The Parallax View

The Search for Objective Truth in The Parallax View

In the realm of assassination drama, The Parallax View is in some ways an inversion of the similarly speculative plot of The Manchurian Candidate. In the latter film, Korean War soldiers are brainwashed by an external force (Communists) into fomenting instability in the United States through targeted assassinations. By contrast, the Parallax Corporation, as is revealed at the end of the film, recruits violent social misfits to unwillingly become patsies in the assassinations that Parallax conducts. Whereas the Communist agency of The Manchurian Candidate is shown to be capable of completely violating one's own mind, the Parallax Corporation covertly manipulates everything in one's life except one's mind. The external social forces -- from the avuncular local Sheriff to the federal assassination commission -- which impede or otherwise manipulate Frady's progress in the film (and the broader society which is ultimately satisfied in assigning the blame for the Senator's death on Frady) all function in much the same dramatic capacity as the more straightforward process of mental manipulation of the Manchurian Candidate. In short, Parallax View suggests that a man can be unwittingly "trained" and...

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