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Manchurian Candidate Questions (Dont read if you havent seen)

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Manchurian Candidate Questions (Dont read if you havent seen)

Old 08-07-04, 02:09 AM
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Manchurian Candidate Questions (Dont read if you havent seen)

Overall, I thought this was a pretty good movie, but parts of it were confusing. I don't know if I just wasnt paying enough attention or it was just this confusing. Here are my questions...

1. There were a lot of things introduced but not further explained. Like what is up with the tomatoes and noodles? But especially the implant in the back of their shoulder...obviously the implant in their brain was controlling their mind, but what exactly was the shoulder implant?

2. Who were all the painted face women at the brainwashing facility?

3. Marco and the other soldiers were supposedly having the exact same dream since the Gulf War, but how come the first time they show part of it Shaw kills the soldier with a plastic bag, but the next time they show him strangling the soldier with just his hands?

4. How do Shaw and Marco break the brainwashing at the end? Just by talking with each other? Just cause Marco tells Shaw they are connected because of this ordeal? I mean earlier in the movie Shaw kills the woman he loves with no regard but just a few chats with Marco and he's willing to get himself and his mother assassinated. And what makes Marco strong enough to break the brainwashing and kill Shaw instead of Arthur?

I know its just a movie so not everything is going to connect together 100% but these couple of things have been driving me nuts since I saw the movie and talking with others who have seen it.
Old 08-08-04, 07:01 AM
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First of all, Rick, let me offer my sympathies on your untimely death. Buffalo NY loves and misses you.

OK...

There were a lot of things introduced but not further explained. Like what is up with the tomatoes and noodles? But especially the implant in the back of their shoulder...obviously the implant in their brain was controlling their mind, but what exactly was the shoulder implant?
They were eating noodles during the brainwashing scene. My guess is that it became a 'comfort food' for both Shaw and Marco- they had a scene where they both ate them in seperate rooms. They also saw an ad for them in some city. Tomatoes? Hard to say, outside of that little video from the library.

The implant thing bothered me too, I think it was just a (cough) plant in the script to reveal that something odd was going on. My question about the plant- why would they have put it in, if it made that fire-team stick out from the rest of the soldiers? Based on the lame 'light' trick, there was an implant in Marco's brain too. So why a non-controlling implant in a place that most people would find in the shower? Weak.

Who were all the painted face women at the brainwashing facility?
No idea. Probably added for cosmetic purposes. They tried and failed to make those scenes weird. They needed that more fleshed out. These, IMO, were the weakest scenes in the 'new' film, especially when compared to the clever bit in the original.

Marco and the other soldiers were supposedly having the exact same dream since the Gulf War, but how come the first time they show part of it Shaw kills the soldier with a plastic bag, but the next time they show him strangling the soldier with just his hands?
Incomplete or false memory? Sorry...by this time I was getting tired of the red herrings.

How do Shaw and Marco break the brainwashing at the end? And what makes Marco strong enough to break the brainwashing and kill Shaw instead of Arthur?
This was the screw-job for you, the viewer. And it's the reason I'm not buying this on DVD. after double-dipping on the 'real' film.

You don't know. But the movie cheated with that 'warm lighting' effect, to lead you to believe that Marco was also programmed. I thought it was a cheap attempt to throw off the viewer. They didn't earn the right to do that- it was supposed to shock you but didn't carry any weight. At least for me

There's a lot of unanswered issues. I don't know why Marco instantly believed Rosie when she said she was 'with the feds'. Now if she was working for MG, that would have made it interesting.

This movie could have played the paranoia theme handily- making it much more powerful- but it didn't. Very little subtlety. I was not impressed with this film, and I think even if I rented it I wouldn't have been that happy.

The epilogue was cheap- IMO, it looked tacked on, like they added it after the initial screenings didn't like the 'original' ending. I'd expect an alternate ending on the DVD.
Old 08-08-04, 05:12 PM
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I would have thought this movie was awesome except there is so much left unanswered, so much introduced and not explained that it just left you too confused.

I also would have liked to see some finalization with Manchurian Global...was leaving that ending open setting up a sequel? I mean they showed the Feds changing Marco to the Chechen guy as the assassin and showed the newscast tying MG to that guy and other bad guys but then that ends. Does the company shut down? Do the Feds grab the corporate bigwigs? Do the corporate bigwigs claim they didn't know what their underlings were doing, setting up a sequel?

Uggghhh too much unanswered
Old 08-09-04, 01:58 AM
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The tomato represents the genetic modification. In the Internet speech by Dr. Noyle, he holds up a tomato and describes how the technique was first used on tomatoes to keep them from over-ripening, or something like that. The soldiers probably heard discussion of it during the brainwashing/surgery sessions, and their subconcious minds used it as a symbol. As for the painted women, they obviously reperesent Middle Eastern culture, and since they were holding the tomatoes, it was just more subconcious dream symbolism ("you were genetically altered in the Middle East").

The shoulder implant seems to be the prototype/preliminary implant. Remember that only Shaw got the brain implant, and that was done in the present, just days before the election.

As for how they overcame the orders at the end, I can only imagine that perhaps it is because they are both now missing the shoulder chip, which may mean their control systems are incomplete, allowing them to override it. That and it makes a typical Hollywood crap redemptive ending.
Old 08-09-04, 02:27 AM
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Does anyone else think the movie should have just faded to black and ended either right after Shaw and his mom hit the ground or the Fed woman shoots Marco and keeps him from suicide? None of the stuff afterward, the Manchurian Global people watching TV or Marco going to the island did anything for me. The way it ended left more unanswered than if they didn't bother to introduce either.
Old 08-09-04, 05:45 AM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
The shoulder implant seems to be the prototype/preliminary implant. Remember that only Shaw got the brain implant, and that was done in the present, just days before the election.
Hmm...why then did Marco 'see the light'? That was a total cop-out for the story.

Originally posted by IMRICKJAMES
Does anyone else think the movie should have just faded to black and ended either right after Shaw and his mom hit the ground or the Fed woman shoots Marco and keeps him from suicide?
Yeah, the ending really seemed like it was tacked on.
Old 08-09-04, 10:51 AM
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Why did it take Marco over a decade to notice the thing he had in his shoulder? Did nobody in the unit (including a career military man, a prominent politician, and a cancer patient) never get a physical exam or an x-ray in the whole time between Desert Storm and 2004?

This isn't the worst film I've ever seen (or even the worst remake), but it wasn't particularly good, either.

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