Minority Report: what if the end was just a dream?


“Minority Report” presents Tom Cruise facing a future crime he must commit. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film ends on a happy ending. Only, based on a hypothesis, this could in fact be a dream. Explanations.

Minority Report : Tom Cruise facing his crime

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Minority Report takes place in the near future, in 2054. In Washington, to eradicate crime, “Precrime”, a new system for predicting crimes has been developed. For this, three extra-lucids, called precogs, are used. Their visions make it possible to know in advance when a violent crime is going to be committed. An intervention team, led by John Anderton, then undertakes to find the future culprit and arrest him before he commits his act. Only the system will fail when a vision from the precogs shows John committing murder. The latter decides to flee while trying to understand who is his supposed future victim.

Minority Report © UFD

Worn by Tom cruise, Minority Report is probably one of Steven Spielberg’s most fascinating works. Visually, the film already stands out compared to the rest of its filmography by its particular grain and its predominantly electric blue lighting. In addition, drawing inspiration from the short story of Philip K. Dick published in 1954, the filmmaker made one of his rare forays into futuristic SF, after HAVE (2001) and long before Ready Player One (2018). And for Tom Cruise, it is one of his most touching, complex and moving roles.

Happy end, really ?

At the end of Minority Report, everything suggests that Steven Spielberg opted for a happy end. John was able to prove his innocence, the real culprit committed suicide and “Precrime” is arrested. The precogs live peacefully in the countryside and John, who seems to have finally mourned his son, is reunited with his wife who is expecting a new child. Still, the movie might actually not be so happy. Because all this might in fact be just a dream.

This hypothesis, we owe it to Mathieu Turi, director of Meander. On the occasion of the film’s release (in theaters from May 23, 2021) we met him for an interview. During this interview, the filmmaker comes to talk to us about Minority Report who was the object of his end of study thesis. For him, the film changes drastically when John is incarcerated and that the jailer tells him that from now on all his dreams will come true. The next moment, we discover Lamar (Max von Sydow), John’s boss, who says this sentence: “Everything is my fault“. From then on, Mathieu Turi noted a visual change.

The colorimetry changes suddenly. The whole film is blue, but at this precise moment the film turns ocher, in contrast. And above all, from there, everything is solved on its own.

The director adds that what can validate this hypothesis is in the last shot, very similar to that of Brazil. Indeed, in Terry Gilliam’s film, we see a large campaign as the camera climbs to the sky. Only, if Spielberg cuts after that, Gilliam for his part shows two torturers. It is thus understood that the main character has not moved from his seat and sank into madness.

A hypothesis that would correct errors

Finally, Mathieu Turi notes that Minority Report is a movie about “the editing, the look, and how we can cheat on the imagesWith all of these elements, the dream hypothesis makes sense.

Of course, the “classic” ending is still quite acceptable. However, the one proposed by Mathieu Turi makes it possible to correct “script errors”. Indeed, several elements in the resolution of Minority Report are inconsistent. First, the fact that John’s wife could enter a prison with a gun and get her husband out without a hitch is implausible. Likewise, it is strange that John’s colleague agrees to “do him a favor“when his wife asks that a vision of the precogs be shown at the Lamar gala. It’s hard to imagine such an action without having watched the video that incriminates Lamar beforehand.

Minority Report
John (Tom Cruise) – Minority Report © UFD

Finally, and this is perhaps the most problematic, the vision of the female precog is suddenly perfectly clear. Until then, his vision of past crime had remained incomplete. But for the resolution of the film, this time it has a whole one. Nothing is explained in the film about this. The idea that it is a dream would therefore justify all this.

From there you can accept the film as it is, but with its “mistakes”. Or take it with this much darker ending, but like the rest of the film. It’s your turn…

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