Reflection On The Film Blade Runner

The film Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott, is the best way I can describe combining the science fiction and genre and the film noir genre. The film does an amazing job showing the audience the unsettling future that is 2019 Los Angles. Ridley Scott does a great job showing a realistic world that has elements of science fiction that is not only believable but actually seemed plausible at the time of release. Like many science fiction films before it, Blade Runner has many new and exciting species, different languages, and obviously robots. We also see how our main protagonist is conflicted when he shows compassion and empathy throughout the film regardless of his mission being to hunt and kill the Nexus Six Replicants. While these can be seen as a weakness by saying it prevents Deckard from doing his job I would argue that these qualities are his strengths and they make him better than the rest of the police. Empathy and compassion are two themes of the film.

Culturally this film is supposed to warn us of what our very own future can turn into, the opening shots of the film are of Los Angeles with explosions happening all throughout the city. I found myself asking “is this really what people thought 2019 was going to be like in 1982”. Also, this film does a fantastic job showing how civil liberties are a question in this society. When we see Deckard flying in the police car, we can observe the city and we can see how it has become over-populated and there really isn’t any space left for anything. We can assume based on the scene with Sebastian that most people went “off world” and those who didn’t qualify due to medical records, finances, etc. are forced to live in this run-down society. The only time I recall seeing the streets in this film was during the marketplace scenes and any time in a dark alleyway indicating just how badly things have gotten for the world we are living in. In addition to warning the human race of our own demise, I believe Ridley Scott planted another seed of advice for future generations to learn from. In the film, we see the Tyrell company who created the replicants start to place real memories from real people into the artificial bodies. I believe this is a message telling us not to play god. Now we have seen this done before in science fiction movies such as I-robot, The Flash, and Wall-E however this time the robots aren’t just simply evil, they have emotions and feelings in this movie which makes it more engaging.

The sense of realism in this film is one that I was not expecting. I wasn’t expecting to be able to relate to someone who lives in a world where he has to hunt down robots that look and act like humans. In short, I was very wrong. It didn’t really occur to me until the scene where Deckard tries to convince Rachel she is not a replicant by telling her he was just kidding and to just go home. Something about this scene seemed so real to me and it reminded me of a time when I said something to make a kid at the day care I work at and it made him upset. I then had to try to calm him down and so I lied to the kid to make him feel better. Seeing something like that happen in this movie was a total surprise to me. Another aspect to the film I found interesting was the how they showed corruption in the law enforcement. It even goes as far as a cop saying, “if you’re not a cop you’re nothing” which is a classic example of film noir. All of the police cars in this future can fly while some of the other regular cars cannot. I found this as really interesting way to show the economic differences between these cops and everyone else who is beneath them on an economic scale.I think it is important to note that while watching this I was very supposed how good the visual effects were which was a technological achievement for its time. Back to the future director Robert Zemeckis has even gone on record stating “I did take some inspiration from blade runner to base my future in Back to the future part 2”.

Rodger Ebert says that “It looks fabulous, it uses special effects to create a new world of its own”. I completely agree with Rodger Ebert because not only is he right but he is also showing how movies like this are always going to be important. For example, a movie in recent years that did something similar in world building is Avatar directed by James Cameron. Avatar also featured incredible world building from special effects and it is currently the highest grossing movie of all time at 2.7 billion dollars.

All in all, Blade Runner is an aesthetic achievement based on how it builds it world throughout the film. The differences between the wealthy and the poor, the way Ridley Scott makes this dystopian future a realistic one and by showing the true nature of the human race is what makes this movie a great film. The best thing about Blade runner is how it shows a future that is so bleak and desolate one cannot imagine a world living in it, but these are real problems and if nothing changes Blade Runner might actually be our future. 

09 March 2021
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