Blade Runner 2049

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The new movie version starring Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright is a film shot through with unconnected threads. I had trouble following the plot, but I think goes like this:

Ryan Gosling is a REPLICANT whose boss the LAPD police chief, Robin Wright in a great black leather coat with her hair slicked back (I want to darken, cut and gel mine immediately), wants him to track down a lead to a cross mutant who is the child of Harrison Ford in the first version with the beautiful Rachel, a replicant (aka cyborg). If this is so, then the WORLD HAS CHANGED she says in an ominous way. Thus Ryan Gosling goes in search of the child of this unlikely union between a human, although there was some doubt at the time that Ford wasn’t a replicant himself, and a “bot.” The stakes are high. The inventor of this very sophistocated robot race is a man name Tyrell, we think, with strange glowing yet blind eyes who operates out of a highly decorated glowing bunker, with a tv control in his head. So far so good. His first in command is another “bot” or perhaps she too is a humanoid. She has a great shape, wears highly tailored form fitted uniforms, and she too is sent in pursuit of the possible child. I loved her clothes. I didn’t like her hairdo which was something between Mo of the Three Stooges and Vidal Sassoon, in his 60s hey day. Not to worry. She is instructed to find the child, we think, in order to dissect her and understand her DNA so that Tyrell can produce through consensual sexual means a race of ” bots” to be slaves in the wars he will fight to conquer the world. Oh by the way, Ryan Gosling has a lover who is basically a hologram. She seemed more real than some of the more corporeal actors.

Ryan Gosling encounters a sweet looking woman in a plastic bubble who invents “MEMORIES.” Because the memories conflate with his robot memories (an algorhythm in his head) he somehow thinks that not only could he be the possible child of the union, but that he has a soul! Ryan Gosling looks very very soulful while he is thinking this. Meanwhile, the same young woman who creates memories for Replicants has a health problem and must live in the plastic bubble to protect herself from germs or perhaps something we don’t even know about. She wears a very pretty white long tunic. I liked her clothes too. Her hair was late 1960s San Francisco summer of love child with a touch of hair spray. She looked very clean and wholesome. The plot thickens. Everyone is out to find the child, and this eventually leads to Harrison Ford looking a bit under buff and slightly dirty in a mock up of what was before nuclear holocaust Las Vegas. The entire film at this point gets very strange with Holograms of Elvis and Frank Sinatra singing. My only guess is that this film is a metaphor for the end of Western civilisation as we knew it. The young won’t really know any of this and worse, won’t care. They are into kale and protein smoothies.

Along the way Ryan Gosling encounters a group of run away old school replicants who should have been eliminated in an earlier bout of ethnic cleansing but they have survived and are calling for freedom now, health care, and respect. He is sympathetic. They inform him that the child does exist. He or she has been hidden, BUT GET THIS, IT ISN’T HIM!!!

Ryan Gosling now has to decide if he wants to save the child who he might even have met before, who will undoubtedly bring some sense into all this, might even be a saviour, and that his own sacrifice will make it all worth while. At this point I began to have a terrific headache, which was probably due to the entire film being photographed through smog. I really had to concentrate hard to not only follow the plot but to see anything clearly. There is a violent denouement. I won’t reveal it.

My better half liked it, he thought upon reflection.

It was cinematography at its most inventive. It got rave reviews in the FT. The thing is that the more mysterious the plot and the less the ability to follow it, the more profound it is deemed to be. I am not certain we are not living out “Blade Runner” right now.

Kaaren Hale

 

 

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