The Director’s Cut
By Mike Derderian
Things around me no longer made sense and for a couple of weeks I felt like the loneliest person in the world just like Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) before he delivers the best movie quote you will ever hear or read in your life.
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die,” Batty recites to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner.
What Scott did was rehash (edit, cut and insert) Blade Runner to come up with what he thinks is a better version. One that is closer to his vision. Now I’ve seen both versions—the first on a VHS tape and the second on DVD. If you ask me, Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut was as good as the first version was when it was first released in 1982.
The Director’s Cut was released 10 years after but was it any different? Yes, Scott cut out some of Harrison Ford’s voice-overs like the ones in the beginning of the film, which I believe were quite good.
“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession…ex-cop…ex-blade runner…ex-killer,” Deckard disdainfully mutters as he sits at a Chinese Noodles and Sushi stand in the futuristic gutter-like streets of Los Angeles. Moments later he adds, “sushi, that’s what my ex-wife called me…cold fish.”
Who wouldn’t love this guy the moment he says these words! Coming from Harrison Ford I was dumbstruck as a kid by the actor, who over the years became my icon. I mean I was so into Blade Runner that I fashioned my hair—still do with what’s left of it—after Deckard’s hairdo.
Talk about crazy. However, for a cinema freak like me that was just normal believe me. I am Lucky that my favorite movie was not The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, huh! Still it is a good movie.
By removing the voice-overs what started out as a detective thriller ended up being a story about a man, who learns how to live from a dying humanoid, Batty, who is a replica with an expiry date. Batty knows that after four years he is going to expire. So driven like any other man, who is perplexed by life and it’s true meaning, he comes back from banishment trying to find his creator.
Ridley also added some scenes involving a unicorn that he took from his 1985 fantasy Legend starring a very young Tom Cruise. The galloping unicorn was inserted as part of a dream sequence that Deckard had. It supposedly alludes to Deckard’s own identity; a thing I am still trying to fathom.
Blade Runner presents a perfect argument when it comes to the issue of cloning and its moral repercussions. Can we create and are we allowed to create human-like organisms? If man succeeds in a creating a creature with a soul that would answer a lot of questions about our own existence but at the same time it would obliterate the power and drive behind such an existence.
Every time I watch Blade Runner I re-discover that I am nothing but a mortal, which is why I so much cherish it. If you remember and I don’t think you have that strong memory Blade Runner was the third column I wrote in Cinerama.
Our life is but moments we remember throughout the years that we are destined to live and watching movies has become a part of my years. I remember mother telling me to study instead of watching movies; thank God I did not listen to her because I wouldn’t have had the memories and moments that I write about here. Until next week, remember rain might wash away our sins but it also washes away our memories, may it never rain.