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Hi everyone
are you craving for a good movie today?
The film we are going to talk about this time is the newly released Sci-Fi movie
Alita: Battle Angel
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Alita: Battle Angel is adapted from a famous Japanese manga series GUNNM in the 90s
The story took place hundreds of years from now, in a time when people on earth mostly lived in two places:
The floating city of Zalem, which was equipped with advanced technologies and held most of the available resources
And right beneath it was the Iron City that lives on scraps of Zalem
One day a doctor named Ido found a severely damaged but still alive cyborg girl in the scrap yard
and decided to take her back to his clinic for repairs. He gave her a brand new body and named her Alita
After waking up, Alita seemed to have lost all memories of her past completely
The only thing that remained was her curiosity to the world around her
The story unfolds as Alita attempts to retrieve her memories and unlock the secrets to her past
The movie is filled with many astonishing elements
Apart from the huge and comprehensive universe that it's in
the legendary filmmaker James Cameron, who is also the producer of the film
employed a number of latest technologies, and the result is a movie
that is packed with jaw-dropping visual effects
Although the story was written some thirty years ago
we can still feel the power of its vision and creativity, and the effects it has on the Sci-Fi world
As many scenes in the movie reminded us of some popular Sci-Fi movies released in recent years
For example, Real Steel has scenes similar to how Alita was found in the Scrap Yard
and how cyborgs are fighting with various weapons and different fighting skills
How Alita has to participate in the Motorball games
in order to enter Zalem reminded us of the Hunger Games
Elysium has a similar setting, which the world is divided into two
Ghost in the Shell is also about a cyborg trying to recover her memories
All of these are proofs of just how visionary and groundbreaking the story was
So in today's episode we'd like to try something a little bit different
First we'll introduce the world of Alita
and then we will compare the differences between the original manga series and the film
And at last, we will reveal the lessons that this film has taught us
A World Beyond Imagination
At the start of the movie we can see a colossal high-tech city floating in the sky
And right underneath it is an obviously poorer and more traditional-looking city that almost looks like a slum
Due to the loss of her memories, Alita was brimming with curiosity to everything around her
Through her eyes we get to know this peculiar world of the future
300 years prior to the film's timeline
Earth was caught up in a devastating war with the United Republic of Mars, or URM
Though Earth managed to defend the attacks from URM
all floating cities besides Zalem were fallen
damaging most of Earth's civilizations and technologies in the process
The entire movie took place in the Iron City that sits under Zalem
which all citizens' lives were dependent on
Apart from collecting scraps coming from Zalem as their resources
Iron City was obligated to send crops and refined resources back up
People from below were forbidden to go to the upper world
but this policy provoked a relentless longing among many citizens in the Iron City to leave and go live up in the sky
The institution responsible for managing the Iron City was called the Factory
Besides delivering goods to Zalem, it also governed a contingent of mercenaries called the Hunter-Warriors
Their job was to hunt the outlaws and in return were paid with bounty credits
The Factory was run by a man named Vector
who not only took care of the operation of the Factory
but also served as the unofficial host of the most popular game in the city – the Motorball
Motorball was a highly dangerous sport that combined speed skating and gladiator combat skills
With the hidden agenda of alluring the most daring players
they claimed that the ultimate champion would be granted a ticket to Zalem
The scarcity of resources had created a huge demand for weapons and parts
that were needed by hunter-warriors and Motorball players alike
That demand gave birth to a gang of scavengers who targeted cyborgs and humans
They would attack them, dismember them, and sell their organs and parts for credits
In this dog-eat-dog world, everyone must find a way to survive
Through interacting with these different groups of people, Alita slowly found her place
Manga vs. Film Spoilers ahead. Viewer discretion is advised
As an adaptation to a classic manga series
I'm sure many of you want to know the differences between the film and the original work
So we'll spend the next few minutes discussing a few major differences
We think the biggest change lies in
how some of the main characters are depicted and are shown with more humanity
For starters, in the manga, Dr. Ido didn't have a wife and a daughter
Alita's name was from the cat that Ido owned but died a month earlier
However, in the film Ido not only had a wife who served as a doctor with him
he also had a daughter who was tormented by illness
In the manga, Ido didn't become a hunter-warrior solely for the bounty money
he also had a secret addiction to the thrill of killing
However, in the film his motives were changed to redemption
as he wanted to prevent future tragedies by eliminating criminals
In the manga, the character Hugo appeared later and had a delayed impact on Alita
But in the movie Hugo was introduced much earlier
and served the important role of connecting Alita to the world
Also in the manga, Alita's affection towards Hugo was unilateral
but in the movie they were shown to be attracted to each other at first site
which adds a hint of romance to this action-packed Science Fiction movie
Despite the changes, the film still managed to keep many classic scenes that pay tribute to the manga
For example, the scene where Alita jabbed her hand into Grewishka's eye
and the part where Alita feigned Hugo's death
these are all scenes that sure will excite fans of the original work
Alita's Journey
The framework of the story may have been established three decades ago
the author's visions still speak volumes today
Though the concept of a cyborg with a human brain
equipped with a mechanic body was not an original concept
but GUNNM is indeed one of the vanguards of this genre
The idea of Alita's being able to change her body parts
not only satisfies sci-fi junkies such as myself
but also has a more profound insinuation
When Ido found Alita, he looked at her from a doctor's standpoint
sparing no effort putting her back together and gave her a new body
As the story unfurled, we learned that Alita's new body was actually meant for Ido's late daughter
When Ido brought Alita back to life, he offered not only his daughter's body
but also her name, and he had treated her as his own daughter ever since
While doing research on Alita's technologies, Ido discovered her secret
Alita was actually a solider equipped with the most advanced technology and weaponry
fighting for the invading URM three hundred years ago
During the battle she was severely damaged and went into hibernation, losing her memories in the process.
