The Manchurian Candidate (with spoilers)

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The Manchurian Candidate (with spoilers)

Post by Segnosaur »

Ok, I recently saw The Manchurian Candidate (the recent remake). It was a good movie (well acted, although I thought the first half was a little bit slow). And I really think Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar. (Do they give Oscars for "creepiest performance in a politcal thriller?)

Now, my question... what exactly happened at the end? I'm referring to when Denzel Washington (Marco) ends up shooting Shaw at the end, rather than the president as he was programmed to do.

I had originally thought that Marco and Shaw had just overcome their programming at the last minute; however, if that was the case, why would Marco shoot anyone?

A friend suggested that the agents simply managed to reprogram Marco before he acted... this makes a bit more sense; however, how would the agents have known the way to access Shaw? And why would they have problems finding Marco if that was the problem?
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Some Friggin Guy
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

What happened, as far as I can see it, is this:

Shaw's programming did not take the concept of love into account. He had fallen in love with the senator's daughter (I forget her name) and was forced to kill her. This broke his programming to some extent. He realized, however, that he would be the pawn of Haliburton (we won't mince words, right?), even if he had shaken off the programming enough to prevent the shooting of the president. Additonally, he had, in his body, evidence of what was going on (the chips).

Marco's programming was not as specific as Shaw's. He was told (granted, I'm filling in some blanks here) to shoot the person standing on the specific spot the president was on when Shaw stepped to his spot. This is why Shaw was told not to move before hand.

Shaw, realizing what he had inside him, and also realizing that he was the only person who could stop Haliburton, did not step to his spot initially, then brought his mother forward. When he did, he stepped to his correct spot, triggerring Marco's program. Given the relative sizes involved, Marco tried to wait for the shot, but then Shaw began moving (dancing in a circle) making a clear shot more difficult. When the balloons started falling, the shot would have become next to impossible, but Marco had to complete his programming, so he took the shot, anyway, most liekly killing the mother instantly, but Shaw, as I recall, was still alive for a time.

This is why Marco had to be shot in the shoulder to prevent him from commiting suicide.

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