I would like to highlight how replicants are especially portrayed in Blade Runner. Machines are almost identical to humans with the peculiarity that theylack empathy. They are not in perfect empathy with each other. But how are the typical man-made machines we are used to watch in films? I image that we would think of them as subservient items that help us with the mundane jobs of life, under our control and that are here solely for our use. However, the machines in Blade Runner seem to be more human than usual. They have almost all ofcharacteristics of humans: feelings and emotions, intelligence and understanding, and desire for the same things that humankind does. Yet, at the beginning of the film, replicants are dissociated from humans. In the opening scenes, the former are shown as traitors and rebels through words like ‘mutinity’, which brings these sort of images and a negative opinion to the audience. But then again, the word bringsimages of an act of will, a free decision made by these so called machines. If they are only machines, how can they decide to rebel against their creator? The question of wheter replicants are just machines that can be thrown away when done with or are they truly ‘human’ is continually addressed.
Rachael is one of the most relevant replicant-character that influences this balance betweenmachines and humans. She has been implanted in her mind with artificial memories, those of her creator, Tyrell, niece’s. In fact, when Deckar discovers that she is actually a replicant, he states ‘how can it not know what it is?’. The pronoun ‘it’, again, differenciates replicants as something foreign and indefinite, not as beings with a free will, mind and feelings. After that, Tyrell gets ridof Rachael, since Deckard distinguished her. He does not care for what he creates, replicants do not matter. He only wishes to control them and make them undistinguishable from humans. But he will not give them the same respect and equality as he would give to another human being. This fact makes the audience think about why replicants do not have equality with humans.
After Tyrell doesno loger see Rachael, she returns to Deckard, trying to prove that she is not a replicant by showing a photo with her mother. Deckard does not believe her at all, going on treating her as ‘it’ and reacting as if she has neither memories nor emotions. The director, especially in this scene, uses the camera effectively to show the conflict that is arising with Rachael. First, the angle is straighton to Deckard, restating that the audience is on the same level of Deckard. Then, he uses a low angle for Rachael, placing her above the audience. In this way, as she begins to cry, the audience feels compassion for the pain she is going through. She is giving a human response to the offense that her memories are not her own.
As the film progresses, replicants continue to be seen as merelypossessions. Such an instance is when Roy andd Pris, also machines, meet one of their creators or genetic designers, J. F. Sebastion. After finding out that they are replicants because they are so ‘perfect’, Sebastion states, ‘there is some of me in you’. He thinks that they are ‘his’ replicants and looks at them as toys. Roy, who is visually offended by Sebastion’s answer, replies that they are...