The Manchurian Candidate by Johnathan Demme Essay

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The Manchurian Candidate, Johnathan Demme directed the remake. Both films portray paranoia, mind control, and conspiracy. Frankenheimer utilizes satire, humor, and symbolism to convey the themes, whereas, Demme uses modern fears, camera angles and focus, and mental illness to achieve similar results. Many of the elements of the 2004 remake have been modernized. While the original movie placed the soldiers in Korea, the remake placed them in Kuwait. Demme did changed the location of the war, in order to appeal to current fears and suspicions. In 1962, the threat of communism was at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. However, during 2004, only three years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, citizens were no longer concerned about…show more content…
The film switches between perspectives of the ladies garden party and the communist officials to stress the comic surrealism of the situation. The calm and genteel ladies garden party is a stark contrast to the evil plotting of the communists. Image overlay as well as soft lighting are also used to convey the surrealism and dreamlike quality. The absurd way that Eleanor’s husband, Senator Iselin, presents the supposed number (which he is constantly changing) of communists in the state department, satirizes the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Many of the accused communists during the red scare were merely from wild speculation caused by irrational fear and political movements to get rid of the opposition. It was also ironic that Eleanor, who had her husband present the fake number of communists, was actually the communist herself. The role of a mother is also satirized in the film. The 1950’s portrayed mothers as pure and wholesome, however Eleanor is portrayed as the evil and conniving perpetrator of peril. The remake focused on keeping the audience and Major Marco in a constant state of paranoia and uncertainty. In the original movie, the audience is shown, as well as told by the narrator, that the platoon was captured and brainwashed by communists. Whereas, in the remake, Major Marco and the

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