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'Blade Runner 2049' delivers a devastatingly beautiful dystopia

Liza Yosephine
Liza Yosephine

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, October 7, 2017  /  10:04 am
'Blade Runner 2049' delivers a devastatingly beautiful dystopia

A still from 'Blade Runner 2049.' (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment/File)

The bleak and dreary world in the dystopian film Blade Runner 2049 is delivered through brilliant visuals accompanied by an impactful soundtrack, a combination that packs a punch from beginning to end.

Director Denis Villeneuve captured stunning imagery of desolation, depicting a state of California so dark and covered in pollution that daylight is hardly distinguishable from the night. 

The city of San Diego has transformed into a barren wasteland, where mountains of metal scraps find their final resting place. Bright and lively Las Vegas has drowned in a thick layer of red dust, leaving in place a ghost town with only remnants of what was once imagined as a lavish place of entertainment. 

It is this is setting that Ryan Gosling's "K", an LAPD machine-officer set out to hunt old generation of replicants, an android-human race like himself. In his latest case, Officer K discovered a long-buried secret that could lead to unexpected chaos, as questions on human and non-human would risk everything known to mankind. Robin Wright in her role as Lieutenant Joshi attempted to be a guiding force in keeping K's path straight in his mission as an officer. 

As adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the film continues on the theme to discuss what is human and what is not.  

Dialogue is scarce, but the story unfolds smoothly and an emotional connection with the audience is carried through a forceful soundtrack perfectly accompanying the beautifully grim scenes.   

The new Blade Runner continues on the arc laid out in the original 1982 film, as it jumps 30 years forward from where the first chapter ended, which was in a futuristic 2019. 

Read also: Bali's Minikino Film Week returns with hundreds of short films

It also brings back Harrison Ford, who starred in the original as Rick Deckard, the first generation blade runner, a term for those assigned to assassinate replicants. 

Overall, the film was filled with compelling characters that were delivered by excellent actors. 

Gosling achieved the right balance between a muted expression and thrilling action in his portrayal as a non-human attempting to carry out duties he is programmed to fulfill. K's interactions with his hologram girlfriend Joi, who was wonderfully depicted by Ana de Armas, further played into the question of human emotions and machines. 

Jared Leto's evil genius Niander Wallace is cold and creepily menacing, as he set out to create the perfect replicant. Despite his many successes, however, Wallace still falls short of what predecessor Eldon Tyrell had achieved.

Tyrell, although failed to develop his venture, managed to create replicants somewhat "more human than humans" -- a line delivered in the first film and echoed in the sequel. 

Sylvia Hoeks was lithe and tough as Luv, Wallace's villainous replicant, who delivered effortless action that could kill with a swift strike of her hand and knock people down with a forceful kick of her heel. (kes)

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