Thoughts on Blade Runner

Rachael Blade Runner

The other day, we caught a screening of Blade Runner at the Rooftop Cinema.

It was the first time I’ve seen Blade Runner in its entirety though I have watched bits and pieces of it here and there. Although it was pretty cold and we huddled under rugs on our chairs, the rooftop was such a great place to watch the movie with the lights of the city in the background and an occasional plane light in the distance (no, no, it must be a flying car like in the movie!) Though at the end, we were so cold in spite of our rugs, I just wished Ron Batty would hurry up and kill Harrison Ford or die already. Oh no, don’t you dare take off your clothes. Why are you running around in nothing but boxers? Stop that already. You may not be cold, but am. Stop it, soldier. Stop it.

At the end, when Roy Batty says, “Time to die,” I’m already thinking, “Hell, yes, definitely time for you to die. I’ve got pasta waiting at home for supper.”

Humour aside, Blade Runner is such an iconic film and has definitely stood the test of time, cinematography-wise, unlike some films which were so awesome back in the day, but don’t look that great a few years later. I thought I’d run through a list of the things that stood out for me – both the things that are great and the things that had me going, ‘Uh…really??” First of which was:

How awesome are Rachael’s hair and clothes?

Her pompadour (now very  much referenced by super cool music icon Janelle Monae), red lipstick and the awesome exaggerated silhouette of her black dress during the Voight-Kampff test scene is definitely an iconic Hollywood moment. I’m starting to get ideas for Halloween next year!

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This is another great picture of a lonely, tormented Rachael wrapped in a luxuriant fur coat, and even better, her backdrop with a strange mix of futuristically (totally made up that word!) dressed people. Looking very steampunk!

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I don’t think this was part of a scene in the movie, but this is another iconic shot of the film-noir essence of Ridley Scott’s movie. For some reason, I’m thinking Dagny Taggart from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

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A more natural, more poignant picture of Rachael, looking vulnerable yet defiant with her hair roll let down. (I wonder how long it takes for her to put her hair up in the morning?)

BladerrunnergaffAnd let’s not forget Gaff, who is probably the coolest, most enigmatic, origami-making figure in the movie. The dandy policeman who has the best line in the movie – “It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again, who does?”

And finally…a few things I just can’t help but question in the movie:

  1. Blade Runner occurs in a high tech futuristic setting with super cool tall skyscrapers, flying cars, androids, space travel/colonisation and… ceiling fans??
  2. I know this was made back in the ’80s, but IMO Zhora looked amazing in her snake outfit but that perm, omg, did not do her any favours!
  3. Pris was right when she said, “we’re stupid and we’re going to die.” She had every chance to finish Deckard off with a good crack of her thighs a la Xenia Onatopp of Goldeneye, but, oh no, she had to drop him, run off, then turn a few flips right out of an Olympic gymnast’s floor routine, thereby giving him every opportunity to pick up his gun and kill her. On that basis alone, Pris does not deserve to live. No Perfect 10 for you, Pris. Elle Driver would not be pleased.
  4. Zhora is a trained assassin. Why the hell is she working as an exotic dancer in a seedy club when she comes to earth? It makes no sense. It would make far more sense for Pris, a ‘basic pleasure model’, to take on that job.
  5. I have to be honest. When Roy Batty turned around towards the ending on the rooftops, holding a white dove close to his chest, my boyfriend and I cackled. That was definitely corny with a capital C.
  6. I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of the scene where Deckard basically forces himself on Rachael, preventing her from leaving the apartment and shoving her against a Venetian blind, insisting she tells him she loves him. I’m sure that’s supposed to come off as romantic or something, but, whoa, Deckard, that girl wanted to leave, she didn’t look happy as hell to be there at all, she even sounded like she’s saying she loves him only because he wants to hear it. She’s more worried about the shambles of her entire life, the destruction of everything she’s believed in, and the reality that she will die in less than four years, while all he can think about is sex, sex, sex. If I was Rachael, I wouldn’t want sex, I’d want ice cream. Lots of ice cream. Ice cream and rum. So, yeah, I’m really not buying the whole romance thing here. And in the end, though it may look like Deckard really does care for Rachael as he rushes home, fearful she might be dead or gone, the perception I drew from the movie was that Rachael’s just really lost and vulnerable after finding out she’s a replicant and has no one to depend on except Deckard, and that’s basically why she’s doing exactly what he told her to. Even if, as Ridley Scott was hinting in the director’s cut, Deckard and Rachael are both replicants, that still doesn’t excuse Deckard’s behaviour. Bad replicant! It makes me want to tell Rachael to put her hair up and be a total boss like she was at the beginning of the movie. She’s obviously used to money and taking charge when she was helping Tyrell run his corporation. If I was her, I’d take as much  money as I could carry and cut and run. And I’d probably go to the runaway replicants and offer them my help in breaking into Tyrell’s genetics lab. Not to Deckard who is more likely to shoot me in the head. Or, as it turns out, force me into his bed.

And finally… random unicorn!

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