On Sunday, I watched the film Ghost in the Shell (1995 directed by Oshii Mamoru). My initial reaction to the film is one of amazement. I love the film. And thinking about it a day later, I am still in love with it. It hits so many great points that it is easy to see why the film is so respected and influential.
Ghost in the Shell is classic cyberpunk. Taking place in the mid twenty- first century, the film follows cybernetic security officer Major Kusangai as she and her team try to capture the terrorist hacker known as The Puppetmaster. After a startling twist, Kusanagi begins to question herself as a person and as a machine. Her coming awareness and conclusion about what she is forms the emotional crux of the film. Even though much of the film deals with terrorists and political back deals, the human element of questioning one’s own existence is never far from the surface.
I love the film’s plot. There is almost nothing wrong with it. The only problem I have is the true antagonist revelation. I think that could have been handled better, but otherwise, the plot works fine.
The film itself is gorgeous. The music and visuals meld together and overwhelm the viewer, in my opinion.
My favorite scene in the film is a montage where Kusanagi is riding on a boat, heading to headquarters. Along the route, a haunting melody is played along with images of the city. It is an absolute delight to behold the mixture of image and song.
If there is one problem to the film, it is that it should be a little longer. But that is a minor complaint.
If you are looking for great cyberpunk, anime, science fiction, etc., than checking out Ghost in the Shell is a must.