Dream Of Electric Sheep
Category : Entertainment
One of the first things you have to let go of when watching Blade Runner is the temptation to compare the movie, Blade Runner, with the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By the number one SF writer of all time, Philip K. Dick. Yes, the mechanical pets are absent (but a monologue discussing the absence of real animals in the future does appear in the film). Yes, the ending is different, but the medium of printed word and published work is very different than the filmic medium, so time lapses, character development, etc., will be necessarily altered in the latter.
But Blade Runner also features some fine casting, decent special effects, and a complex storyline and premise that does justice to Dick’s writing style and genius mind.
The Hollywood-shunned Sean Young fits perfectly in her stoic replicant/human role as Rachael (hmmm, interesting biblical allusion?). Harrison Ford is convincing, just smoky-voiced enough, and of course dynamic enough as the bounty hunter seeking out the hiding replicants. Daryll Hannah as Pris is quite interesting, as is her makeup and costuming: a replicant ballerina…now that’s a first.
The sound track is absolutely stunning, utterly scintillating. Vangelis matches the opening drama by the wailing wet woozy sounds of the sax, brings in the drums and consistently expresses in Blues and Jazz ensembles that are romantic and surreal at once the epic, daunting, and depressing bleakness of the reality of the future as Dick has depicted it.
Blade Runner is often categorized in the cyberpunk genre—set as it is in 2019 Los Angeles and featuring the futuristic cyber-technology of cloning, hyped-up surveillance tools, and hyper-advanced investigative strategies (carried out by the Harrison Ford character, blade Runner Deckard.
And director Ridley Scott is the must-see-his-films director of the cyber-century with other films such as Andromeda Strain and such massively popular films (blockbusters) as Thelma and Louise and Gladiators.
The film is visually dark and metaphysically, psychically dreary. And the premise is true to the novel, with its emphasis on the preciousness of human and other life versus the futuristic and technological displacement we face.
While I am reticent about suggesting this (as I typically insist you read the book that precedes the film), if the comparison thing is going to interfere with your experience of one of the best SF films of all time, don’t read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? First. But DO read it. You will be amazed (after watching Blade Runner) at the depth of detail of the future mindset, mentality, and morality.