The Minority Report and Other Stories

Spielberg's Interpretation of Minority Report

The cinematic adaptation of Phillip K Dick’s thrilling science-fiction story Minority Report captures perfectly the futuristic noir feel of the original. However, the movie’s plotline, characters and central themes contain major dissimilarities. Its characters have different names, younger ages and greater free will. Its plot diverges, and results in a dramatically different, typically Spielbergian happy ending. More importantly, its underlying theme undergoes a shift of focus. One of Dick’s reoccurring themes, evident in many of his works, is the dangers of future society. Likewise, the original Minority Report bears a veiled premonition of the dangers of social engineering and government tyranny. In contrast, Spielberg’s film contains only a skeleton of Dick’s words of warning. The basic plot of a single man pitted against fate remains. However, the emphasis of this story morphs from government conflict to interpersonal conflict; from power and greed on a grand scale to the lust for power on a personal level; and from one man’s helplessness against fate to one man’s victory over fate. Thus, the film adaptation dwells more upon questions of free will. It expands upon the concept of self-determinism versus destiny, and pays...

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