Are You a Replicant?
From Blade Runner (Director’s Cut):
She's a replicant, isn't she?
Tyrell: I'm impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?
Deckard: I don't get it, Tyrell.
Tyrell: How many questions?
Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced.
Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn't it?
Deckard: She doesn't know.
Tyrell: She's beginning to suspect, I think.
Deckard: Suspect? How can it not know what it is?”
So, I watched Blade Runner last night. I had heard of the movie before, but knew pretty much nothing about it. However, I was talking to some of my friends over break about it, and I got a mixture of responses. Some people really liked it and some people hated it. But regardless, I did learn several things about it. For example, Blade Runner is based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. There are two versions of the movie, the original movie released in 1982, which included narration by Deckard. The movie was rereleased ten years later in 1992 (as the Director’s cut) without the narration.
I’m going to be honest here and admit that the movie was not
one of my favorites. I mean the general
idea of the movie makes a person think certainly. Rachael didn’t even realize she was a
replicant. I mean for all we know
Deckard was one too (after all, he’d never taken the Voight-Kampff test himself). And who’s to say that the replicants are any
less human than we are? Tyrell admits
that they can learn to have emotion over time.
Nonetheless, I thought the movie was rather slow moving. Maybe this is a result of the removal of
Deckard’s narration. After all, when we
watched the movie version of The Dead
in Advanced Literary Study, the absence of the characters’ thoughts I thought
was very detrimental (and this could be a similar situation, since it is again
a movie based on a book). But at the
same time, I’m not sure how they would have included Deckard’s narration
without it seeming rather out of place and corny in a movie. I think another problem I had with the movie
was that I was expecting some great explanation at the end of the movie. I guess I wanted some sort of resolution.
I suppose this lack of a clear answer or explanation can relate back to literary criticism in a way, since there is no real right school of criticism. We just have to do our best picking through the schools till we find the ones that work for us. There is no solid way to prove that our interpretation of a text is 100% right or that the author intended it to mean something (and even if they did intend something, does that even matter?). There is no clear black and white answer. (As another relation to literary criticism although we haven’t gotten to postmodernism quite yet, the constant questioning and upheaval of perceived realities in Blade Runner makes it have a postmodern feel).