A Research Analysis of Blade Runner by Scott Ridley.
The film “blade runner” directed by Ridley Scott is a science fiction-based film from the 1980s that has won awards for the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and another award for The Best Visual Effects. The film has won many more awards like the BAFTA Awards and has also been nominated twice for the Oscars Golden Globes. It depicts a blade runner challenged upon trying to terminate four replicants who decide to steal a space ship and return to the planet Earth to find their creator. It stars two famous principal actors, Harrison Ford and Emmet Welsh as police officers who at the moment gain the information that the replicants may have entered Earth to extend their four-year life span. Both actors are in a challenging quest to make a plan for eradicating these replicants and at the same time get along with each other. The film operates on several emotional levels with a first person narrative. More so, the director aims at arraying the moral outlook and humanity of the protagonist as well as an odd dark shadowy cinematography. The replicants collide with humans who appear to be non-empathetic. The replicants try and show concern for each other, but that does not counter the presence of a cold and dark, impersonal human nature out in the streets. The film Blade Runner by Scott Ridley under interpretation displays the overall impression of the movie more into its characterization techniques, the theme settings, and the specific film techniques used differently throughout to the end.
Through a cyberpunk’s vision of the future, human beings have developed technology to create human clones who have been used to serve in armies outside the planet Earth only upon fixed lifespans. The clones known as replicants are declared illegal due to the facts after a bloody mutiny upon a colony found outside the earth. The human clones find themselves in Los Angeles seeking a way to extend their four years’ worth of living lifespans. These replicants are supposed to undergo termination on the first site on earth. The human ability to create another equal being through science fails (Workman, 695). Deckard is a cop whose specialty lays in the termination artificially created beings, retired but is forced to return to work after an earth discovery of four replicants, also referred to the film as skin jobs. The clones are said to have stolen a spaceship to travel back to earth while the city that Deckard is required to search for these replicants is large and has a bleak vision of the future. The film mainly questions what it is like to be human beings and why is life considered so precious to them (Scott, 13).
Film techniques such as camera shots, constant sound effects, lengthened dialogue, choice of music, dimmed lighting, editing of takes, and themes are all elements or conventions that are recurrent in many films ( Spottiswoode, 28,39). This act allows the audience viewers to recognize the changing moods as well as the environment in which one is put in. The blade runner has been explained to contain the themes and visual styles that belong in the category of Film Noir. This class comprises of films that are made in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s, the name having its origin from the translations of American crime fiction. The plots in the category mainly depict a private detective who falls for a treacherous woman. Some have argued that the category name has to do with visual style, and not genre Science Fiction has been common since the early days of cinema where theoretical tricks and photographic techniques are combined to define the occurrence of a particular set of actions (Umland, 46-48). Blade runner mainly offers the audience with a science fiction environment that is characterized by the use of fantasy. The science fiction world uplifts issues to do with the contemporary existence of humankind and its behavior towards innovation and change. There highly exists an ambivalence when it comes to the modes by which the humans are represented. According to the film Blade Runner, the characters of both Rachael and Roy Batty have an implicit suggestion on some particular occasion to act in more humane manners of which are supposed components of the human nature.
Lighting is another distinct feature of the film, Blade Runner where there exists highly contrasted areas of light and shadows. Drama is in this state through the filtration of light in blind and latticed windows. Shadows cast upon the characters faces suggest a mysterious darker nature in the personalities in portrayal. The film is in an urbanized context amongst cities and low life areas. Mainly bars and clubs, as well as motels and dark streets, are in view during the entire film. Moreover, the characters in the film are dressed in coats and suits while women glamorous evening wear. Natural sunlight is replaced with glowing neon lights while the weather in the film emphasizes the sense of claustrophobia, all these contributing to the mood of the film.
The main characters from the film, Blade Runner comprise of humans as well as replicants. The film’s titular Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford, is disillusioned from hunting replicants although his old Inspector Bryant drags him back to the job. Once back, he falls in love with Racheal a replicant that leads to the final revelation that even Deckard himself could be a replicant himself (Jacke, 147-162).
