Film Review: Blade Runner 2049

For the fans of sci-fi and fantasy films, this one particularly could be a must-watch. For the skeptics of this genre (this critic included), however, a word of advice for potential viewers-go see this one with an open mind.  Even for those familiar with the 1982 ‘Blade Runner’ (set in 2019), this film is sure to stupefy and amaze.

In this adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, the acclaimed director Ridley Scott had laid the foundation 35 years ago with the prequel.  French-Canadian director Villeneuve takes upon himself-with immense support from his technical team-to sustain the viewers’ interest in this two-and-a-half-hour-plus film.

The stoic Ryan Gosling is perfectly cast as K, a blade runner in the Los Angeles Police Department, dispatched to uncover and eliminate the Replicants (those artificial beings who’ve overstayed their creation as slave labourers). During a particular incident, K makes a discovery that threatens the existence of all around him.  With Joi (the Cuban beauty Ana de Armas), an Artificial Intelligence product as companion,  K’s boss Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright) demands that K bring the situation under control as soon as possible.  In the process K runs into Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who’s been missing for 30 years.

A note from director Villeneuve was read out just before the press screening which entreated critics to refrain from disclosing the essence of the key plot. And hence, this truncated review.

The script has its own share of flaws, especially with a very slow first half, but that’s true of any fantasy and science-fiction film. But with Theo Green’s sound design, production design by Dennis Gasner, music by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer (both of whom had collaborated on ‘Dunkirk’) and breathtaking cinematography by Roger Deakins-who’s almost certain to win his first Academy award, the film’s a visual and aural treat.

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