Tame the Unicorn

So after re-watching the movie, i have to say, i still prefer the book. Sure the movie has more action, but some of the most important themes are now gone. There is so much to talk about with this movie, and i have a nice list for class next week, but i think that two things that I want to focus on in this post is the recurring usage of eyes, and the scenes involving the unicorn. Interestingly enough, the dream sequence with the unicorn running through the woods is one of the things that was added to the final cut from the original film.

One of the most shocking differences in the movie compared to the book, is how crowded the world is. In the book, everyone is generally pretty isolated from one another, whereas in the movie, the streets are flooded with people. There are more than a few scenes where Rick is in a market where animals are being eaten, or in a few cases treated cruelly.[1] I think the inclusion of a Unicorn was a way of paying homage to the idea of the importance of animals, while not including the idea of Mercerism.

After retiring a Replicant, Rick has a dream involving a running unicorn. To me, Rick is the unicorn. A unicorn is a mythical, savage beast that can only be tamed by a maiden, or in this case, Rachael. There still exists false animals in this world, and i think one of the major questions a viewer should ask becuas of this is, Is Rick a Replicant? When Rachael and Rick are in the apartment, he jokes around with her that she has false memories. [2]He is able to tell that she has false memories implanted in her. This bit of information can be foreshadowing towards the final scene, as i will explain. A new addition to the cast is Gaff, who follows Rick around almost like his handler. Whenever you see Rick pause to think about his actions, Gaff shows up. He always makes origami that somehow can be applied to Rick. First the chicken when Rick doesn’t want to do the job[3], then the matchstick figure when Rick starts having feelings for Rachael. Finally, in the last scene, as Rick escapes with Rachael, she steps on a origami Unicorn. Its like Gaff is able to know what Rick is thinking…[4]  just like Rick knew Rachael’s memories.

There are a few other instances where you can question whether Rick is human or not. Rachael asks Rick if he has ever taken the test himself, alluding to him being a Replicant [5]. During the final fight Roy tells Rick “That was irrational of you.” something that would apply to a Replicant.[6] And finally, after Roy expires, Gaff tosses Rick a gun and tells him that “you’ve done a MANS job, sir.” [7] All of these little comments and nuances help to make this seem like a possibility. I know a few in the class would probably appreciate this as an ending for the book.

Throughout the movie, there was a recurring theme regarding the use of eyes. Even in the opening scene, as the ship flies across the city, there is a cut to an extreme close up of an eye.[8] It seems that with all of the lights in the city, there is no real place to hide and everyone is always being watched. Rick is constantly being followed by Gaff, who is his watcher. Replicants eyes play a key role as well. When Roy goes to the eye designer, CHew, to learn of his origin, he “shows” them the way. Roy has some excellent lines in the movie and often uses the eyes as references. When speaking to Chew, he says, “Chew, if only you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes.”[9] Right before he dies, Roy again tells Rick ” I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”[10] When Pris moves in with J.F. Sebastian, she gives herself a makeover, painting a black line across her eyes, both drawing and detracting focus from hers. [11]

There is so much more that can be brought up, but i leave that to the rest of the class for now.

[1]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (46:20)

[2]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (32:10)

[3]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (24:25)

[4]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:51:50)

[5]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:07:20)

[6]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:41:50)

[7]Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:48:20)

[8]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (3:48)

[9]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (28:55)

[10]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:46:25)

[11]Blade Runner-The Final Cut. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah. Warner Brothers, 1982, 2007. Film. (1:13:00)

 

 

13 thoughts on “Tame the Unicorn

  1. I won’t lie the movie was great, but after watching it i too think the book is better because the film leaves out so many things out that made the story so great like certain characters and things like the importance of animals. These little things really built up the story in a big way.

  2. Ridley Scott has said in interviews that he meant for Deckard himself to be a replicant, although Harrison Ford has said that he played him as a human. It’s one of the many things they supposedly disagreed on while filming. The dream with the unicorn and Gaff’s origami at the end were introduced in order to cement the idea that Rick is a replicant with false memories like Rachel. Whoever implanted the memories would presumably know what the memories are and the kinds of dreams they trigger. Gaff is implied to know about Rick’s dream, explaining why he left the cryptic origami figure.

    I personally think it makes more sense for Rick to be human, it fits better with the overall story. There isn’t really anything else in the movie that makes you suspicious of him being a replicant, compared to the book where there is actually a moment when he questions his own humanity. Introducing that random plot twist doesn’t really add to the story, it just makes everything more confusing for no reason. Scott is a great director and all, but sometimes he has some ideas that are just bonkers. For example: Prometheus.

    Someone should make the debate about Rick being a replicant a trending topic… #rickishuman

    • Yea and that’s why we watched the final cut as it has the Unicorn included. I completely disagree with you, aside from when the Andys are lying to him in the police station, it seems pretty straightforward that he is a human in the book. In the final cut, like you said, the scenes were added to have the viewer guessing, and it is never really answered. It may be different for the original movie, but these blogs are supposed to be based on this version.

      • I agree that in the book it is pretty clear he is human, and that in this version of the movie it is left ambiguous. The only part in the book where he questions himself is during the whole incident at the fake police station, and when he escaped with Resch he asked Resch to perform the V-K test on him, which he passed.

        What I’m saying is that in the movie, other than the unicorn scenes added at the whim of the director, there really isn’t a moment where Deckard questions whether he’s a human or a replicant. Not any that I noticed anyway.

        Although in the “pig picture” of Blade Runner and all its versions (to which, admittedly, I am just now being introduced to) I believe that Rick is supposed to be human, it’s true that we watched this version for a reason. The question of whether he is human or replicant is going to be a topic of debate in the next class.

    • truthfully I thought Deckard was a replicate through out the movie he does not really show any emotion and the part that i though would prove me right was when Pris was beating Deckard up and she starts to turn his head i thought he was a replicate untill you see that he had turned his body around with his head. When she starts to pull on his nose she give out a gasp like if she was in shock of finding something out then runs off the the other side of the room. (1:33) i was sure that that she had found out that he was a replicate and now was running away because she did not want to hurt one of her own kind

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