In this film I will be discussing how the above make Blade Runner's narrative specific and unique. Blade Runner was made in 1982 and starred Harrison Ford in the role of Decker who is a cop and has to find and stop 'replicants' from taking over the world.The movie begins with a starry black background onto which text rolls down the screen in the style of 'Star Trek'. This immediately shows the audience that the genre will be sci-fi. The text is used as a mode of address to give the audience the back-story which surrounds the film.
It puts the film in context by providing the audience with vital information which will make the film make sense such as the fact that the film is set in the future in the year 2019. Again, this tells the audience that the film will be of the sci-fi genre as films set in the future always are. Other information which will help understand the plot which is given in the text is that there are replicants which need to be stopped.In the opening scene we are introduced to the digesis of Blade Runner.
We see a technologically advanced fictitious location which is home to flying cars, and tall sky scrapers. Although the location is fictitious, it resembles Tokyo, Japan which is significantly advanced in terms of technology, and so fits as the location where the film should be set.We see that the iconography in Blade Runner is a blend of the generic features of two genres current and past which are 'sci-fi' and 'fi...
lm noir'. For instance in one scene Decker is in a car flying alongside skyscrapers which are icons of 'sci-fi' and then we see vast amounts of neon and smoke which are 'film noir' icons.
This shows how the iconography from two genres have been combined, resulting in a unique narrative. The 'Film Noir' style of lighting gives Blade Runner a hard sharp look with lots of contrast of dark and light areas, and the trademark scene when a Venetian blind casts a shadow over Decker when he is running away from Roy. These are icons of 'film noir'. 'Film noir' was typically detective films and so this gives an indication that Blade Runner will also have some element of detective work.
This proves right as the film progresses, and the audience see Decker seeking out the replicants.We also see the iconography in the clothing and hairstyles of the characters. For example 'Film Noir' originates from the 1940's and this is reflected in the clothing of characters such as Rachel who wears, her hair up, and a dress with shoulder pads. On the other hand, the pleasure replicant wears much more modern clothes such as metal bra.
The mode of address in the next scene is by voice over. We discover Decker's back-story via this, and learn that he is or once was a cop. When we see the scene of Leon getting interviewed the audience is positioned alongside Leon. This is done with audio of his heartbeat speeding up and by seeing an extreme close-up of his eye,
which makes the viewer empathise with Leon as though the viewer were being interrogated.
When Decker meets with his boss and we see the footage that is shown to Decker, this is used as a mode of address to further inform the audience, giving viewers information about the four replicants who are named Roy, Leon, Priss and lastly Rachel. Rachel is significant because she does not know that she is a replicant, and also because as the story develops, we know that Decker likes her. This is evident as when Decker first goes to Nexus where Rachel is, the lighting is nottypically 'film noir' like. On the contrary, it is very orangey yellow, which gives a dream like quality to the scene, which could be reflecting how Decker was feeling on seeing her for the first time.
As it is through Decker that Rachel finds out she is a replicant, this forges a bond between them which only gets stronger. We then see that whenever Rachel enters a scene or when Decker thinks about her, there is soft gentle saxophone music playing behind the voice-over. This shows how he feels about her and effectively lets the audience in on not only his feelings which are portrayed by the words but also of his mood which is portrayed in the music. Moreover, when Decker speaks of Rachel, his tone is very soft and gentle showing how he feels about her.
This creates an issue, as he is in love with a replicant. There is an enigma of will Decker be able to kill Rachel, which creates suspense for the viewers.The mode of address which is used most is voice over. This is because in Blade Runner, Decker's thoughts are essential in helping the audience understand the narrative, and understanding how Decker feels about certain events and people. For instance when he fights, chases and eventually kills the pleasure replicant, the voice over tells us he doesn't feel good about killing her and feels sorry.
This puts into perspective how hard it will be to kill Rachel who he has feelings for. Another factor is that Rachel killed Leon and saved Decker's life, so how could he now kill her.At the end of the film when he comes close to death, but Roy dies, voice over is effectively used at this point to show that he feels bad, because Roy saved his life and then died and there was nothing Decker could do. This positions the audience to sympathise with Decker.Other iconic scenes include when Decker had a fight with a replicant and drank some water and his blood came in the drink, and when Rachel undoes her hair before her and Decker kiss for the first time.
Blade Runner contains a lot of enigma which is a narrative device that presents a puzzle to the viewer to be solved. Using enigma positions the audience with Decker in this film as he is the one who will find and stop the replicants. The enigmas are also used to capture the audience's attention and create suspense. The following are enigmas I discovered while viewing
Blade Runner:* Is Decker himself a replicant?* Will Decker find and stop the replicants?* How, when and why will Decker stop the replicants?* Who is the woman in the photo Decker takes from Leon's house?* Do replicants have feelings?* Does Decker like Rachel in a romantic way?* Can a human fall in love with a replicant?* Who is Priss?* Who is JF Sebastian?* Will Decker kill Rachel?We obtain the answers to most of these enigmas by the closing scene of the film. We learn who all the characters were and, who Decker did kill and why.
The audience are presented with a red herring when Decker enters his flat with a gun in his hand shouting out Rachel's name, and we see her lying very still on the couch. We learn that she was simply asleep, but the assumption that she was dead means that the audience were fooled into thinking that and so it keeps the story fresh and exciting, aswe never know what will happen. However, there is one enigma which is left unresolved. We do not discover if Decker actually was a replicant.
The reason this could have been done like this is that this leaves an air of mystery to the story and the viewer can make up their own ending.The audience do see in the last scene of the movie a very iconic scene when, the mode of address which is music tells us that they are far, far away, and then there is voiceover again, when Decker is thinking, and saying that he doesn't know how long he and Rachel have but he knows that he loves her. The iconic scene is when we see Decker driving a car and then he looks to his side and smiles at Rachel who is sitting with there with the wind blowing through her hair. The wind blowing through her hair makes her look carefree and as they smile at each other we can see that they are very much in love.The mode of address, iconography and use of enigma makes a unique narrative which is interesting and captivating to watch.Propps character types:The Villain: The villains based on Levi Strauss's theory of binary opposites, polarisations, or us and them shows the replicants as being the villains.
However, Rachel is not a villain because she is in fact kind of a hero because she saves Decker's life, and also Roy could be seen an not a villain because he too could have killed Decker, but saved his life instead. So although the villains were supposed to be the four replicants Leon, Roy, Priss and Rachel, two of them saved Decker's life.The Donor (provider): I was not sure who this would be in Blade Runner. I believe it may have been Rachel who gave him his life so he could carry on and save the world.The Helper: I did not identify this character.
The Princess: I identified this character type to be Rachel. I think it was clear from the way the character was delineated that she would be the princess. For example the mode of address let the audience
know that she would have a romantic theme with Decker. This is because when Decker was at home and there was a voice over the music in the background was sounding very romantic and had sexy implications.
The fact that when asked she told Decker she loved him, shows that she is the princess, as the hero's girlfriend at the end is always the princess.The Princess' Father: Rachel was the princess so it would be her father who would fill this role. However, Rachel was a replicant and so has no family. So there is no character that could be classed as the princess' father.Dispatcher: This was Decker's boss, who gave him the mission of finding and stopping the replicants. He assigned Decker and so is the dispatcher.
Hero: The hero is Decker. This is clear because he is the main character in the film and also he has the most focus so we know he will be the one who saves the day. Also he is the one who is given the task of exterminating the replicants which makes him heroic, because he is doing it for mankind.The False Hero: This could be seen as Roy for the reason that at the end of the movie, when he and Decker had a fight, he could have let Decker died, but instead he saved him, and then died himself.
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