Okay, here’s my thoughts. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the movie and if you haven’t go see it as it’s one of the best movies of the decade.
So here’s what I’m thinking…
Villeneuve lands the plane better than any other director right now. Even Spielberg fucks up his third acts sometimes, it’s the hardest part of any movie and we’re often let down after a great first couple of acts, but DV just never fails and his endings are so good and always bear so much more thought that they superficially appear.
The ending to this movie is great, the ‘Son Of’ plot seeming like a cool twist we worked out early on and then neatly pulled from us when we find out who the baby really was. But the bit of the movie that I couldn’t stop thinking about was Gosling lying dying in the snow and looking at his hand as the snowflakes were landing and the camera stayed here way longer than otherwise needed, alerting us to this scene’s importance. The shift then to the sealed-off chamber and the snow image continued inside as the girl works on a fake memory felt like a massive alarm bell too. Why was she still working on this? why wasn’t she turning around? The actress was continuing this so we could see what was happening and what she was working on. I went to bed wondering about this last night and I woke up this morning thinking about it too. Here’s what I reckon:
Gosling (or K) is about as real as his AI girlfriend from earlier in the movie. He’s only in this story as a fake memory of Deckard’s and all his scenes just fake memories.
Why? Because the first movie left us wondering if Deckard was real all the way to Olmos giving him the origami unicorn and letting him know that his unicorn dreams were all pre-programmed. The debate was always whether Deckard was a replicant or whether he was human and this movie answers that question. This was secretly the ENTIRE POINT of it, even though it superficially seemed like Gosling was the protagonist. The horse was a fake memory put inside Gosling’s head (a visual relative of the unicorn from the first movie to flag it up to us) to bring him to Deckard, but the WHOLE THING (including Gosling’s existence) was a fake memory that was sent to Deckard to bring him to his daughter after years of estrangement.
Nothing this director does is accidental. Nothing is wasted. The AI girlfriend earlier with snowflakes falling on her wrist replicated by Gosling later in the movie, when he realised he was never a real, is there to hammer home this point. Like Fight Club, he existed nowhere else beyond the mind of another character in this movie and every event prior to Deckard coming into the picture was fake, hinted at by Gosling’s boss too when she says he has no soul and he pauses for a second, almost in recognition of his unreality.
The final clue? His name.
His was called K and later Joe. His name is thus Joe-K or Joke.
He was never real and the girl even talks about leaving these little clues in here when she makes the fake memories.
I KNEW that ending was alerting me to something when it bore a hole in my brain last night and this is it. This is why that snow-storm was happening in the background. This was our clue. The question about whether Deckard is human or not is thus answered. He’s not and she’s sending him these fake memories remotely as we saw her do.
This also makes the baby being born all the more chilling and amazing. Two robots just created a new life and man becomes obsolete.
A God-Damn Hollywood masterpiece.
PS My pals and I watched Blade Runner before we went out yesterday to see 2049 and the structural similarities between the movies actually very apparent when you watch them together, the same plot blueprint across each movie. But it also struck me that they both also have same structure as Angel Heart, the man out there hunting himself with a satanic god-like figure sending him off on that merry chase.