Ghost in the Shell ★★★★½

Ghost in the Shell houses an elegantly compact world; its narrative is so intimate that it could only exist in this context. Among all the political intrigue and earnest philosophical questioning, my favourite moments are the sequences of decompression. There are a few scattered throughout, and are probably just as (if not more) important as any of the action.

These sequences flesh out the narrative with shots of city life both mundane and surreal. They slow the plot to a trickle, but provide insight into our hero's sense of isolation and fragmentary connection. But they also function to let viewers process the information just received. Which, in a movie as dense as this, is integral. Accompanied by a hauntingly sparse choral soundtrack, these moments became the embodiment of Ghost in the Shell for me.

What's missing is a decompression sequence at the end of the film, to let us stay in the diegesis for a few moments longer; it's over too quickly.