Saturday, January 30, 2010

Movie: Blade Runner (1982)

Those who do not know what to expect may leave Blade Runner in a bewildered state. It is science fiction, and Harrison Ford, but Blade Runner is definately no Star Wars-like action adventure. Instead, this movie is slow, deliberate and philosophical, with emphasis on heavy themes like consciousness, life and death. The story is an adaptation of a novel by Philip K. Dick, a writer notorious for his drugs-awakened paranoia and mindbending themes.

On the face Blade Runner is a detective story, where Ford hunts for escaped robots (Replicants) that are nearly similar to humans. As a detective story it is pretty straighforward and Ford himself doesn’t seem so eager to have some action and fun. In fact, the robots, when discovered, seem more alive than the humans. This is a very deliberate choice by director Ridley Scott (who, after Alien, apparently felt the need to handle something heavier).

The movies of the 80s are always extremely visual. It was the time that special effects were on the rise and directors like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were influential. So too Blade Runner. It is set in a gritty, chaotic film-noir environment in a future Los Angeles, where the skies are brown and the streets between enormous black buildings are sprawling bazars. It is a place of rampart biotechnology, where customized eyes are grown in backalleys and artists fill their houses with talking living puppets.

The film occasionally drops hits that the boundary between man and android have faded completely and that Ford’s job is useless (and that Ford himself, even, is possibly a Replicant). The ending is justly famous, and one of the most memorable endings of all times, when actor Rutger Hauer, playing a killer android, improvised sorrow for its own demise. See it, but be cautious with your expectations.

IMDB: Blade Runner

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