The original Blade Runner was the topic of my first lesson in my introduction to film studies course. My professor showed the film's introduction and we deconstructed the opening scene with nerd vigilance and inexperienced critical assumptions. Scene by scene we rolled the film and debated it's use of futuristic images that pull us back to historical deity references and universal human quandaries. Perhaps because this was my first experience like this, I have always had a deep respect and love for this film. It truly was, especially when considering the early 80's budget and special effects limitations, a masterpiece of extrapolation about the future conundrum of the meaning of life, existence and human development beyond scared children bending their knee to lighting and thunder and into the roll of life creating GODS.
Now finally 35 years after it's predecessor, comes Blade Runner 2045. Much like the original this is an art film advertised and packaged to movie viewers as an action sci-fi flick, but it truly is an art film. It explores so many current and future issues of the human condition, it's hard to focus on an individual one, but certainly the most talked about is that of soul and it's idea that soul begins with the birth canal. So that one is too obvious and a bit over discussed, so let me bring up the concept I found more interesting; 'Sibling rivalry as a proof of humanity.' After a brutal fight one of the replicants screams at it's defeated foe, 'I'm the best one!' This trigger line takes made me think back to the film's development and the constant sharp tongued banter between replicants. It's subtle at times, but thinking back on the film it is an ever present sub theme that is quiet interesting at the film reaches it's crescendo late in the final act.
And of course, the theme of LOVE and what it means to love is captivating and strikes a cord across AI and I alike. The heartbreak of a Replicant is as heartbreaking as any felt by a human and that scene, when our Blade Runner understands the truth of his love, is an echo to the truth everyone comes to before a breakup.