Director: Denis Villeneuve
Running Time: 2h 43m
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Jared Leto
What does the future has in its birth, for us? Why do we have to realize that we are mortal? And what in this entire world is, absolutely real? What, is real, absolutely? These questions are just a series of a rising storm, full of unanswered quarries that we have always tried to unearth and battle, each time we confront the harshest truths of our lives. Can there be anything that even surpasses the human’s unmatched ability to create and that, of being superior among all?
Yes, there are some, as far as the world of ‘Blade Runner’ is concerned. And they are known as the Replicants-humanoids, who are just as perfect to behave, as the humans, who created them.
Or are they more human, than human?
This is something else. Believe me. This is unreal, unimaginable and unconceivable, at all, to watch all these ideas, questions and visuals, come alive on a spectacular scale of mind-bending, inexplicable and stunningly realistic artistic brilliance. That’s what it’s called when a genius cinematographer, named Roger Deakins, takes the camera in his hands. There is an ‘Ozymandias-ish’ feel to it-there is a scene where you know, what I am talking about.
I am literally speechless, for this. I swear to God. What can I even say for an epic, this great, being clearly mastered to perfection?
But as a reviewer, I have my formalities to adhere to.
Blade Runner 2049, ‘being touted’ as a sequel to 1982’s first Blade Runner by Ridley Scott, is not just another sequel, it’s an independent film in itself. It reminds me, here, of another most historic sequel ever made in the cinematic universe, by another master filmmaker, named Christopher Nolan. And that immortal movie sequel of his, was The Dark Knight, back in 2008. A movie which not only exceeded all boundaries of cinematic excellence, but also created a niche for itself, to be remembered always as an individual film, of its own, and not just being a sequel to its hit predecessor.
That’s all what I have to say. We have got another ‘individual’ film of its own, which, although, is a carrying forward tale of its parent, is a ‘complete movie’ on its own merits.
This film goes strengths to strengths and just continues. There is never a dull moment or a time where you can say, “Oh! That wasn’t necessary. Skip that part.”
It’s an answer to the much important question, “Why do we watch movies and why movies exist?” Blade Runner 2049 is the answer.
The combination of Dennis Villeneuve, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and a new talent in the face of Ana de Armas, blending within the mesmerizing cinematography of Roger Deakins has resulted in an unforgettable work of movie-making, for not only years to come, but for the entire 21st century-till it ends.
Every scene feels like a magical spell-how do I choose a specific one? One where Gosling (playing the Blade Runner, officer K) crashes in San Diego’s apocalyptic atmosphere or when he goes to find former Blade Runner, Deckard (the compelling Harrison Ford at his best)? Each of those frames are the narrator and tell you a story to get immersed in them. How do you use the CGI at its best? This movie speaks on its own, from the very first onset of its running time.
Deakins has been a marvelous man with the camera, and the proof of his greatness is that he has already been nominated 13 times for the ultimate prestigious prize-the Academy Award. But sadly, unfortunately, and unreasonably, he has remained empty-handed, every single year. Some of his works include, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), No Country for Old Men (2007), O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000), Prisoners (2013), A Serious Man (2009), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Sicario (2015), True Grit (2010), Skyfall (2012). And now, Blade Runner 2049, which truly and utterly deserves to be an Academy winner, for Deakins’ master-craft. If Deakins is again left with no trophy, then there is no justice in the Oscars. Seriously. I firmly believe this. Please Academy People.
And the sound of this film? Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch are one hell of a serious players, who know what they are doing. The background score of this 2017 sci-fi, ‘classic’ (it already is) breathes a fresh life into the conversations and the rest is fantastically mindboggling. Again, this reminds me of Hans Zimmer’s previous best The Dark Knight-of which the score was as thumping as a giant ocean wave.
And finally, coming back to the components around which the whole story revolves-the cast. As I said, earlier, all the performers of this masterpiece, are as smooth as silk.
Led by Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling (Officer K) who is believable as a finder, looking for his own answers, rising in his brain, the others are remarkable too. He is just damn amazing to watch while going on interrogations and doing some breathtaking action scenes too. There is one more revelation about him that is hidden. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you can skip it, right here.
Officer K, is actually one of the replicants! Yes, and it was just as unbelievable to know as it was during the time of the first Blade Runner, when we theorized that Harrison Ford’s Deckard is also a replicant. But guess what! He isn’t.
Harrison Ford is in his own zone and delivers the most intense performance, in years. May be, he can also be nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar!
Then there is Ana de Armas (playing Joi), the holographic intimate companion of officer K, who believes she too, can feel and emote just as a normal human girl. But she gets reminded, that of being just an art, of artificial intelligence. Ana de Armas gives a unique, rare and a kind of innocently delicate, yet strong supporting performance. She is a future star. In fact, she is already a bigger star now, with her finest role so far.
Sylvia Hoeks, (playing Luv) is a must watch, throughout the entire film. She is evil, and you feel that, even in those scenes where she doesn’t get to speak a word. Her expressions and face is enough to hint that something dark and mysterious is on its way. She is another one who can see herself, for a nomination.
And Dennis Villeneuve is the biggest master here, and I thank him for bringing this film to us-for all of us. He is the reason for all that goes around and comes around, into the mind and soul. Being an atmospheric director (for his visually creative imagination), he knows the essence of the original film, and takes the perfect clues which could be used for capitalizing on them and he does that, flawlessly. In fact, if I put my own opinion, then, I felt, it succeeded its first part, by a huge margin. He has surpassed even his last year’s Arrival, with this shot. He deserves the Best Director honor, in next year’s Academy season.
And yes, though the length of the film is just below the mark of three hours, I personally felt it a bit less. For the first time ever in my life, I went for a first day, first show (for any big Hollywood release) and it was worth the patience. I was craving for more. And if you are an authentic cinema lover and want to know, why movies exist-like me-then go, have an experience by yourself. Its near and almost flawless.
Watch Blade Runner 2049 on the biggest theatre screens possible, for it will leave you spellbound!