Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bladerunner - Again

For years my husban
d and I have had this argumentt

“I don’t know if we can go on like this”
“What in the hell are you talking about?”
“You’ve never seen Bladerunner?”

“Uhm, no.”
“That’s it. I want a divorce”

I know others have written about this movie, but now it’s my turn.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first sat down to watch Bladerunner. The first notes of the Vange
lis score caressed my ears and I sat down for a wonderfully diverse ride. Loosely based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. It’s the story of Decker, a semi-retired bladerunner, who is out to catch four rebel replicants who return to earth in search of a way to stay alive. Replicants are humanoid robots that were produced to work on other planets, but were known to be violent. As a safe guard, replicants were given a four-year life span. Pris (Darryl Hannah), Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the deadly Zhora (Joanne Cassidy) and Leon (Brion James) all return to earth to try to get in tough with Eldon Tyrell, the genius that designed and made the replicants. Decker is sent to hunt down the group and runs into Rachael, one of Tyrell’s new creations. She is a replicant who doesn’t initially know that she a robot. The rest of the story is the cat and mouse game between Decker and Batty, who dance a deadly dance in trying to kill each other, and Decker’s search for the meaning of humanity within his love for Rachael.

This film works just as well today as it did in 1982 when it was shot. The models they used to film rival the detail and complexity of any computer graphics used today. There are small spots where you can see the age (that and it supposedly takes place in 2019) but the mood is overwhelming and completely immersive. The costume work, a mix of 1950’s detective story and futuristic, blended the genres beautifully. And the searching for what is human is something we do even today. Taken on many levels this movie works. It can simply be a violent and witty detective story. A love story with great costumes and strange characters. But it also works as a psychological conversation about what makes humans actually human. The complexity inspired hours of argument between my husband and I...and now he doesn't have to divorce me!

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