”More human than humans.”
Blade Runner 2049 is one hell of a film. Chilling, dark and poignant, it gets you into all the crevices of your heart while you sit there, completely engulfed in the universe depicted by the director Denis Villeneuve. There are no bright colours, they don’t exist. One of the first shots of the film is of K (Ryan Gosling) walking out of his cop car in opaque white smoke. Right here and then, we feel the tension, and this feeling will never leave as long as we are watching the film.
In this universe, replicants are bio-engineered humans created to have unreal strength. In the past, as they started to rebel against the system, agents were forced to retire them to the best of their capacity. K. a new model of replicant created to obey, works as a ”blade runner” (the agents who find old replicants and put them to rest) and we follow him in the beginning of the movie, as he unveils a story that was meant to stay secret. The box of bones he finds belongs to a replicant woman who died during pregnancy; a chilling fact as female replicants have been known to be infertile and incapable of giving birth. His boss, Madam Lieutenant Joshi, orders him to erase every piece of evidence about this woman and the child who could possibly still be alive and roaming the street. Through every curveball, K. finds more and more human vulnerability in himself, which could very well compromise his mission and his very own existence.
What Blade Runner 2049 does very well is keeping you on the hook. Through the brilliant soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, you find yourself gripping the chair in wonder as every piece of the puzzle unfolds. There is so much pain in this film. In the eyes of K. as he learns more and more about human emotions and the reality of this world but also in just how sordid everything looks. The cinematography ties in so well with the story by never showing us bright colours, never giving us the relief of a bright sunny day. [Admin’s Note: Just wanted to very quickly give out a shout out to the always incredible Roger Deakins who does some of his best work, as always.] The matters of the film are somber and the theme follows perfectly well from the angle of the shots to the monotone clothes worn by the main characters. In 2049, the only bright and colourful things you might see are the fake memories implanted in your brain.
Something about Blade Runner 2049 stays with you, is hooked to your brain. It might be dull sadness, it might be the shock of the twists and turns of the story. But truly, as I am typing this, I am shaken. The poignant acting by Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford solidifies an already very strong script. Do yourself a favour and go watch this movie as soon as you can. It is an entirely different universe than the Blade Runner from 1982, there is something so deep and yet so sad about the sequel that you would truly be missing out if you skipped on it.