I can’t remember ever being as disturbed and enthralled at one time by any movie as by “Blade Runner 2049.” That makes it fine art in my eyes.
The movie is disturbing because it so explicitly poses questions about personhood, objectification and empathy. I gasped a few times and flinched several more times, and so did my companion. Besides the consent issues, the violence in it is also disturbing, and this vision of 2049 is even more dystopic for PoC and women; however, I saw those elements not as gratuitous, but rather as deliberate showcasing of the problems of society. I’ll discuss that more after the spoiler warning.
The movie is enthralling because it is so well done. I said before that it “poses” questions instead of “asks” them, because aside from some brief future-history infodumping, there is a whole lot of show-not-tell in this movie, the opposite of the much-derided voiceover in the 1982 movie’s theatrical version. I suppose a person who’s oblivious to social issues could take everything that happens at face value, as though the viewer is supposed to be okay with the situations and choices being shown, but it seems obvious that a person who thinks about them is supposed to be cringing. [Read more…]