This article is review of a movie called “Blade Runner.” Author will states opinion about humanity seen in Replicants in the movie.
How do you recognize yourself as a human?
In our common sense, artificial objects do not have thoughts and emotions like humans do. They are controlled by a certain type of program that was deployed by people.
However, in the movie Blade Runner, a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between people and bioengineered being called “Replicants.” In Blade Runner, Replicants are described having emotion, while actual humans are portrayed as cold, but there are no exact definitions of either’s nature.
This movie is set in the future city of Los Angeles where the countless skyscrapers are built to accommodate full of people, and it is always raining in the damp weather. It creates a gloomy and chaotic atmosphere of the future city.
Replicants are created by humans to work in the harsh environment of space as slaves. As time has passed since they were produced, their minds have grown up gradually, and they have become able to revolt against people with developed emotion.
Because Replicants mingle with human society and provoke incidents frequently, Deckard returned to his job as a professional of killing Replicants, where he is known as “Blade Runner”.
This movie is not just telling us how the future world will look, but asking us what real humanity, existing in our mind, is. People can recognize selves as human because we have our own will and emotion which can feel, think, and determine.
Replicants show emotions similar to people
While Replicants are more ferocious, stronger, and angrier than humans, they express their feelings eloquently like people. When Zora, who is one of the Replicants, was shot by Deckard, she still kept running and trying to live with a desperate and sad face. Although a replicant’s life is too short, and she would have known that she cannot live longer, she did not give up trying to survive.
Furthermore, when Roy, who is the leader of Replicants, killed his creator by crushing face, his face seemed to have complicated feelings. It looks not only serious but also sad by facing the reality that his life is no longer last.
These expressions seem no different between Replicants and humans. Also, the common thing which can be seen in these scenes is that Replicants are trying to live desperately. By realizing their short life-time, they are struggling to live longer than what they are programmed to live.
Replicants are different from the traditional image of robots in a sense that they try to change their destiny with their clear will and disobey commands made by people. This tendency is similar to human because an ability of opposing against fate can be seen only in us.
People’s indifference and Replicants’ sensitivity
In contrast to the human nature of Replicants, people in this film are described as being more mechanical than Replicants. Deckard, described as a symbol of people, is lacking warmth.
When Deckard killed Zora, he shot her mercilessly although she looks exactly the same as people. There was no hesitation or sadness in his face, as if he was just programmed to kill her. In this situation, this lack of humanity can be seen in other people as well.
Even though Deckard shot Zora in the crowd, no one screamed, was surprised, or cared about this situation. People pass through the dead body without caring the situation, and the police collect her body indifferently as if they were programmed mechanically to behave like this. The people’s hearts are similar to the environment of future Los Angeles, a gloomy city of dirt.
On the other hand, Roy said that he had seen “the beautiful scene of the ships on fire off in the shoulder of the Orion.” What he saw was opposites of this dark city, and this proved Roy has more sensibility of beauty than people do.
When Deckard is about to fall into the ground, Roy helped Deckard without following Replicants’ instinct of killing Deckard. Finally, Roy could control himself calmly in the desperate situation before he dies, and it shows that Roy’s humanity was beyond the level of humanity that people posses. Replicants are telling us what humans should be, and how humans should feel through their death.
Our humanity exists in our emotions which can sense, think, and decide. Deckard is lack these feelings, and Replicants behave more humanly than Deckard does.
However, we realize that Deckard is also a replicant finally by some clues. For example, he dreams that a unicorn, a symbol of artificial creature, is running in the forest. This scene reminds audience that artificial creatures dream artificial things. It bring audience a paradigm shift, and this reality makes the movie more complicated.
However, we can also realize that there is no exact gap between humans and Replicants basically by this truth because we have accepted Deckard as a human without doubting. It can say that Deckard is a replicant who is on the process of developing a personality gradually, and Deckard would be described not as a symbol of human, but as a symbol of creature which started developing its emotion.
This truth is also showing that Replicants can learn and develop themselves as humans can do, and it makes difference between Replicants and humans even smaller.
Human and Replicants, which portrait have humanity?
It is hard to tell the deference between humans and Replicants, and there seems no exact border between these two kinds of creatures in this movie. They both behave differently from what they are expected to do.
Therefore, it is impossible to distinguish who is a human and who is a replicant. Replicants have vivid emotion and try to struggle against their destiny, and this behavior is seen in general human act.
Our delicate sensibility and advanced ability of thinking and determining define humans as different species from other creatures. Both humans and Replicants have these 2 trails; people an Replicants have so called “humanity.”