“More human than human is our motto.”
What’s it about?
Rick Deckard is a retired Los Angeles cop in the year 2019 (the movie was made back in 1982), a dystopian future where population, pollution and corporate advertising thrive on and off the streets. With globalization having created a mixed culture society, and the Earth not being able to support its ever-rising population, humankind has taken to off-world colonization. For this purpose, among many others, were created ‘replicants’, androids indistinguishable from humans but for their dictated short life span. When called back in to hunt down a batch of rogue replicants, Deckard finds himself entangled in an investigation into the corporations that rule this world, and the ever-present question of what it means to be alive.
Why watch it?
Blade Runner is, simply put, the singular film that has influenced all of sci-fi cinema since; its shades and inspiration still felt in every dystopian story and world created since. Loosely adapted from Philip K Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, Ridley Scott’s magnum opus throws open the questions of the ethics of artificial intelligence, god complexes, and the essential one of what it means to be human – a question especially relevant today when our civilization stands on the brink of AI creation. Definitely a movie that demands multiple viewings, this brilliant and never-before-seen blend of film-noir and cyber-punk will keep drawing you back in for more. With almost every shot by Jordan Cronenweth too captivating to take your eyes off, accompanied by the transcendent background score by Vangelis, this is an audio-visual treat you definitely do not want to miss. Oh, and also, its sequel is out now, and it’s pretty brilliant, so I’d suggest you watch this right now, and then go watch Blade Runner 2049 at the best screen near you.
Who made it?
A truly unique film that combines the geniuses of Philip K Dick, Ridley Scott, Jordan Cronenweth and Vangelis, this is an artistic powerhouse like none other. Harrison Ford plays the cold and problematic character of Deckard, but is overshadowed by the magnetic performance of Rutger Hauer in his career-defining role as the replicant Batty, while Sean Young plays Rachel, an employee of the Tyrell Corporation and the ‘femme fatale’ of this neo-noir tale.
What’s the best part?
Where can I begin? The very opening of the film panning the landscape of 2019 Los Angeles, the famous eye shot, the first meeting with Rachel and the use of the Voight-Kampff machine, all of them are brilliant scenes with breathtaking imagery and almost meditative music. But for my personal favorite, I’ll just leave this first line from one of the best monologues to have graced the big screen:
‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…‘
OH, AND PLEASE WATCH THE FINAL CUT OF THE FILM. DO NOT EVEN GO NEAR THE THEATRICAL RELEASE. JUST DON’T. TRUST ME. [Hint: It is background-narrated by a couldn’t-care-less Harrison Ford, and severely restricts the scope of the film.]