Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell ★★★★

I was really impressed with how, under the surface, Ghost in the Shell is a simple yet layered tale on consciousness and identity in a futuristic society. It sets up a fantastic world that you get invested in, always wanting to know more, but still having plenty left up to the imagination.

There's a fantastic sequence in the middle of the film where the plot just sort of stops for a brief moment. All we get is music accompanying some establishing shots of the world, and my mind just raced with possibility. I wonder how the everyday life would operate in this world? How many of these people are human, and how many are cyborg? How many people are completely cyborg, and how many still have physical human attributes left over? It's a simple moment, but it's so effective in allowing the visuals to take over, if only for a short scene. Even the dialogue, which has a lot of exposition, flows pretty well. It's written so that you're informed about the immediate information regarding the plot, but you're still left to uncover the subtle intricacies of the surrounding events. The film throws a lot towards you at once, and this is definitely my biggest problem. Although, when it seems like the subject matter could have been explored even deeper, they did a great job in explaining only what was important to let your mind fill in the rest.

It could have used a little more breathing room here and there, and more substantial character development, but this is a fantastic sci-fi world that poses some very thought-provoking questions.