Subject Response to Blade Runner
Posted by Ann Yang
Posted on Thu May 11 12:52:04 2000
From IP  

The first impression to me after watching Blade Runner is irony or parody. I observe this point from two aspects: the setting of the city and the relationship between the human being and the replicant.

The setting is in Los Angeles in 2019, which represents a high technical development of the city. There are cars flying in the air, electronic systems in people・s life, the big pyramid-like architectures of Dr. Tyrell Cooperation and so on. These are all representatives of a world in the future. However, if we take a look at the other settings of the film, they remind us the ironic elements beneath this science film. Throughout the film, it rains all the time, and the color is dark. In the street, there is smoke all around which we have no idea where it comes from. The streets and the China Town are always crowded. The police office is small and dark. Moreover, the background music of Japanese songs comes out when Deckard is facing an unknown dangerous situation. There is no clean and beautiful buildings or surroundings; on the contrary, the settings make people feel uncomfortable and horrible. These obvious elements of the settings are very ironic in contrast with the high technology, for there is no harmony between the two. Underneath the convenience of technology, human beings・ life seems to be lonely.

The irony and parody can also be observed from the relationship between human beings and replicants in two aspects. At the very beginning, Deckard is asked to terminate those replicants. From Brion James・ words to Deckard, it seems that this mission can only be done by Deckard. Of course, the image of Deckard is a hero-like as many heroes in Hollywood movies. This hero will succeed in killing or arresting his enemies, and he will rarely scare. It seems so when Deckard shoots Zhora in the street and Price in Sebastian・s house. However, when Deckard fights with Leon, it is Rachel who saves Deckard by shooting Leon to death. Similarly, at the climax of the fight scene between Deckard and Roy on the roof, Roy saves Deckard・s life.

From the two examples, the line between the killer (the human being) and the killed (the replicant) is blurred. There are two ironic points here. First, Deckard as a human being is going to terminate the man-made productionsXreplicants. Human beings spend much time in creating and making :friends; as Sebastian says; however, they have to kill the replicants for preventing them to threaten man・s life. Second, Roy・s killing Dr. Tyrell emblems his killing the father who is the creator of the replicant. In the ending scene, we see the fear on Deckard・s face and he is no more a hero. He is unable to finish his job. On the contrary, it is Roy the replicant, whom the human being is going to kill, rescuing Deckard・s life. Roy not only saves Deckard・s life but also sends his :life; into the heaven as the white dove flying into the sky.

To conclude, I think both the settings and the relationship between human beings and the replicants are a kind of irony and parody. The settings of crowded streets, the closed space, the transculture in the city are criticizing the overdeveloped technology in human world. In addition, if human beings・ deeds of both creating, slavering and killing the replicants contrast with the replicants・ love for life, which one is a more :real; human being?

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