Blade Runner – Classic Film Review
These are a selection of film reviews that focus on movies you’ve most probably heard of, but perhaps haven’t seen in their entirety.
Holding the position that criticising creativity is a waste of everybody’s time, my selection of films have made the cut purely through individual admiration. Hopefully after reading some of the articles you may too embrace the movies into your personal collection.
Set in a sinister, dystopian and plausible vision of Earth in the near future, Blade Runner makes for a personal viewing experience that reinforces our fears of the future in a intimate and close to home fashion. With this increased level of empathy and concern the film fully ensnares you into believing the true possibility of our future.
The Cyberpunk genre commonly presents a setting where the dystopian elements are caused and produced by our own species; introducing a feeling of guilt in the viewer and setting you on the right path of narrative where you feel a constant desire for retribution. Blade Runner artistically displays this self-caused dystopia in Los Angeles 2019, a city that in reality boasts the stars and decorates its roads with palm trees and shiny white teeth. The world of Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford) the Blade Runner, is a far cry from the city angels once flew over. In this setting there is an overwhelming sense of decay, technology has separated us from the organic Earth. The real-life desire of conquering nature through social, technological and medical advancement has truly been achieved in the sense that nature has seemingly given up the fight for balance and looks on helplessly at the animals it once knew. All that remains is demonstrated comprehensively by the film’s mise en scene and production design. The sun’s rays don’t reach road level and pummelling smog precipitates acidic rain onto the lowest members of society.
The futuristic, neon lit landscape suggests a not so distant reality. The images of technology play a huge part in Science Fiction, Blade Runner incorporates this whole-heartedly; automated haircuts, cloned animals and airborne cars are just some of the many displays of technology. On top of this, for the viewer, an awe-inspiring reaction is created through the observation of futuristic possibilities, regardless of whether or not they are positive.
The plot of Blade Runner evokes a disheartening portrayal of our future, one riddled with injustice and out of this world idealism. The stereotypical Science Fiction plot line of manmade problems is demonstrated through the escape of the humanoid Replicants, showing man’s misguided approach to social progress. It is a problem that needs to be remedied by the film’s protagonist in the hope that some form of balance can be achieved. However this proposed balance may not be what this dystopia needs, instead Deckard may have to seek his own, more just, equilibrium.
What is interesting about Blade Runner’s plot is how the expected need for a return to normality after an ‘unknown’ interference is flipped on its head. Those portrayed initially as the good are revealed to possess more stereotypical villainous tendencies. For the audience this role reversal has a profound effect as it cements the dislike of the futuristic reality, returning you gladly to the morality you appreciate in real life.
Blade Runner’s cinematic elements hail to stereotypical meanings in Science Fiction; the future decay of society, the control or threat of technology and the symbolic representation of civil rights in society. This last meaning can be seen in the film’s representation of the Replicants, it demonstrates and signifies the film’s contemporary concern for racism in society; initially showing the Replicants as a dangerous ‘other’ is later rectified through their progression into victims of the world that surrounds them.
Blade Runner is not only entertaining, beautifully designed and socially relevant, it’s one of those films that keeps you thinking for days after watching it.
ps. If you’re watching the movie and Harrison Ford is narrating, then you’ve got the wrong version. Watch the director’s cut (Ridley Scott). Thankfully this version is more common in the shops.