Can we just stop for a minute and appreciate the wonders of Ridley Scott’s aesthetics? I just came out of the movies 30 min ago and I couldn’t wait to comment on it. I know it’s been a while since the last time I posted anything, but I just didn’t see the point on adding shallow content to my blog, and I coulnd’t find the inspiration to write. I also know that Blade Runner 2049 has been on the theatre for a little while, and I’m just glad I got the chance to go to the cinema and watch it on the big screen (I was starting to think that I wouldn’t be able to do it).
Without further do, this is what I came up with after just watching it once and without taking notes, which I love to do, but couldn’t…
The city follows the architecture of the previous film, the pollution, the color palette (which I absolutely love), the mechanics and the way the city works as a big orchestrated flux of movements and casualties. The viewers face the world from the eye of the replicant. We are one of them. One of the first scenes, in which I remember being in the eyes of a replicant – I might be wrong, there might be a previous scene, but again, I wasn’t taking notes- is when our protagonist, K (Joe, later on), kills the replicant at the farm and the camera is facing K and the gun, while we are being shot dead, through the viewpoint of an obsolete thing, useless for the human race, expendable.
But we also face this obscure reality through K’s eyes, when he goes back to the office and he’s being examined by another machine – a little camera in a white room-, he’s being asked to repeat some words in order to scan his answers and assess his mental state. Again, we (the shot) face the camera that is watching K, directly. We are one of them.
I don’t know if I remember correctly (it’s been a while since the last time I saw the first movie), but the previous one was through the eyes of a human (played by Harrison Ford) judging the world from an “outside – inside” perspective (the protagonist within this dystopian world is observing from a distance, until he gets involved).
Here we are K, but we are Joe, and we are confused about who and what we are. The issue with the distinction between human and replicant is at hand.
Also, we see a lot of recycled scenes that were beautifully executed. the way they played with the light display, and the shadows and lights portraying the uncertainty and the double morale of the characters is as stunning as it was in the first one. And it is also worth mentioning the fact that Scott introduced records from the previous film that are easily identified by those who are not that fond of this world, but absolutely thrilling when you love it like I do. The scene repeated through sound is the one in which Deckard (Harrison Ford) is interviewing who is later on the first replicant to bear a child, Rachael (Sean Young).
This leads us to the next element that I found really enjoyable: the music. Ridley Scott is known for using sounds to involve the spectators. In this particular case we were able to access K’s mind through distorted sound – when he was remembering a childhood memory and he was unsure about its veracity. We are able to see his psyche in conflict. Another scene that took advantage of these sound effects is the one in which K shows this weird memory to the memory maker. The viewer is not able to see what is happening because we already saw it a few scenes ago. What Scott accomplishes here is the fact that we are able to tell which memory K decided to show, based on his previous trauma shown while he was telling the story, and the sound of clacks produced by the impact of the kids running downstairs (if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about).
Moving on, the allusions to the eyes are also present in the film, but the focus on eyes is not THAT big as previously shown, though its presence is obvious, we have a big blue eye opening one of the first scenes in the film, but the darkness and the explosions within the eye, do not happen. BUT! we see some destruction caused by the eyes of a replicant: Wallace’s beautiful assitant is getting her manicure done while killing some replicants and aiding K on his task of finding “the miracle“, without him knowing.
In this film we don’t have the eyes of the replicants being different from the eyes of the humans, or at least we don’t see it. What we do have are beautiful scenes in which the camera work portrays artistic-allienated scenes, for example when Wallace’s assitant kills K’s boss. The spectator is placed outside the window and the scene is completely silent.
What seems important to highlight is the symbology in the film: the wooden horse, the tree, the memories that are lost or confusing, the fact that the best memory maker is a hybrid (half-human, half-replicant), how they were able to make her untraceable, the bees, the colors, etc.
I know I am missing a lot of things from the film, but I’m going to leave it here. Later on I’ll write a more objective and in-depth analysis of the movie.