Since Ido was already seeing Alita as his daughter
he hoped that she could get rid of her past and live a stable and undisturbed life
That's why he was reluctant to show support as she attempted to retrieve her memories
Later when Alita found the combat body left by the URM
Ido refused to connect Alita to the new body
And said to Alita: You've been given a chance to start over with a clean slate
How many of us get that chance?
But Alita's heart that clung to the truth was unstoppable, so she decided to find the answer on her own
Seeing Alita risking her life to find out who she was
Ido had an epiphany
Though what he did was for his daughter's sake, but she was the master of her own life
and he had no right to stop her from living it
so Ido changed his mind and connected Alita to the URM body
Watching the reborn Alita, Ido offered his words of wisdom to her
The body is just a shell, It's not bad or good. That part's up to you
It's not hard for us to relate to Ido's feelings
for this is something that many parents have to learn to deal with
Now let's turn our focus back to Alita
We've learned from interviews with the production crew
that the reason they made Alita's eyes deliberately bigger
partly was to stay true to her image in the manga
but more because since eyes are the window to the soul
and through bigger eyes we can see Alita's vibrant soul more easily
It's a general perception that bigger eyes represent innocence and loveliness
Alita's agile eyes not only show more emotions
they also create a stark contrast to the toughness in her when she fights
and totally lives up to her nickname Battle Angel
However, seeing a girl with the face of an angel but fights like a killer
we could already foresee all the conflicts and struggles she's destined to experience in her life
The moment Alita opened her eye; the curiosity about the world took the better part of her
Whether it was her reflection in the mirror, the sweetness of oranges
or the excitement that Motorball games bring, she wanted to try everything and to be part of everything
In her restless mind, her long forgotten past was like a cloak of thick mist
that clouded her eyes that yearned to see the world clearly
Whenever Alita fought, during those fractions of life and death
her past memories would strike her without warning
And what came along with these memories were the combat training she received
and her acute instinct for battle
After regaining all of her memories
she recalled that she was indeed one of URM's soldiers who fought on Earth 300 years ago
Her order was to take down Zalem And defeat Nova, the mastermind who was controlling everything behind the scenes
Despite knowing her original mission, Alita was not confined to it
She chose to follow her heart and wished to live a life with Hugo in Zalem
To realize this wish she was even willing to sell her priceless heart
Hugo's death had left Alita devastated for some time
but soon she was back on her feet and kept going to Zalem as her ultimate goal
Alita's choice this time was not made to accomplish a mission given 300 years ago
or to fulfill Hugo's expectations
but because this was her decision and the path she chose
Though Alita lived her life hard for herself, that doesn't mean she was ungrateful
On the contrary, she knew exactly the only way to console those
who had encouraged her in the past and helped her grow
was to find her own path
She needed to use her achievements as a proof to show those who stayed beside her
that all their efforts were not made in vain
Her mentality and actions accentuate the fact that Alita lives her life to its fullest
She is capable of giving all she has for those she cares, but she is also capable of living for own sake
She is the girl who lives up to her title: Battle Angel
Alita's decision also echoed with Dr. Ido's realization
This film is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining movies of our generation
Apart from the visual effects and the storyline
the adorable yet merciless Alita blows our minds
with sequence after sequence of enthralling actions and fights
Whether you are in for an intense sci-fi punk movie
or is also searching for the meaning of life like Alita
this film has something unique to offer
It's clear that the film has left a big portion of the story untold
and we just can't wait to see what will happen to Alita next
and everything that are still hidden inside Zalem
Alita: Battle Angel definitely one of this year's must-see movies
and we highly recommend it to you
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230 Folder Collection
Fannie Wong published on November 11, 2019
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