Blade Runner

Blade Runner depicts one of the bleakest versions of a dystopian future that I've seen on film. Like with many other great science fiction movies, it's worth watching mainly for its thought provoking, rather than entertainment, content.

Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner. His job is to kill "replicants", genetically engineered humanoids that threaten human existence as they strive to throw off their creators' yokes. He has the instincts and the intuition to distinguish human from replicant. He is brought in to hunt down four replicants who have escaped and are seeking the truth about their essence and existence (which has been programmed into them). In his search, Deckard finds more than what he bargained for.

Directed by Ridley Scott, and based on the story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the Director's cut is more interesting than the first released version: it omits Harrison Ford's narration and leaves the ending a bit ambiguous. Unlike other movies starring Harrison Ford, this one is definitely low key, and at times the pacing could disappoint anyone expecting to see another Han Solo or Indiana Jones.

Even though Blade Runner is creative, especially considering that it was published in 1982, humanity's scientific research has moved the visions portrayed in the film much closer to reality than to fiction. The film however is prophetic for its depiction of Los Angeles, foretelling what our cities may become in the future.

The ability to distinguish self from non-self is key in the evolutionary process, both at the molecular level and the organismal level. The movie thus leaves us with an explanation as to how Deckard can recognise replicants so well. Definitely worth checking out.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||