Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence(2004)

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Director: Mamoru Oshii
The first thing that must be said about this film, is that the visuals and imagery are breathtaking. Yet it does not rely solely on our awe. The plot, although very complicated and often convoluted, is rich and laden with allegories, philosophy, analysis and even theology. At first glance, the characters appear to be static and somewhat stoic, but when one thinks about it, the characters are that way to represent the similarities we share with "dolls." Does an effigy infused with meaning and symbol constitute as a being on it's own accord? Or are we simply defined by the mere fact that we are alive? The film is laden with imagery suggesting the war/hybridization of: nature vs. machines/synthetic life, how machines mimic nature, how tradition becomes assimilated by it, and how reality may or may not be a virtual construct based on our own perspective. This is an intellectual, symbolic film that not only gives eye-candy galore, but also delivers more cerebral fare than most films. Although the characters are ultimately forgettable (save the expressive dog owned by Bateau,) one can perceive that too as being a tool to suggest that ultimately, we are all drones living our predictable lives...perhaps unaware of more intricate powers and forces surrounding us. Whether you watch this film for the state-of-the-art visuals or the perceivably potent content, I recommend this film enthusiastically for anyone who would like to think...or just say "ah" at the incredible scenery.

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