8 Strange Things: Blade Runner 2049
With my "8 Strange Things" blog-post series I'll be picking out 8 things that "strangely" caught my eye during watching a movie, TV series, reading a book, etc. and do a little analysis on those 8 things, and then rate the particular movie/series/book on my "strange meter".
Below is my 8 strange things about Blade Runner 2049
1. Is Rick Deckard a replicant?
Quick thing to note: replicants are bioengineered androids who look exactly like humans. They're banned from earth because they pose a threat on humans. "Blade Runners" are a type of policemen that are tasked to contain replicants from infiltrating humanity.
In the original Blade Runner upon realising that Roy was more than an android, Deckard himself seemed to come to the realisation that perhaps he himself is a replicant. But it was never addressed further than that. This is perhaps the film's main conversation starter, and I'm just happy they didn't try to be smartasses and reveal anything in 2049.
2. The suspense factor
The suspense is nursed with careful attention. The executives know that they're dealing with a cult classic and thus gave the film the appropriate treatment in terms of narrative and its mysterious undercurrents. This makes room for viewers to carry the conversation on online and come to their own personal conclusions according to their own measures and analysis.
3. Miada Wallance
How did he manage to buy Tyrell Corporations after it was shut down due to its founder being killed by the very replicants that the corporation specialises in making? We don't get a clear backstory, and seeing as how close to the core this particular factor is to the story, I was kind of thrown off.
4. Running Voight-Kampff test on Officer K
This is basically a testing system to determine whether a person is human or a replicant. Replicants are not able to process emotions well enoygh to produce empathy. We're told he's a replicant at the beginning. But he's the more compliant. K is a newer version android made to be obedient, it also hunts and kills older versions who are all labeled rogues.
They are shook because K discovered that it is possible for a replicant to reproduce. Thus giving the long shunned creation "human qualities". The humans don't want replicants to know of this possibility because it may instill an idea of individualism and real purpose into the replicants and bring forth chaos to the order they've been trying to keep for years and years.
5. They did away with the initial aesthetic from the first movie
The original Blade Runner movie is not only considered a cult classic that influenced movies like The Matrix, A.I., etc. but a phenomenon that propelled the cyberpunk movement as to highlight futurism/futurescape. I actually like the fact that the cyberpunk aesthetic was scraped down, making room for a postmodern design that any 2017 viewer of any colour can identify with.
6. A new philosophical question to dissect
The prevailing theme in Denis Villeneuve's sequel tears itself from the original movie's "who's a replicant, who's real?" And instead begs the question "Do we (humans and replicants alike) even matter?" Does anything matter? I love that this film has its own philosophy, which affords it its own identity. At first, we're made to believe "K" might be the special child of Rachael and Deckard. K himself goes on to believe this, and this propells him to take some leaps forward and even rebel against his purpose as a Blade Runner to instead chase the dream of being a heroic replicant. In the end it's harshly revealed to him (and us) that he is just an "ordinary" replicant, which substantiates that perhaps none of it matter.
7. Does Officer K have (human) emotions?
In the movie, he sits down with his human boss Joshi. When ordered to find and kill the child bore by Rachael, he counters "I've never retired (killed) anything with a soul before". This is hesitant, and leaves his boss a little unsettled. He seems to possess a sense of awareness which is exciting because he's definitely bound to go rogue (which eventually happens).
8. Did Officer K really have to die?
Yes, the whole thing about great sacrifice and dying for a grander purpose and what not makes sense for any movie. But the lead's death was especially unnecessary for this movie in particular. Officer K's importance to the course of the replicants rebelling could've been substianted in another way. Dying at the end is simply basic of the movie- no matter how beautifully-shot and executed the death was.
Strange meter: 75%
Conclusion: Awesomely strange