The Ghost in the Shell, based on the Japanese anime of the same name, has been the focus of much controversy since the announcement that Scarlett Johansson would be playing the lead role of Motoko Kusanagi aka Major.
Hopefully the casting of Johansson as a Japanese cyborg won’t overshadow how good this film, directed by Rupert Sanders, has turned out.
The Ghost in the Shell takes place in Tokyo. The time is the near future. Motoko Kusanagi is saved from a terrible crash and thanks to Doctor Quelet (Juliet Binoche), she’s given a cyber body and
becomes a soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.
When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major, along with her team known as Section 9, are the only ones qualified to stop them.
Along the way, however, Major discovers that she has been lied to: Her life was not saved but stolen. Now she will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they can do this terrible thing to others.
In the end, The Ghost in the Shell, written by Masamune Shirow, James Moss and William Wheeler, is about what it means to be human.
The film, now in general release, is exciting, visually stunning, filled with great action and suspense. Johansson and the international cast are all excellent and fans of the classic will not be disappointed. This is definitely a must see.
By Joan Alperin