Movie Review 2049: Do yourself a favour. Run away from Blade Runner 2049 as far as you can while you still have time. It is one of the most pretentious and ponderous sequels ever, with thinly disguised dialogues taken from messages from fortune cookies masquerading as words of wounded wisdom that civilization, particularly American civilization, has discovered while sharing meals with Willy Wonka.
Blade Runner 2049
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford
Directed by: Denis Vileneuve
Rating: * ½(one and a half stars)
The film is almost three hours of talking plodding tedium with characters who are either manufactured by genetical manipulations and are known as replicants(more like repellents), or are real human beings inscribed with robotic tendencies. Ryan Gosling one of civilization’s most overrated actors ,is unable to determine till the end whether he is real or virtual.Does anyone really care?
Gosling occupies most of the film’s cumbersome playing-time. He is presumably a replicant…or is he? The entire film is about Gosling’s search for his identity. The search for self is like Kubrick-meets-Kafka’s- ghost-on-a-sullen-unexciting-night.
What happened to all the fun and the ravishing action scenes from the first Blade Runner film in 1982? There isn’t even one spectacularly-staged action sequence in the new edition of Blade Runner. The entire reined-in velocity of Blade Runner 2049 hinges on Gosling’s character and his search of an identity which takes him from one depressing location to another .Los Angeles looks like it has seen better days . Harrison Ford is dunked into gushing water at the end. He too must wonder at what civilization has come to since he last played a Blade.
Ford can still make every frame featuring him look inviting.Gosling seems to have lost his screen presence in La La Land. Here this time around he is stilted and unsure trying to make sense of a crisis that no one quite comprehends , let alone appreciates.
Unforgivably the very charismatic Harrison Ford appears after almost two-third of the film is over.By then the narrative so weighed down by its own philosophical posturings , it would need more than Ford to revive our interest.The asininity that the screenplay inflicts on all the actors big or small is cognizable.Some appear more wronged than others as they stand around mouthing dialogues that sound likeKangana Ranaut’s pearls of wisdom carried to an extreme ofselfabsorption.
Jared Lato who appears with blind lenses is an unintentional caricature with his megalomaniacal take on civilization’s accelerated ambitions to populate the galaxy with artificial genetics. He mouths the film’s lofty aspirations with platitudinous pomposity, igniting what looks like a conflict to save humanity .It is actually nothing more than a collage of disembodied images accentuating one man’s pursuit of legitimacy and another man(the director)’s search of immortality.
Shockingly the film’s epic design never rises beyond a show of contoured bleakness. The film is shot at landscapes that suggest apocalyptic upheavals as imagined by an art director who has his head too deeply buried in the sands to know that beyond the bleakness that civilization imagines for itself in the coming decades, there is another reality whereby humanity searches for survival with dignity.
Blade Runner 2049 offers no hope to human kind. Forget redeeming civilization it can’t even retrieve Harrison Ford’s character from the original film without falling into paroxysm of puerility.As for Ryan Gosling , his relationship with his virtual housemate(Anna De Armas) reminded me of Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johannson in Her.
A few day before I saw this monstrously disappointing sequel I saw an Indian television journalist fawning over Ryan Gosling at an interview conducted in Barcelona. The journalist gushed over Gosling and let him know that India has numerous Gosling fans dying to meet him.Who are these fans? After Blade Runner 2049 the affable but weighed-down actor would not have many fans to make him feel about his ambitions.
Watch Gosling in Blue Valentine instead. Or better still watch our film Tu Hai Mera Sunday to see how heartwarming the depiction of metropolitan angst can be when applied to lives that are prone to rise above their woeful destiny. In Blade Runner 2049 the characters love their misery and nullity so much they make our future look not just bleak but also banal.