Sid V 🌪️’s review published on Letterboxd:
🧡 = Technical Merit (Direction | Writing | Cinematography | Production Design & Art Direction | Sound | Musical Score | Make-up, Costumes & Visual Effects)
🧡 = Artistic Vision (Mood & Atmosphere | Substance)
🧡 = Personal Affect (Gratification & Comfort | Emotional Response & Resonance | Replayability | Style | Influence or Change in Perspective | Message Poignancy | Originality)
(2007 Final Cut)
Basically setting the audiovisual template for every Cyberpunk work to follow, Blade Runner can rightly be credited with inventing the brand, and is a landmark in the science fiction genre. But the praise far from stops there.
Based on Philip K. Dick's short story Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, our film presents us with a bleak and cynical future wherein the essence of what makes a person is put into question.
Under the direction of the masterfully visual Ridley Scott, we are immersed in a living, breathing world of near-future LA where Syd Mead's visionary industrial, architecture and technology conceptual designs are rendered into awe inspiring sets. The uniquely beautiful quality of the set design is aided in no small part by stunning cinematography, costuming and sound.
In spite of your rational mind telling you otherwise, the completely engrossing, mesmerizing world of Blade Runner is real. Its scuttering background characters feel like they're on their way to another rain-soaked part of town. Its towering buildings disappearing into rainclouds. Its "high-tech low-life" world crushing your spirit with its maddening cacophony of noises, suffocating crowds, and incessant rain that you can imagine yourself seeking refuge at Taffey Lewis' for a drink. You can completely imagine what is happening outside of the impeccably framed shots-- around the corner from what is being shown, a street or two over... The immersiveness of the film is shocking, and is impossible not to get lost into.
Added to this, Vangelis' legendary score does more to supplement the wistful, yearning and uniquely retro-futuristic atmosphere of the film than arguably any other before or since. It is up there as one of the most brilliant, innovative scores ever and matches the tone of its visual counterparts impeccably. To its credit, also, Vangelis' score can be enjoyed as a beautiful standalone album.
All of this culminates in loneliness, isolation and longing weighing heavily on the mood of the film, and Blade Runner succeeds in capturing the modern condition of being alone in a crowd, while a thrilling, deadly cat and mouse game unfolds between our conflicted "one-man slaughterhouse" Det. Deckard and his quarry of Nexus-6 replicants. Scenes in Deckard's apartment in particular are so effective at conveying these sentiments that I find it hard not to throw a blanket over my shoulders and give in to the melancholy of heavy rain, neon and gloom every time I revisit the film.
Nowadays, the rhetoric of whether the film is uneventful and boring seems to hint at worrying signs of our collective attention spans shrinking, the observation that the editing is bafflingly bad (not taking into consideration that there is a multitude of cuts of the movie-- the Theatrical Version of which had a noir-inspired voiceover narrative throughout which had to be carefully removed) is commonly brought up, and the debate over whether Deckard is or isn't a replicant seems to have been supplanted by the question of whether he in fact did or didn't rape Rachael, but I personally find this masterpiece to be absolutely timeless, and much like its fictional Voight-Kampff test, it succeeds in getting an emotional response out of me every single time. A true gift.