Movie Reviews

Bleak, Ponderous, Pointless, Blade Runner 2049 Is Exhausting

Blade Runner 2049

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.

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