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Ghost In The Shell  : Exotic American-Japanese Cocktail
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Friday, April 7, 2017
Rupert Sanders
Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche

Everything about Major, the new superwoman, is a cocktail. “My brain’s human but my body is manufactured,” says she, the full-bodied cyborg.


She’s Japanese and has slant-eyed make-up, but a pair of firm knockers that stand out in a skin-toned, figure-hugging bodysuit is straight Hollywood.


Director Rupert Sanders thus makes the best of both worlds.


He bows Oriental style to the1995anime film based on the manga series by setting his film somewhere in the exotic East. But he takes a Hollywood heroine to play the Japanese superwoman. Her new lab-created avatar is a universally acceptable Mira but she was originally Motoko Kusanagi, a true blue Japanese. And she functions under the command of Aramaki played by Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano.


So say ‘hello’ to this new crime-fighter created in a spiffy Eastern city.Sparkling skyscrapers with monster-size advertisements make their own statement about its commercial vibe. Here’s where Major is born and turned into the ultimate weapon.


In her introductory outing, Major fights a huge conspiracy of identity theft and finds her real Japanese mother thanks to small bits of original memory still embedded in her brain. The action is practically non-stop and it’s done with spectacular sophistication.But ultimately, it’s standard ‘franchisable’ cinema, so Major will be back.


Combining the best of human and robot skills, Scarlett Johansson as Major is in familiar superhero territory after her Black Widow turn in Avengers.Unlike the severe black suit of most superwomen that plays down their sensuality, Major struts her stuff in an engaging way that surprisingly doesn’t distract from her kickass action. And Scarlett does what she has to without major changes in her facial expressions that an all-out human would be privileged to use. Her male partner played by Danish actor Pilou Asbaek is also quite incredible for making his concern for Major subtly evident even with his metallic eyes.Juliette Binoche marks her presence in a brief but sympathetically important role.


For an action film that makes an interesting mix of the East and the West, Ghost In The Shell gets a 3* rating.

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

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