The Manchurian Candidate The Manchurian Candidate
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Film Date :   July 30, 2004
Genre :   Thriller Psychological   
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The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidateis a 2004 American thriller film based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Richard Condon , and a reimagining of the previous 1962 film .

The film stars Denzel Washington as Bennett Marco, a tenacious, virtuous soldier; Liev Schreiber as Raymond Shaw, a U.S. Representative from New York , manipulated into becoming a vice-presidential candidate; Jon Voight as Tom Jordan, a U.S. Senator and challenger for vice president and Meryl Streep as Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, also a senator and the manipulative , ruthless mother of Raymond Shaw.

Major Bennett "Ben" Marco (Denzel Washington) is a war veteran who begins to doubt what is commonly known about his famous Army unit. During Operation Desert Storm , Sergeant First Class Raymond Shaw ( Liev Schreiber ) supposedly rescued all but two members in his unit, of which Marco was the commanding officer. This made Shaw a war hero, gained him the Medal of Honor , and launched him into a career in politics. One of Marco's former NCOs, Corporal Al Melvin ( Jeffrey Wright ), contacts him and says that he has had some 'dreams', and mentions himself, Marco, and Shaw inside a big room, with confusing memories of the lost army unit. He is clearly deranged. He also shows Major Marco some images he's drawn from the dreams, including one of a tattooed woman.

The members begin to come together in a dystopian near-future America defined by xenophobia , defacto martial law , environmental degradation, and increasing corporate control. Shaw, now a United States Congressman, becomes his party's candidate for Vice-President. He is an unexpected candidate, as Connecticut Senator Tom Jordan ( Jon Voight ) was the leading choice for some time. Jordan is pushed aside by Shaw's mother, Virginia Senator Eleanor Shaw ( Meryl Streep ), who convinces the party leaders into nominating her son. An obvious rivalry exists between Eleanor Shaw and Tom Jordan, partly due to a past relationship between Raymond Shaw and Jordan's daughter Jocelyne ( Vera Farmiga ). That evening, Marco has a nightmare in which he is trapped in a large room, with tattooed women placing large television sets in front of the soldiers, and repeatedly saying, "Raymond Shaw is probably the kindest, bravest, warmest, most selfless human being I've ever known." Meanwhile, Melvin desperately pleads for Marco to help him, but Marco cannot, as he is incapacitated by his surgery, chemical infusion, and hypnotism.

After Shaw is nominated, Marco begins investigating what really happened during the war. He finds an implant inside of his back, and, having it analyzed, realizes that it is a nano-technological experiment dating from the Gulf War, and having to do with Manchurian Global, an international weapons manufacturer with major political connections, including former prime ministers, trust-fund terrorists, ayatollahs, and the Shaw family. Marco also finds a newspaper clipping with a person in a photograph who he recognizes as a scientist from his nightmares. Looking him up, he finds that his name is Atticus Noyle (an anagram of Dr. Yen Lo, an evil Chinese brain-washer from the original 1962 film), a genetic engineer and soldier of fortune, who used to work for Manchurian global, on a nanotechnology experiment.

Marco shows this to Tom Jordan, who, although he doesn't entirely believe the story, does realize that there is a strong possibility that Raymond Shaw was brainwashed, and confronts the Shaws about this. When he suggests that Raymond bow out gracefully from the campaign, Eleanor Shaw pretends to think that this is an idiotic ruse to eliminate competition. Taking matters into her own hands in fear and desperation as the conspiracy is hours away from being revealed, she 'activates' her son. In a trance-like state, under his mother's orders, Raymond Shaw murders Tom Jordan and his daughter.

Eleanor Shaw is furious at Manchurian Global because they gave her their word that the brainwashing conspiracy could never have been found out, and while it's true that she was trusted with their technology, they were trusted with her son. As she becomes more and more controlling, it is soon revealed that the Vice-Presidential spot is not what she has in mind for her son, but the presidency. On election night, the newly elected president will be assassinated, and the planned assassin of Shaw's running mate is none other than Marco himself, who was also brainwashed in the war. With the help of the FBI, Marco arranges a private meeting with Shaw in a school which he was to cast his vote. Marco tries once again to convince Shaw of what is happening to him and that there is a deeper link between them that Manchurian technology has not managed to obliterate. Shaw seems to agree, and gives Marco his Medal of Honor, which he says he does not deserve. Marco takes it, and Shaw receives a phone call from his mother, who wants to talk to Marco. Marco answers it, and is soon "activated" by her.

After Eleanor Shaw activates her son, he becomes helpless and weak. The latent ambiguity of their relationship is revealed when Eleanor washes down her son, kissing him repeatedly on the lips and stroking the back of his neck. They then get ready to go to the election party.

Shaw and Marco begin to regain a conscious state even while under Manchurian Global's control. At the election night celebration party, the newly elected Shaw and Major Marco realize what must be done. Shaw leads his mother onto the stage with him, moving them into the spot where the President should be and blocking Marco's shot. Marco then fires one shot, killing both of them as they hug. Just before Marco can kill himself (which had been part of Eleanor Shaw's plan), FBI Agent Eugenie "Rosie" Rose ( Kimberly Elise ) stops him by shooting him in the shoulder. The FBI seemingly covers up Marco's involvement, framing a Manchurian Global conspirator with the shooting. In the last scene, Rosie takes Marco to the compound he was brainwashed in, apparently in conjunction with the FBI investigation. Marco realizes what has happened, and lets the sea take away a picture of the "lost platoon" along with Shaw's Medal of Honor.

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