Feat. The music of Vitaliy Zavadskyy
“We all wish it was us. That’s why we believe.”
I have developed a bad habit recently of talking about myself, rather than the movies I purport to write about on this blog. I shan’t break course in this post, as I do not yet have the strength. For now I want to tell you about my own experience watching Denis Villeneuve’s new science fiction film, Blade Runner 2049, the other night. I will be brief. And I won’t spoil anything major.
Firstly, I really liked this film, and it made me happy to read that my sci-fi specialist friends, who have been anticipating this film, even more eagerly than myself, were not disappointed.
Personally, I needed this movie like a fish needs water. Blade Runner stirred a function of my mind that has been dormant for quite some time, maybe since I wrote about Stars Wars: Rogue One back in the spring: that is the function of critical thinking.
It happened when I realized the subtle connection between the yellow flower that Ryan Gosling finds at the beginning of the film, and the bee he finds buzzing in Old Las Vegas. A lightbulb went off in my head. I was so proud of myself, I wanted to pat myself on the back in the middle of the theater.
I don’t think the metaphor is too difficult to figure out, especially when you consider the location in which each is found.
I am sure there are more difficult metaphors in this film. There are also so many more thought provoking themes. For example, is to be born to have a soul? And is it even morally preferable to have a soul? As Robin Wright points out to Gosling at one point: “you seem to be doing just fine without one.” Also, how do we know if our memories are real? And, must one be intimately close to someone else in order to love them? Is a person only real if you can touch them?
A quick rundown of the Inside Out: I loved how Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling bond, unconventionally, via their Anger, through fighting, rather than through words. And I was deeply saddened by the film’s very bleak portrayal of our future society, and of Joy as being derived almost exclusively via pornography, and holographic companionship in this future. Ryan Gosling’s virtual girlfriend is literally named, “Joi.” Is their love for each other real?
The most important takeaway from my experience, however, was realizing the significance of that flower and the bee. Talk about a sign of life! I consider this a small, but important victory for my inchoate sense of free will, and free thought.
Maybe I’m not a replicant after all…
Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack: “Replicant Dreams” by Vitaliy Zavadskyy
Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: October 6th, 2017 (USA)
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario)
Writers: Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner (1982)), Michael Green (Logan, Smallville). based on characters from the novel, “Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep” by Phillip K. Dick
Music: Benjamin Wallfisch, and Hans Zimmer
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Sylvia Hoeks, Mackenzie Davis, Jared Leto, and Harrison Ford
The Inside Out: Sadness (34), Anger (26), Disgust (15), Fear (11) Joy (4)