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The Manchurian Candidate

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I’ve never seen the original, so I can’t comment on how this remake compares, but I thought this was an excellent movie. Liev Schreiber was creepy, Denzel Washington was disturbed, and Meryl Streep was ruthless.

*SPOILERS BELOW*

My friends and I debated the meaning of the ending… Did Denzel not hear the instructions correctly because the bell rang, or did Liev manage to use their spiritual connection to make Denzel kill Liev and Meryl rather than the newly elected president? I feel it must be the latter, but considering the strength of the brainwashing, it seems amazing that their spiritual connection could really be that strong. And did Liev mean for Denzel to kill both of them, or was that just a “happy” coincidence?

Any thoughts?

Laura K. Lawless
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  • Voxxy

    I think Denzel carried out his instructions exactly as given, but that Liev maneuvered himself and Streep into the position that the presidential candidate was supposed to be in. He did not “take a step back from his star” as he was supposed to do.

  • http://www.walloworld.com/triggerman Bill Wallo

    I haven’t seen the new version yet, although I plan to do so. Just one suggestion, however:

    Rent the original one.

    From the reviews I’ve read, the two films are quite different in many respects and better for that. In other words, each is a good movie in its own right. But the original is a classic, and should be seen.

  • Mark Desmet

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    I think Manchurian Global realized that Streep was a loose cannon and abandoned the project by letting Denzel kill Shaw and his mother.
    The only loose end was Denzel, who had already been nullified as a force for “truth”, whether he killed himself or not.

  • Eric Olsen

    hmmmm

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Haven’t seen it yet, but I heard it was more “anti-Bush” than Moore’s “documentary.”

    Any truth in that?

  • SFC SKI

    You really have to rent the original, it is a great film, and it sounds like it is a lot different from this remake.

    Is it really a remake if the movie is drastically altered from the original?

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    It’s a remake, but very much on its own terms. You couldn’t really remake the original, because — great as it is — it’s a bit of a period piece: a darkly comedic thriller about post-Korean War anti-Communist hysteria. Jonathan Demme and his screenwriters have considerably updated it. Gone is the black humor of the original; now it’s strictly a political thriller, where the bogeyman is a profiteering multi-nation Haliburton-esque company. It’s not bad, but it’s one of those remakes — Jim McBride’s 1983 version of Godard’s Breathless comes to mind — where a comparison is foolish; of course it’s not as good, but on its own terms it’s not bad.

  • http://french.about.com lklawless

    See, I think it was Liev S. who changed who died. Remember how he kept staring at Denzel? I think he was working that spiritual connection that Denzel had mentioned (re. the fact that Liev didn’t have him killed or committed after D attacked him). I think Liev wanted out, and he wanted his mother out, and fixed it so that D would kill the two of them, ending it all.

    The theory about M Global is interesting, but I don’t buy it.

  • http://www.rklau.com/tins/ Rick Klau

    I think Shaw and Rosie reprogrammed Marco after Mother gave the order to kill the president. Rosie helped set up the one-on-one between Shaw and Marco; at the celebration, Shaw kept looking to Marco’s perch as if he knew exactly what was going to happen. Marco’s confusion was in having two different instructions – the first, to kill the president, the second to kill Shaw.

    I agree with the comment above: Shaw wanted out, and maneuvered to put his mother in position to get hit when he got shot.

    My wife, on the other hand, thinks that Shaw cracked and nobody else was in on it (nor was there any reprogramming): starting with Marco approaching him, then his murder of Jocelyn, and finally Mommy getting intimate with him prior to election day. He missed his mark on the stage on purpose, and positioned himself to get hit. He commits suicide, Mom going with him is just a bonus.

    I have a feeling we’ll have to wait until we can watch it a few more times on DVD, with Demme’s commentary. :)

  • http://www.ryanjameson.com rjameson

    We (the wife and I) struggled through this also. For me Rosie was the confusing factor. She clearly saw Marco come in, but then seemed to not know where he was, and then rushed to keep him from killing himself. We also thought we saw the same guy who planted the gun with her when she shot him. Did anyone else notice the “contractor” walking down the hall at the school when Rosie was waiting outside? And what’s the deal with Rosie waiting for him to come out of the room and then running through the school looking for him? Some of the evidence points to her knowing about it (the first surveillance camera scene) and then others point to her not knowing (walking through the crowd trying to figure out where he is)….

    Honestly it was fun to be stumped on the ending but I’m convinced someone screwed it up. They apparently pieced together two separate directions and didn’t get all of the edges lined up.

  • rilkeanhart

    I think we need to go a step further. They got to rosie as well. Why would she call attention to the man behind D. as he was walking in? They knew the feds would be looking for D so they had to have someone in charge let him into the convension. The reason she stopped the tape on the man behind D. is that something clicked inside here with him in the same frame.

  • bill

    the ending confuses everybody, and those that think they know what really happened are merely expressing opinions, this was a horrible ending that didn’t leave people fulfilled, but rather confused in a an annoying way, overall it’s a crappy attempt to appear original and I wouldn’t recommend this movie

  • bill

    the ending confuses everybody, and those that think they know what really happened are merely expressing opinions, this was a horrible ending that didn’t leave people fulfilled, but rather confused in a an annoying way, overall it’s a crappy attempt to appear original and I wouldn’t recommend this movie

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