Thirty-five years after Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982, Blade Runner 2049: a dystopia that revives the time-space concept of a post-apocalyptic world. The screenplay is based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by the well-known American writer Philip K. Dick.
Blade Runner 2049 elaborates a radical and deep reflection on modern society, criticising corporatism as a universal form of government, consumerism and its simulacra. Director Denis Villeneuve faithfully captures the process of reality gradually denying everything that’s real. The noir character, a dramatic vision here and there, the average speed of the movie directed by Ridley Scott are some of the perspectives that Villeneuve adopts and expands in multiple cinematographic layers overlapping a narratively and visually oversized structure. Therefore, you shouldn’t miss Blade Runner 2049 if you enjoy Sci-Fi, and, if this genre is not your list, this may be the moment to do so.
A dystopian space is created, where access to feelings and genuine living is denied.
It’s 2049. The replicants are simulacra with a limited lifespan, artificial constructs designated to serve the human race, less dangerous than the previous ones, which somehow gained their independence. Officer K, remarkably played by Ryan Gosling, is the bounty hunter assigned to find the child born to a female replicant. The ultimate goal of his attempt is to destroy any proof, as the child is the very evidence of her autonomy. Himself an exponent of the new replicant race, K pushes the boundaries of his mission, and, disregarding his orders, after some research he discovers that the former bounty hunter Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) was involved with Rachael, identified as the female replicant, who had gotten pregnant. Any relationship based on genuine feelings is dangerous in a universe dominated by simulacra, which is why K fakes Deckard’s death to take him to see Ana Stelline, the character who has the power to create memories, an embodiment of the playful and creative human mind, who is probably his daughter. From his searches, K gets a deep understanding of the past and learns to distinguish programmed life and addiction to holograms from the human and the genuine. The epiphany of knowing the past makes him look at human uniqueness in a different light: this open ending calls upon quiet reflection on the possibility of dystopian worlds and on the consequences of the deteriorating value system of the real world.
Beyond the complexity of its narrative interpretation, Blade Runner 2049 amazes through the sharpness and consistency of the script written by Hampton Fancher (screenwriter of the 1982 version) and Michael Green. It is truly remarkable how refined the references to the first cinema version from 1982 (Blade Runner) are, but also to other later Sci-Fi productions inspired by it. Artificial Intelligence, holograms and avatars, spaces lacking light sources, contamination of humanity and its disappearance among layers of the past, extreme degradation of the Earth climate and environment, huge impersonal and toxic urban spaces, memory – a dangerous territory, archive – an uncontaminated void constantly open towards the future; all of the above can be found in the organic fusion between visual and special effects, accompanied by the sound track by Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer. The main theme of the movie is the dimension of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world, where trash is one of the few certainties, and the sky is a toxic cloud. A dystopian space is created, where access to feelings and genuine living is denied.
On an extreme visual note, Blade Runner 2049 reminds us that repeating the same mistakes is the direct result of our impossibility to understand the past. And, because of too much technology, it is inevitable that, at any point, we may reach a point in which the elements and natural principles governing the world are totally damaged, where everyday life, genuine feelings and individual autonomy are completely capitalised.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Director: Denis Villeneuve
Written by Anamaria Enescu
English Translation: Irina Vîlciu