Narrative in Blade Runner

Topics: Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Pages: 4 (1339 words) Published: January 7, 2015
Blade Runner

“Blade Runner”, based on the 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by American writer Philip K. Dick, was adapted to a feature film in 1982 by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. “Blade Runner” is a neo-noir science-fiction film about a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019 where a Blade Runner – Deckard – has to ‘retire’ four replicants who have escaped from an off-world colony. The film is directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Michael Deeley.

Todorov’s narrative theory of equilibrium can be applied to Blade Runner. The opening sequence of the film shows a dystopian society and the melancholic tone connotes a very bleak equilibrium (which is “normality” within the film). The non-diegetic soundtrack that accompanies the titles is eerie, synthesised music which is often found in science fiction films with explosions happening throughout. It can be seen that the disruption is the replicants arrival on earth, and this is conveyed when Deckard meets with his former boss Bryant. It becomes clear that this equilibrium can only be restored by Deckard, although he is reluctant to do so. After Deckard retires Zhora and Pris, the resolution takes place on the rooftop where he battles with Roy. The roof-top battle is familiar to crime and detective genres but the film departs from the expected ending. Roy Batty turns the tables by turning into the hero of the film when he chooses to let Deckard live.

This links in to Propp’s seven character roles (the “spheres of action”). The hero role is traditionally Deckard, but Roy’s heroism at the end of the film construct him as a Christ-like figure. This is shown by the nail he drives through his hand when he realises he is dying and want to remain conscious and the doves which arise from him into the sunlight (which is the only real light to be seen in the film). The audience are told that the villain is the replicants, but there is a degree of sympathy towards them when, ironically, both Rachel and...
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