Any Scifi fan will know that the film Blade Runner belongs in a science fiction museum of historical significance. To be viewed and rewatched and learn from what it was trying to achieve at that time. In this article, I’ve viewed the 1997 final cut as opposed to the 1982 original. If you’re a millennial who intends to see Blade Runner 2049 without seeing the original then damn, perhaps you need retiring. Stop reading, download it and then comeback to this page.
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is based on author Phillip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Sleep? The film draws you into a dsytopian future world where the industrialist Tyrell Corporation created robots to serve as slave labour in off world colonies for exploration and colonisation of other planets. Due to their high intelligence these robots were called Nexus 6 Replicants. The replicants turned on orders and some come back to earth but Police squads called Blade Runners are under instruction to hunt replicants down and execute them or in this world retire them.
The film follows Deckard the Blade Runner who we see in stylistic widescreen shots of futuristic Los Angeles. The city is always dark, raining and flying cars are always driving past billboards advertising branded products or flights to off world colonies. When Deckard is doing detective work to hunt down the replicants, we see smoke filling the screen as characters smoke their cigarettes. Shadows abound in every scene because Ridley Scott is achieving film noir and creating a stylistic and visually stunning world to look at.
Darkness is centre in the film however in its storytelling the script and characters are all craving some form of life. The themes of life are so apparent and one’s desire for truth. (Spoilers ahead) The six replicants that Deckard needs to retire have one thing they want, their expiration date of death. They know the are artificially intelligent yet their smarter than the humans and crave life more than their makers. The replicant leader Roy Batty (Hauer) meets his maker Tyrell saying ” I want more life father!”Later he says to Deckard “It’s quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like to be a slave.” Re-watching this film made me ponder why are we quick to point the finger at those that want life and strive to live. Deckard is simply doing his job and he wants to be alone. Even when he initially is contacted for call of duty, he is seen on dark city streets eating noodles alone. The isolated Deckard wants something but he doesn’t know it until he meets Rachael(Young), Tyrell’s home-bound replicant. She doesn’t know she’s a replicant yet Deckard does. It begs the questions, Is it better to tell someone the truth or let them believe the lie they live?
If you watch the film for the first time, you’ll be thinking why did I bother? When re-watched your mind will shift and you’ll understand it all the more better.
The film is already being studied in film schools for cinematography, genre, directorship and screenplay. Roy Batty(Hauer) gives his Tears in the Rain monologue and at that point it confirms the film stands the test of time.
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Harrison Ford as Deckard
Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty
Sean Young as Rachael
Daryl Hannah as Pris
Joe Turkel as Dr. Tyrell