Blade Runner made by Ridley Scott was never an easy film for the viewer in the same way some of the Christopher Nolan films give us a hard time in getting it completely. So it was no wonder that the studios at one point considered Mr. Nolan for making this new sequel named Blade Runner 2049. But the task was assigned to an equally terrific film maker Denis Villeneuve who made the fabulous Arrival last year. With indulgent narrative and fresh conflicts recited through spectacular visuals and grand background score, this movie is nothing short from being a classic.
So the premise this time is a post apocalyptic 2049. The conflict is now between Rogue replicants and newly formed replicants. K, a newly formed replicant blade runner is our central protagonist. The obeying LAPD officer at one point happens to find something that could give way to rebellious thoughts in that world. He is asked to do the necessary to prevent that truth from spreading and that process gives him more information which puts him in a conflicted mindset. The film shows the repercussions of that.
You should watch the 1982 movie before watching Blade Runner 2049. A lot of important references are there in the film which is key in the understanding of this film. Most of the members in the audience were restless when I went for this film and what I feel is that they thought this was a sci fi action film set in the future. Blade Runner was a neo noir film and Blade Runner 2049 also falls in that category. The emotional ambiguity is the key here. Hampton Fancher’s story is trying to explore the layers of emotions one could have in an entirely fictional time. Someone like Denis Villeneuve who has done similar exploration in Arrival becomes easily the right choice to handle this kind of a subject.
Having seen the 1982 version, I feel this new one has pushed the story very deeply. What K and others are undergoing in 2049 is far more complex and layered when compared to Rick Deckard’s issues. The mysterious identity of Rick and the nature of the 1982 Blade Runner is still a debate and I am sure that the legacy of being a debate creator has been transferred to Blade Runner 2049 as well. Denis Villeneuve very gently presents the whole idea in front of us and the slow pace of the film is quite understandable. From the virtual partner of K to the rebel replicant movement, the level of imagination is fantastic. Roger Deakins’ visualizes the movie in the most brilliant way and the hallucinating kind of background scores from Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Fallfisch just enhances the beauty of this epic.
Ryan Gosling knows how to play the emotional android K without being over robotic or over emotional. He lingers around that zone very neatly. Harrison Ford appears only in the third act of the film but carries the conflict of Rick very effectively. Jared Leto was creepy and effective as Wallace. The other performers in the cast included names like Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks and Dave Bautista.
It is hard to claim that I grasped everything they pitched in Blade Runner 2049. Like its predecessor, this movie is also a classic in the making and Denis Villeneuve can be proud that he has set a new benchmark in making sequels.
Rating: 4/5 (would have given it 5 stars if I could confidently explain the movie to someone)
Like its predecessor, Blade Runner 2049 is also a classic in the making and Denis Villeneuve can be proud that he has set a new benchmark in making sequels.