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Minority Report

 
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MP Bartley
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Minority Report Reply with quote

I've shamelessly stolen this from another film forum. Thoughts?

Cheesy end?

Dream after Anderon has been caught?

Or...the greatest piece of hoodwinking the audience in modern cinema...


We assume that John Anderton is the protagonist of the film, since he has most of the screen time, but the protagonist of a story is the one whose actions drive the story, and Anderton is only ever reacting to what happens, not making choices. The story depends far too much on chance occurence and coincidence UNLESS

The protagonist is Agatha...

The hype for MR made many references to film noir, but conspicuously absent from the hype was any focus on the genre staple, the femme fatale, who seduces or persuades the male lead to follow a path that serves her interest, effectively using him to achieve her ends. The surface story of MR is a masterpiece of misdirection, with Agatha the Pre-cog able to see the future, and therefore control it. Nothing about the story would take place if Agatha did not grab Anderton and make him look at the footage of the drowning of her mother (a strange thing for her to do, if Wally is not severely mistaken when he says the pre-cogs are barely even aware of people around them).

Agatha then fakes a prevision of Anderton killing Crowe to set him on a path to clear his own name and (more importantly to her, free the precogs). She already knows he will succeed, all she has to do is set the ball rolling. She's not totally selfish, so she helps bring to pass a happy ending for Anderton.

We almost literally see the story unfold through Agatha's eyes, which is why the film has a bluish tint (the effect of Agatha's surroundings, bluish water, light reflecting off the ceiling, the latter being the very first thing we are shown as the film starts, and Agatha's eye being zoomed into after the opening prevision: The first significant character we see is not Anderton, but Agatha. She is also the last person we see. So the film is through her eyes until the end, when she is free and reflecting on what took place).

"We see what they see" Wally says this about the previsions, but it is a very important hint that the style of the film is also us seeing what they see.


The key to this theory is the scene where Agatha orchestrates the escape from the shopping mall, knowing everything that will happen. The film, ostensibly about Anderton is really about her orchestrating the precogs escape from the pool. During the mall sequence there is a curious advert hoarding that isn't advertising anything at all, it features a bunch of smiley people dressed in white and has the caption

"See What Others Don't"

Can you see?

And Agatha can read people's futures just by looking at them: "He knows. Don't go home" so she's hardly as unaware of what is going on as Wally suggests (except when he is keeping her doped up in the pool). And Rufus pretty much knows how powerful she is, fearing that she is reading his mind.

Agatha being the true main character driving the story explains all the weaknesses people complain about. A series of coincidental events, the sugary ending (which as with other 'Berg films is less sugary than it first appears, because the disappearance of Sean is never explained, and according to this theory, the ending is only happy because someone who is practically god like within the story is able to control the destiny of others).

Stuff happening in the periphery of the main action is where the 'sci-fi social commentary' of this film lives, for example, when Anderton is preparing to break back into precrime a group of schoolchildren are being lied to about the precogs having happy lives.

This is, like Blade Runner, a story where the nominal main character does main character stuff, but a wider view is needed to get the most out of it. And like like Blade Runner, the perspective we can choose to take is that of the characters whose eye is shown in extreme close up very early in the film before we ever see the lead actor (respectively, a replicant and a precog). The main character is each film effectively a puppet, and at in both films one point is looking over an image that he can focus on different bits of, zoom in on, and out of, etc).

Anderton is the film noir patsy, being set on the path he takes by the femme fatale, Agatha who uses him to her own ends, with Anderton never really being in charge of what is going on, ever. Andeton is a puppet, and Agatha the puppet master (er, mistress?).

This adds a double meaning to lines like 'But who could fake a prevision? Why would anyone what to?" Agatha could, did, and wanted to, to gain her freedom and take revenge on the man who murdered her mother.

There's many lines that point in this direction, including the line from Danny Witwer "It's interesting that some have begun to deify the precogs" effectively thats what I have suggested with this theory, Agatha is the all powerful, most important one in Minority Report, whose eyes we see through first, and whose face we see last. Hell, even the title of the film refers to Agatha (the minority report about the death of her mother) and not Anderton!

So no, I don't think it's a dream/coma after Anderton is caught. People get what they want but cant have for real in their dreams (see the ending of A.I). In dreams we dont HAVE to accept that we cant have what we want, we can just have it, no matter how fake it appears to an objective observer (again, see the ending of A.I where, I say, David goes crazy, 'kills' his 'brother' then drops in the water, where while he waits to 'die' fantasises/dreams that he can have his mother back, with the ending being a fairy story, totally unreal seeming, because totally unreal is what it IS)

I think MR is structured around what Agatha sees as a possible future, which she brings to pass by selecting Anderton as the one she will send after the man who killed her mother, exploiting his tragic past for her own ends, but also helping him to be happier as his reward for the suffering she causes for him, which she has already seen he will survive

The line about the future criminals dreaming is, I feel, part of the misdirection, with people believing whatever they are told by 'the system' to keep people believing in the system (they have to be kept haloed, who knows what they'd do if they were freed...the pre-cogs, why, they live happy comfortable lives...the latter is a lie fed to the public in the film, so why not the former?)

Bit of a ramble, so, to sum up: blue tinted film because we're seeing it through agatha's eyes (the future glimpsed from the poolhence the blue tint, and in a dead givewaway at the start, shimmering to approximate visually the effect of the lights reflecting off the water) ending with moving to an extreme close up of agatha's eye, this motif being introduced beofre Anderton even appears in the film for the first timeand by the end, we see Agatha remembering events from the past, so the blue tint is gone.

The opening is through Agatha's eyes, and the closing shows Agatha remembering what has transpired. The precogs are named after mystery writers, with Agatha (named after Agatha Christie) being the 'author' of events in MR.

Far from a poor ending, and if you buy any of this, it also explains why that wierd doctor character kisses Anderton: Agatha is seeing what Anderton will do, but her affection for her puppet impinges on the prevision, so this affection mixes with Agatha's prevision. He went to see the Doctor, but it is only in Agatha's mind that the kiss took place.

"It's Agatha. She's the key"

Pick the bones outta that!
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Kand El
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is the case in any way, shape or form, then MR may be Spielberg's greatest work, or Kubrick had his mind transferred into Spielberg's body.
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JaySeaver
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooh, I like this. Something to look out for when that Blu-ray arrives in a few weeks.
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MP Bartley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think regardless of if buy into the theory or not, Minority Report, alongside Catch Me If You Can, is the best thing he's done in the last decade.
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never took the ending to be Anderton's "dream" (not being a hater of Spielberg endings, I've never felt the need to scramble to explain it away) but this is a good take on it. It's been too long since I've watched it, though.
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kmartinez528



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: MR Reply with quote

Really, loved all the twists, turns, and rabbit holes.........kept me fully engaged.
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rumor has it that it originally ended with the following bit of narration:

"The following year, there were 191 homicides in the District of Columbia."
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's... that's still a pretty decent record for DC I think.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It still has minor flaws though. The creepy old lady and the assembly line scenes in Minority Report are just silly as hell. It's close to a masterpiece, though.

AI also can be stilted/problematic in parts.
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