I would like to say just one thing before I start: you should see this movie if you haven’t already. I have a deep and profound respect for this piece of film, so the following may sound more like a love letter than a review. So let us begin.
“People love machines in 2029 A.D”. This film is set in the now near future and for a movie about superhuman cyborgs, it has its feet stuck firm in reality. Like as now technology has improved in fits and starts; there are still markets and rubbish trucks, dirt and grime, and opulence forever partnered with decay. Humanity in this world has excelled in the exploration of the inner universe, the internet, as opposed to most science-fiction which focuses on the outer universe, the one you see when you look up into the sky. Perhaps that explains the Fermi paradox: we hear nothing because they do not speak. They prefer to walk in the worlds of their own design.
The cyborg represents man’s realization that “God’s” design is not perfect; that it can be improved upon. But in doing so, we risk what defines us, what we hold sacred above all other things (perhaps selfishly): our sense of self. Motoko Kusanagi, our main character, is completely artificial, save for the brain in her head that she has never seen.
When they capture a man who has been hacking into government networks, they discover that he has been living a lie. All of his memories, his wife and daughter, were a complete fabrication to give him the motivation to carry out the bidding of another. This disturbs Motoko greatly; has her life too been a lie, given memories as the string so she can dance like a marionette?
I’ve noticed too the Basset Hound that keeps appearing in this movie, and as to what that is supposed to represent… is that the director really likes that dog. That and it’s a dog that seems to personify melancholy. I could go on but then I would start to sound like those people from the documentary Room 237 and I ain’t that crazy yet. I would marry this movie if it happened to gain sentience. And hey, according to this movie it could happen, Ghost in the Shell is available on Netflix.