On the other hand, Roy who is the leader of the replicants is played by Rutger Hauer. His main purpose is to find Tyrell, who is his creator so that he may be programmed to extend his lifespan. Once he finds out that the procedure is not possible, he murders Tyrell, the sound engineer of replicants. He finally saves the life of Deckard before the end battle scene in the film.
Rachael is a beautiful young replicant working in Tyrell’s office, played by the actor Sean Young. She does not find out that she is among the replicants until Deckard discloses the information to her. She is described to have qualities of an executive who is in all control. However, Deckard interferes within her smooth façade and once again she is depicted as an innocent girl. She and Deckard elope together in the end.
Another blade runner was working with Bryant, by Edward James Olmos, who is brilliant in the fact that he speaks many languages. In the final stages, he is shown to be empathic by letting Racheal live and also hands in a clue to Deckard that he may be a replicant as well.
Bryant is a police officer played out by Emmet Walsh. He is in an interview whereby he is hard-edged and very cynical as he refers to the replicants as skin jobs.
Pris, on the other hand, is portrayed as doll-like and naïve. Daryl Hannah thinks that Pris could perform gymnastics since she is skilled. She is saved from prostitution by Roy because back then she belonged to the pleasure unit.
Themes in the film have encamped from various scenes. Paranoia pervades the film as it rains in the city in 2019 which depicts suspicion as well as uncertainty. Another instance is during the interview of one of the replicants Leon, who is currently working on undercover that indicates the height of paranoia towards replicants. There also exists a lifetime limit to the clones. That limit is implemented by corporations but is now intrinsic to them. The most violent replicant, Roy is the only who attains the chance to execute his genetic programming up to his end point (Lamarque, 15).
Technicism is another theme in the film where all problems and needs are controlled by the usage of technological terms, methods, and tools. The film is said to accept blindly technology enhancement. Other films have also resembled this nature in Blade Runner. The genetic engineering and cloning of somatic cell nuclei are present in the film as well as the slavery of human life
The eye symbolism present in the film provides insight into the themes and characters present. In the beginning, the film is opened up with a close-up view of an eye that fills up the entire screen reflecting on to a landscape seen below. This action depicts the all-seeing eye of providence. In the course of the film, Roy also quotes that Chew has not seen as much as he with his own eyes which later plays an ironic role because he is acclaimed to be Chew’s eyes. Leon and Chew are also spectated to intimidate chew with disembodied eyes. The man who also designs the replicant eyes gets to be one to show them their way to Tyrell. The test that the replicants fail circulates about the ability of a normal human eye to respond with emotion as the pupil fluctuates in size or the iris involuntarily dilates. Tyrell’s death is by Roy, who forces his thumbs into his eyes. Some scenes in the film show a great glow in the replicants’ eyes that explain the source of a sense of artificiality. There also exists another theme in the depiction of women as dangerous and devious. The other usage of women as victims in the above manner has been used to elicit sympathy from the audience.
Stylistically the film is said to have fantastic and artistic trends of a future. Driven by fear the human creations from the other world of clones escape to Earth. This quest is to extend their life spans. Humans are said and proven to have made themselves their match yet they are tangled up in problems arising from their make. The films theme is the difficult quest for immortality that is supplemented by an ever-present eye motif, eye work factories. The eyes symbolize the window to one’s soul. Scott’s masterpiece leads on to the inevitable question of the actual meaning of being human (Scott 205).
Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott. Warner Home Video, 1982. Videocassette.
Jacke, Andreas. “Apocalypse, Not Now ….” Blade Runner, Matrix Und Avatare: 147-62. Print.
Lamarque, Peter. Work and Object: Explorations in the Metaphysics of Art. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. 176. Print.
Scott, Ridley, and Laurence F. Knapp. Ridley Scott: Interviews. Jackson: U of Mississippi, 2005. 476. Print.
Spottiswoode, Raymond. Film and Its Techniques. Berkeley: U of California, 1951. 768. Print.
Umland, Sam. “: Retrofitting “Blade Runner”: Issues in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” . Judith B. Kerman.” Film Quarterly: 46-48. Print.
Workman, S. “Blade Runner.” Bmj (2006): 695. Print.