Minority Report is probably the one film that attempts to portray not only an exciting narrative set in a futuristic milieu, but also visualizes a credible future based on the predictions of today. Based on themes like ‘free will’ vs ‘determinism’ , ‘utopian’ vs ‘dystopian’ – the movie tries to predict the plausible dominant norms of a future society that would exist in 2054.
Washington of 2054 has evolved into three distinct zones: the Washington Capitol area where the monuments are present; the “bedroom community” across the river that has developed vertically ; and the decaying part of the city that has not kept up with the technological advances afforded by the rich.
While government buildings are hostile, and metallic; the grass in the city is still green, and historic row houses still stand proud presenting the post-modernist possibility of harmony between the old and the new.
The integration of infrastructure and cityscape presented so well by such films as Metropolis (1927) and The Fifth Element (1997) has been perfected here. A transport network of magnetic levitation vehicles is seamlessly built into the facades of most of the new buildings . It seems that the buildings and the vehicles exist to complement each other. Inclining highways form part of the façades dropped like waterfalls and merging with horizontal roads. The network of highways functions in all three dimensions , as the road surface totally abandons its dependence on gravity.Such seamless flow of traffic would be able to take care of any amount of traffic judiciously because of limitless possibilities in the use of the third dimension of space.One must however question the feasibility of such vehicles when considering the rest of the still horizontal city, where the viewer is clearly shown that the old road network still exists. A point to ponder for the future for Urban Planners, eh??