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Friday, December 16, 2011

Bladerunner

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Bladerunner, directed by Englishmen Ridley Scott is a science fiction film, which explores the idea of humans and non-humans locked in battle, each, driven by necessity for survival in a futuristic world where life in any shape or form seems constantly under threat. Rick Deckard (acted out by Harrison Ford) and Roy Batty (acted out by Rutger Hauer) are two major characters in this feature film, Bladerunner characterised and depicted as being neither god nor bad.


Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a detective who is forced to put up an insensitive wall around him so as to carry out his job properly. The seriousness, the no-sense speech and the mechanical execution of his tasks all contribute to this image of a tough guy cop. He is portrayed as neither being a “goody” or a “baddy”. Many shots and camera angles of him are at eye level, which indicate a “good cop”. This is especially exemplified in the opening few minutes of the film. Deckard is sitting on a bench, reading a paper and says, “They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession, ex-cop, ex-bladerunner, ex-killer.” Here the audience and the viewer begin to understand and learn that Deckard is supposed to be a good character because he used to be a cop. This is because police and cops are there to protect the society from harm and danger and this is what enables the viewer to think that Deckard is a “goody”. The densely populated and crowded city around where Deckard is sitting also demonstrates this, because it shows him fitting in and blending with society.


As the film progresses, we see a different side and face of Rick Deckard. In the nightclub, Zhora (a replicant) asks him to zip her up, then attacks him. There follows a chase sequence during which Deckard catches glimpses of Zhora, but cant get a clear shot. When he does, he shoots her in the back several times, sending her crashing through panes of glass. The technique of slow motion clips and skip frames in this particular scene, represents the replicants desperation to live, exist and have a life. Here, the viewer is encouraged to see Deckard in a different light. His act of murder and assassination of an unarmed female has lead to this outcome. This evil and villainous act by Deckard has now encouraged the viewer to see him as a “baddy”. Taking the life of a female who was unarmed, desperate to live and exist is very inhumane. Only evil and bad characters in films and movies are given such tasks. Shooting a female several times and sending her crashing through panes of glass also illustrate this.


This example is again exemplified in the next few scenes, where Deckard goes to J.F.Sebastians apartment and finds Pris. Pris is another replicant, who is very naïve and seems to be the least developed of all the replicants and therefore very much like a flower. As Rick Deckard is searching through J.F.Sebastians apartment, Pris wears a veil and hides herself amongst the dolls. Pris, trying to save her life and live, attempts to strangle Deckard between her legs and kill him. Rick Deckard again shoots Pris, flailing and screaming in a last protest against death.


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If Deckard was a “good character”, he would have captured Pris and Zhora, not shot them, but to teach them the proper path to life. Shooting two unarmed women, who are protecting themselves, is a very evil and villainous act.


Near the end Deckard rushes to his apartment to find Rachael, who is another replicant. He desperately and seriously asks her, “Do you love me? Do you trust me?” Here we see again the good side of Rick Deckard. This also substantiated when Deckard and Rachael begin to hug and kiss each other, showing their true emotions and feelings to one another. The viewer now begins to understand that Rick Deckard is neither characterised as being “good” nor “bad” because in real life there is no such thing as one being “good” or one being “bad” and that is what this film, Bladerunner is underlining.


Rutger Hauer the replicant Roy Batty. His quiet voice makes him the perfect super sub-human replicant. His hair is died white, his body and face is always lit up to prominence, and almost always the image is shot from underneath, making him look surrealistically handsome and at the same time imposing. Roy Batty’s character also shows that he is neither good nor bad.


When Batty is in Tyrell’s apartment he quotes, “Its not an easy thing to meet your maker…I want more life,” he demands passionately. This opening sentence creates Roys character and his evil self. His demand and his demand for more life for himself enables the viewer to learn about the typical characteristic of a “baddy” in him, in wanting everything for himself. Tyrell then quotes, “the light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long,” explaining to him that it is beyond his capability to give him more life. Roy then kisses Tyrell and kills him by crushing his skull and pushing his eyes out with his bare hands. This again exemplifies his barbaric act of evil.


Roy’s acts of evil are not only shown by his physical strength but also by his mental strength, for example the way he forced Chew and J.F.Sebastian in taking him to Tyrell. Here he was frequently filmed in low angles to make him appear more threatening. Chew and J.F.Sebastian are both short characters compared to Batty and so the camera is always focussed on top of them which enables them to look weak and fragile. This inturn increases the effect of Roy being a “bad” character.


As well as showing some bad characteristics, Roy Batty provides the viewers with some goodness. The most memorable instant is the way he moaned for the death of Pris. He is not ashamed to return to the most basic instinct of openly showing emotions of sadness and love. The viewers are encouraged to feel for Roy, as hie love dies and moves further apart from him. We, the viewers, begin to understand his character more with his desire for “more life”, so that replicants and humans can live together. His emotions and yelling’s deeply show this and so we see him in a different light.


The next most important instant, which proves his desire for more life and goodness, is when he saves Rick Deckard. Even though Deckard had killed two replicants, Zhora and Pris (his lover), Roy Batty saved him from falling off the building. Roy Batty released a white dove to commemorate his death that he most likely learned to accept and appreciate. Here the viewer is encouraged greatly to see the good side of Roy Batty. Realising the importance and preciousness of life and existence Batty saved another ones life.


This futuristic film Bladerunner, deals with characters that are neither good nor bad, as exemplified by Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) and Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer). This is to show the behaviour of humans in the real world, they are neither good nor bad. There are no good nor bad characters in this film Bladerunner because each character in this film is doing the right thing. For example Rick Deckard is trying to protect the society from the replicants believing that they are dangerous. Roy Batty in the other hand and the other replicants are trying to find a way to increase their length of life and live longer then four years. Both of these arguments are fair and so there is no “goody” or “baddy” in Bladerunner.





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