In cinematography, science fiction is a genre which is mostly quite monotonous, built primarily on the expensive special effects, and therefore do not often provide food for thought. Films that set some specific and interesting questions are rare, but the ones that ask questions and do not give any answers are unique. Blade Runner is the best and the most valuable example of such genre as the questions raised in this movie are bright, thought-provoking, and, at the same time, the movie director gives the audience a chance to answer these questions on their own. The picture raises the topic, about the value and importance of things for humanity. The audience has to choose between people without emotions and replicants of people who have human feelings.
Director Ridley Scott shot the film in 1982. The screenwriter is Hampton Fancher and the story is based on the novel by Philip Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The major actors are Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young (IMDB, 1982). The action takes place in Los Angeles, in November, 2017. It becomes clear why this month was chosen for the development of events as the idea of the movie requires constant raining. Humanity rapidly expands into new worlds. In order to work in inhuman conditions on the new planets, people decided to create an appropriate staff. The earth inventors have constructed the so-called “replicants” – robots that are so perfect that in order to distinguish them from the real people the agents should use special tests. Everything is going fine until replicants decide that they are equal to people and, in fact, may be even better (Brooker, 2012). They think that they should have more than a fleeting existence on the set program. Replicants decide to raise the rebellion of machines.
In the story, there is a special unit of “Blade Runners” that united the most virtuous men among which there is the main character Rick Deckard performed by Harrison Ford (IMDB, 1982). Rick receives the specific task to destroy a group of replicants who have penetrated the Earth and launched active work in dangerous proximity to the company that manufactured replicants. Although there are some plot inconsistencies, the film is impressive and deserves the right to be considered a classic of science fiction. The plot, despite its dynamism, gives enough ideas that entertain the audience throughout the whole movie, especially when the action takes place to the epic music of Vangelis. It is amazing how the director managed to raise the most important questions during the main action scene at the end of the film while observing all the laws of the genre. Ridley Scott brings the issues of artificial intelligence, selection of the main problem in the inescapable struggle between good, evil, and the power of love.
Speaking about mise-en-scene of the Blade Runner, it is important to mention that it was something stunning as for 1982. The special effects look quite modern for the untrained eye. In addition to the non-existent aircraft and other entourage of the sci-fi genre, the director Ridley Scott perfectly creates an atmosphere of “the city of the future” (Brooker, 2012). He skillfully uses all supportive elements of film creation turning the story to new angles with light and colors which are quite simple means but create very serious effects. As a result, the viewer gets splendid spectacle with a complete dissolution in the realities of copyright, with the influence of a certain ideology and with the necessary degree of special effects.
Ridley Scott has always been a master of showing interesting stories and bringing them to the audience from the unusual side. This unusual detective fiction creates emotions that go out of the accepted frame. The film was extremely unusual for the time of its creation and found its fans and acceptance of critics after some time. Ridley Scott is famous for his style and incredible ideas. In this movie, he presents one of the most interesting options for the future. His future is stylish. The clothes and entourage are fashionable and good looking. At the same time, the outer beauty appears along with the profundity of thought. The rain never stops in the frame of the film, Chinese singer is singing from the airship, sometimes flying machines can be traced, and onlookers can see the huge pyramid on the horizon. In this world, special agent Rick is looking for replicants.
Replicants are interesting creatures. They do not differ much from people. For example, Rachel has implanted memories of childhood and life, and she does not know that she is a robot. Roy, played by Rutger Hauer, wants to live. Hauer played the charismatic villain who, in some moments of the movie, scares the audience with his phrases and appearances. He tries to understand why they cannot live a long life as people do. The actors’ play in this picture is extremely significant. The dialogues and the author’s comments make the audience be the part of the action and live all the moments together with the main characters. In this film, the director raises an interesting topic of whether robots are different from the people and whether they can experience human emotions, and especially love. It is important to mention that the movie is not full of action, there are not so many fight scenes, but despite this, Blade Runner is very dynamic. It goes with a slow sequence, but all aspects of the film are shown in detail, and the viewer does not have time to get bored while watching it.
It is important to mention the value and significance of operator’s work in this movie. Operator Jordan Cronenweth perfectly conveys the atmosphere of dystopia through the heavy rain, minimal use of bright light, and abandoned buildings (Brooker, 2012). Stunning visuals use the darkness of the night out of time, neon, rain, blurry images of heroes, emphasizing the social vacuum of society in prematurely abolished state system. The world is now under the rule of separate mega-corporations and limitless division of social strata. Androids are designed for special purposes, and they are not supposed for walking in the streets and killing their creators. The subject of the revolt of creatures against their creators is quite popular in literature and cinematography. By creating a likeness and, at the same time, limiting the freedom, people inevitably cause contradictions and conflicts.
Perfect sounding enhances the overall effect of the film. The soundtrack written by Vangelis creates the suitable technocratic atmosphere of the post-industrial world. Music of Vangelis is a real classic, which frames a philosophy of the infinite cosmos (IMDB, 1982). Cosmopolitan ambient blowing beyond the reality of the world erases the boundaries between a man and machine. Replicants can muse on whether they have a right to be in this world claiming for their humanity, or they should perform their mission that people chose for them. The viewer can choose a more appropriate response to this question.
The atmosphere of the future metropolis, which combines elements of film noir and cyberpunk, cannot leave the audience indifferent. Complex characters, tormented by the variety of problems and finding interesting ways of solving their questions entrain to the very end. Adding a fair bit of high-tech orientalism inspired by the futuristic look of Japanese and Chinese cities revived urban species and pushed them in time, making an unusual and extraordinary image. A combination of trendiness and the abundance of trash have introduced an unusual taste in the narrative, revealed complex problematic ins and outs of the world of the future. Artists and filmmakers embody the social problems in the culture. The movie director Ridley Scott embodied instability, fragility, and imbalance of the contemporary world on a screen. The general image of the picture suggests the idea that the director ceased to believe that the future will solve all problems. However, the future will bring new questions and problems without solving the old ones. In Blade Runner, darkness and rain that are the grim satellites of secrets won the hearts of the audience for all times.