The film Blade Runner has definitely achieve the expectations for a science fiction movie of this era. The movie which an inspiration from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has called my interest not only because of the intriguing plot but also because of the special effects applied to it. The Final Cut version of the film is surely one of the greatest versions as it displays a greater quality image and sound, making it a true classic with few equals. Created by Scott Ridley, the films is set in Los Angeles in the year of 2019(a close one to our era). The city has been destroyed after some nuclear attack erase the major part of humankind. A retired policeman of the Blade Runner Unit named Deckard (Harrison Ford), comes back to action. His mission is to eliminate the new advance in technology, the Nexus 6. Four of these replicants, who are an almost perfect imitation to humans, have killed and escaped the off world colony and disguise among the few remaining individuals in Earth. The only difference they have between human beings is through the fact that they cannot feel any sort of emotions towards other, in other words they are unable to feel empathy. Now that Deckard is responsible for this dirty job, he encounters a series of situations that changes his perception towards these robotic entities. Not only the human characters experience these transition but also androids display some sort of human emotions throughout some scenes in the film. These scenes let the viewers think the question of what does it mean to be human? since robots can also show the same type of emotions and feelings that we, as humans, share.
When detailed examining some of the scenes of the final cut version of the film, we observe that as the film progresses, some of the characters are exposed to different situations that make them view humanity and life with a different perception. One of these characters is exemplified through Deckard (personified by Harrison Ford). At the beginning of the film, we observe that Deckard has a crude and cold attitude not only towards life but, a strong one, towards androids. This is revealed when he is given the task to “retire” the four fugitive Nexus 6 who escaped from the off colony to Earth. He refers to them by saying that “replicants are like any other machine; they are either a benefit or a hazard”(17:34), meaning that he considers the android as any other device created to serve of humankind. He does not display any sort of empathy towards them, on the contrary, he sees them as criminals who violated human rules. However, it is not until his exhibition to the super intelligent and mesmerizing replicant of Rachael, where Deckard starts questioning whether androids can also feel and share emotions like humans do.
Deckard’s encounter with the beautiful robot Rachael marks the main point in the film as it allows him to grow more as a human character and to think about his business of killing them. This idea is accepted when Deckard visits Tyrell’s Corporation, the company responsible for the creation of the androids. Here he meets Rachael and immediately believes she is a human. However, he discovers a major truth when after applying the Voigt Test, he realizes that, in fact, Rachael is also a replicant but does not know it. This is confirmed by Eldon Tyrell who states “We began to recognize in them a strange obsession. After all, they are emotionally inexperienced, with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gift them with a past, we create a cushion or a pillow for their emotions, and consequently, we can control them better.”(22:14). Here, it is revealed that memories from individuals are implanted in these androids in order create in them human emotions, and therefore, pass unnoticed among human beings. Deckard reacts to this truth as he starts to sympathize with Racheal to the point that he allows her to enter his apartment and his life.
Not only the human characters but also the androids are exposed to situations that change their perspective of life. These conflicts cause in them to display emotions and feelings just like other human being. We observe how Roy, Pris, Lion, and Rachael, display some sort of emotions towards others and each other which tell us that androids can also be considered as part of the human society. Especially I sympathize with the character of Roy because we can clearly observe the transition from a frivolous, ambitious, cold hearted robot to a more conscious, sentient, emotional individual. At first he displays feelings of revenge and hatred as he desperately tries to acquire the power of immortality. But, we also observe that Roy shows affection to the android Pris (1:17:08) and even cries and gets devastated after Deckard murders her (1:37:31). What it really fascinates me is the turning point that happens between Roy and Deckard. Although Roy feels remorse and rancor after losing his lover in hands of Deckard, Roy unquestionably saves Deckard’s life (1:45:45). He finally decides to accept the fate that his life is coming to an end and uses it to save the life of the human. Before his life becomes oblivion he states to Deckard: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. All those moments will be lose in time like tears in rain. Time to die” (1:47:01). These quote reveals that as any other human, Roy wanted to live a normal human life without slavery and rejection. And the scene that impacted me the most was when after Roy dies, the white bird flies away his hands, to which in my opinion, symbolizes the peace and forgiveness towards the human race.