The Future=The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Style Elections?
The principal components that determine an engaging political thriller or conspiracy film are the successful merging of factual content with a masterful manipulation of the story line that enhances the film’s ability to blur the line between known facts and more fanciful elements portrayed in the film. Those ingredients were skillfully blended in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
The Manchurian Candidate released in 1962 starred the late Frank Sinatra in the lead role of Major Bennett Marco, a role recreated and cleverly interpreted by Denzel Washington in the 2004 remake. Mr. Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra, along with Scott Rudin, were producers of the remake starring Mr. Washington.
The 2004 remake features a stellar cast. Meryl Streep, in the role of Senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, the ambition driven, manipulative mother and Liev Schreiber, as her unfortunate, troubled son, Vice Presidential candidate and war hero Congressman Raymond Prentiss Shaw, were both disturbingly convincing as their characters. To her son’s detriment, Ms. Streep’s character has offered her son as a sacrificial lamb to a secretive, worldwide, corporate entity known as Manchurian Global. Honorable mention must be made of Jeffrey Wright in his role as Corporal Al Melvin, one of the surviving, tormented soldiers, along with Sergeant Shaw, who served under then Captain Bennett Marco, during Operation Desert Storm.
Both films deal with a plot to undermine the will of the American people by taking control of the United States government through a complicated process, involving hypnosis and the coercion of Major Marco to accomplish this task.
The film released in 1962 relied heavily on the anti-Communist backdrop of the Cold War, which pitted the United States against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), also known as the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, the main antagonist, cast as the culprits set to carry out the dastardly scheme.
The 2004 remake’s villain is even more sinister. Those seeking to usurp power within the United States government are linked to the corporate entity Manchurian Global. Those affiliated with the enigmatic Manchurian Global represent a network of world leaders, movers and shakers and corporate subsidiaries located around the world.
A disturbing and factual aspect of the technology portrayed in the 2004 Manchurian Candidate remake is the use of an instrument to drill holes into subjects’ skulls to deliver implantable chips into the brain to override and reprogram the will of those individuals implanted with the devices.
In the current, real world of medical technology, there is such a device in use to aid with the alteration of the moods of persons suffering from specific mental imbalances. My observations are not meant to be interpreted as any sort of statement regarding the misuse of said technology for nefarious motives by any members of the medical community that may use this device. But, I digress.
The most intriguing plot line in the 2004 remake was its updated boogeyman, the clandestine global corporation with ‘tentacles’ that reached into all of the world’s businesses, political endeavors, even the military. The film was laced with pseudo news stories, hinting of the far reaching capacity and interconnectedness of Manchurian Global.
Despite protestations from many, mainly in the persons of conservatives and Republicans, corporate money in use in the world today, with brokers representing corporate interests and the wealthy shifting holdings and investments around the globe 24 hours a day as the sun heralds the dawn in each part of the world to another day’s trading, money has indeed taken on a socialist character.
Socialism is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:
Any of various systems based on shared or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
Swap the words 'government ownership' with the words 'corporate ownership' and corporate socialism comes into view.
There may be contradictory, even uniquely conflicting interests, in some circumstances, acted upon by individual corporations worldwide but, with money being used to influence specific outcomes on a number of levels in politics, the business sector and its variety of enterprises around the world, with currency (money) itself traded AS a marketable commodity, motivations for agreement in most endeavors will need to be and are very likely being found.
What was the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, delivered in January 2010, in the case Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission?
It bestowed personhood upon corporations, allowing corporations to invest virtually limitless sums of monetary influence in the political process that elects United States’ politicians, without full disclosure of who, individually or collectively, or what countries are being represented by these corporations, information that might reveal specific interests and possible motivations of these corporations as they wield their influence throughout the world.
In the real world, it would seem life truly does imitate art.