Good Example Of Minority Report Critical Thinking
Shakespeare once said, ‘To be or not to be.’ In Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, the line between free will and determinism are blurred. The philosophical debate at the heart of this Sci-Fi Neo Noir piece is whether a person who ‘may’ commit a crime should be arrested and incarcerated. The core of every proper science fiction film is the debate. While the film has several action tropes in it, its commitment and use of the detective genre is indicative of making it the highlight of the genre. While the overall theme is free will versus determinism, what really lies at the heart of the film is whether technology can be relied upon about making important decisions that are life changing. Is technology the answer to all the social evils of mankind or does it add further to the confusion?
The film makes it clear that pre crime is an offense and its violators will be dealt with. With the use of three ‘precogs’, human beings with the ability to see into the future, the technology allows law enforcement to track down the accused and imprison them. Is it the possible for the technology to be flawed? Take the actual plot device of the film. As the precogs across a vision which has the main character, Captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is shown committing a crime as he lies in the ops tower with his colleagues as surprised as they are. To progress the story further, he refuses to be captured as leaves the facilty with a futuristic car chase scene. This sequence sets the entire film in motion as John must find the reason as to why he is shown killing another man.
The chase sequence is perhaps indicative of the action film. In the modern film, action tropes like those are a necessity to keep the audience entertained. The scene is a stand out as John has to jump from one vehicle to the other to avoid capture. For the science fiction genre, it’s not a common trait. In essence, it’s a commercial move to have an entertaining chase sequence. At the same time, escaping to solve his crime is very common in the science fiction genre.
Visually, the scene is stunning. The director uses an almost bleaching like effect to create a color palette that lends itself to the scene and the film. When the Precogs make a prediction, the images that appear on the screen are blurry before coming into focus. For instance, as John brushes the images on the screen via his sensors, the screen moves at a quick space without focusing precisely on the crime. He can even rewind, pause and forward at will like a home movie. This lends itself to the plot as the line between the real world and the dream world is blurred. The color palette lends itself to the scene as it kicks into thriller mode and sets the chain of events that must be solved.
Another important aspect that is a common cliché in the Science fiction genre is the use of music. Being a government institution, there is a sense of monotonous directives that must be followed day by day. Several directors have always tended to use classical music to set the tone. The music tends to put forward the point that this is another day at the office. When John realizes that he is guilty of a pre-crime, the music does not change. Once he makes his colleague leave the room, the music changes as it becomes dark and murky as he rewinds and forwards the chain of events that will lead to him committing a crime.
Modern Science Fiction has been altered to accommodate other genres within it. From a plot perspective and entertainment aspect, this allows the genre to explore the theme within the film. Eggert proclaims, “Established within these first scenes are all the elements of a wrong-man thriller, drawn from the institution of Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema” (2009. Par. 3). Coming back to the original theme of the film, it is obvious that John will not commit the murder on impulse but for a particular reason. This genre-bending idea of neo-noir science fiction is seen very clearly with the realm of the scene.
While the script calls for the events preceding this scene to be chase film, Tom Cruise makes the audience care for his character more than they should. For instance, earlier in the film, it is revealed his son was abducted and they never found him again. This illustrates his commitment to the pre-crime ideals and why he is incensed on stopping a crime before it happens. Tom Cruise plays the character with a sense of underlying anger fueling his direction in life. His surprise at seeing himself killing another man comes across as genuine as the veil of anger is removed and replaced with shock and awe. His actions not command a different mission in life rather than the dull presence he has been undergoing for the last few years.
But what is the message that the film is displayed in the scene? The authorities will capture John and incarcerate him for a pre-crime. In most cases, detectives or police officers tend to investigate the reasons behind the act as opposed to just locking people away. Considering that John is a loyal and decorated police officer, their commitment to incarceration without a trial is blind faith in the system. John’s action by running and looking for the reason behind it is challenging the system of predetermination. His free will coupled with his emotional state proves that mankind cannot have complete trust in technology as it is flawed as the humans that created it.
"Deep Focus Review - The Definitives - Minority Report (2002)." Deep Focus Review - The Definitives - Minority Report (2002). Accessed March 12, 2015. http://www.deepfocusreview.com/reviews/minorityreport.asp.
Minority Report. Performed by Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell. USA: DreamWorks Pictures :, 2002. DVD.
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