What does it mean to be alive? ‘Sci-fi thriller films exist to entertain and to amuse, but they seem to offer little underlying message’. Blade Runner is most certainly the exception to that rule. Set in 2019 in a dystopian Los Angeles, Rick Deckhard (Harrison Ford) is a detective (known as a ‘Blade Runner’) who hunts down any ‘replicants’ (robots, created with a limited life-span but as human like as possible) which have managed to escape their enslavement and return to earth. It is a moving and often disturbing reminder of the fleetingness of life, and asks questions of the viewer throughout. There is one line in the film which perhaps sums it up perfectly, ‘All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain’. These words show the extent of the irrelevance of the universe, as if to suggest that the life of Deckhard, has no more meaning – or is in fact no more real – than that of the replicant who utters them on his deathbed. I cannot recommend this film highly enough, it is not simply an acting tour de force, but a writing masterpiece, perfectly intertwining reality and illusion, to keep the watcher always hungry for more, and always toeing the line of reality. When Deckhard reveals to a replicant that he is in fact aware of all the memories she has ever had, we are struck by her startling reaction. She seems devastated. A robot. Is she still a robot, or is she human? These are the principle themes dealt with in the film. Themes that will keep you thinking for weeks. More films need to do that.
Watchable? Definitely. The dystopian setting will draw you in from the get go, and the gritty, sometimes hilarious Harrison Ford, will keep you glued to the screen.
Could I watch it in the bath? I would not suggest this as prime bath material, unless the bath is the place you usually go when pondering intellectual matters, in which case, go for it!
Would I recommend it to all my friends? ‘Blade Runner’ is typecast as a ‘man’s’ movie, but I don’t think that this has to be true. Having said that it’s sci-fi genre tag will put many people off before they give it a chance.
Interesting fact:The ‘snake scale’ seen under the electron microscope was actually a marijuana bud.
Do I feel like I have a greater appreciation of cinema? Yes I do. The setting is absolutely remarkable, and yet in grizzly, gray and dark weather in horrible living conditions, the film still remains very watchable. It is also a fantastic example of the extent to which a soundtrack can influence a film, with the often eerie music adding to the general air of hopelessness which seems inherent in this futuristic world.
Rating in the series? #2
If you would like to suggest a film then please do leave a comment, and if you would like to see the full list, and my aim over these 39 days, then go to my 39 Days 39 Films page on my blog. Thanks for reading!