up to accusations of whitewashing (vf-whitewashing). They could’ve compensated by casting more Asian actors next to Scarlett.

As far as I am concerned, whitewashing is not an issue and it wasn’t as big as it was made by non-Japanese for the Japanese actresses in the dialogue hosted by Hollywood Reporter either (hr-4jap), but they did point out the movie’s  other shortcomings, especially acting, missed emotional opportunities and the use of Japanese names.

I have a rather long history with this movie. I’ve read about the title and I am familiar with Japanese culture. Unfortunately, I could not make much sense of the original Ghost In The Shell (anime version). I would get stuck and annoyed of the long, drawn out shooting scenes and had resolved to watch it again, more relaxed, to try and make sense of it, but didn’t get around to do it yet. So the fact that this remake is a bit dumbed down was useful, and probably not just for me.

What wasn’t useful was the use of too many white actors – I prefer Japanese. There’s something special about Japanese culture, and though the movie had clear influences, and most major Japanese cities are sufficiently cosmopolitan that so many whites wouldn’t be completely out of place, especially in the future, seeing and hearing more authentically Japanese people and language would have been a plus. I really enjoyed seeing Takeshi Kitano again, bringing some of his proclivities to the role.

(I should mention at this point that Hong Kong served as an inspiration for both GITS and Blade Runner cityscapes, and it coincidentally is one of the most visited cities in the world, with 25-30 million people visiting annually; Vivienne Chow sees in GITS a metaphor for Hong Kong being returned to China).

I also enjoyed seeing Juliette Binoche. Do you still remember her performance in The Unbearable…? She oozes compassion and empathy almost effortlessly, adding depth and our sympathy to her character, yet she manages to make her supposed embrace of the dark side nearly credible.

On the other hand, Scarlett’s acting reminded me of Under The Skin – a movie I thoroughly enjoyed and consider underappreciated.

Two main themes stand out in this movie. The first, more subdued, revolves around the consent Major is first asked for, only to learn that is unnecessary – reverberating into manufacturing consent all the way to “consent of the governed”. The second theme, more clearly spelled out (two times on my count, one at the very end), is:

We cling to our memories as if they define us, but they really don’t. What we do is what defines us.

That rings very close to me, even though I don’t necessarily agree.


There is also the underlying theme of most cyberpunk creations – the anxiety about where we are headed and the way tech is influencing and driving society, often faster than we have time to even become aware of changes.

That is also what I enjoyed in the anime version and this one: the distressing cyberpunk esthetic, which is far more palatable now that the movie made sense to me on the first viewing. I had a similar experience with Blade Runner – I could not watch it in one go, but managed to do so eventually. I’m looking forward to its remake as well and to vote in the imdb-poll.

Perhaps I have watched so many Hollywood productions that I got accustomed to straightforward storytelling. Or maybe I’m losing my patience with age.

Sources / More info: imdb-am, im-gif, wrd-hondah2, vf-whitewashing, imdb-gits17, imdb-poll, rt-gits17, ec-gitsreview, tny-gits+grad, hr-4jap

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Tuesday, April 25, 2017 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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