Blade Runner 2049, a Not Quite Review

This afternoon, I saw Blade Runner 2049, this evening, I had planned to review it. As the title suggests, I’m not really doing that. In fact, I’m not doing that at all. I went in with intentions of keeping some mental notes, thinking about themes, maybe a few witty lines to write, all of that quickly went away.

Actually, it was swept away. Swept away by the visuals, the narrative and, most of all, by the sound. Denis Villeneuve and his team did one truly innovative thing with this film; they didn’t try and top the original. The sound design is taken straight from Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, with booming bass notes injecting urgency and tension into this beautifully slow paced film. (Actually, this slow pace may be another innovation; not that it hasn’t been done before of course, just that it really is quite unusual for a modern blockbuster.) By taking its auditory cues so liberally from Blade Runner, 2049 is immediately seated in the same, genre defining, world. The result is that, for me, Villeneuve’s work has the single most powerful and affecting sound design of any film I have ever seen. This is not to say it is better than its predecessor, just that my experience of the film was unlike anything I have seen, or heard, before. I got to see 2049 in an IMAX theatre where those aforementioned bass notes reverberated through me, seemingly vibrating my bones. As the credits rolled, I sat there in silence, mouth agape, letting the music crash over me, with only the slightly obnoxious red of the house lights spoiling my reverie.

We are going to go and see the film again next week, fortunately my, (long suffering), girlfriend enjoyed it every bit as much as I did. Once we have, I will write a proper review. For now however, all I can do is urge everyone to go and see this wonderful film, and, if you have the opportunity, to do so in IMAX.

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#150 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 10): The Revelation, recorded verbatim

So which one of you committed this heinous crime? The abandoned daughter, forced to grow up alone; or the commanding officer, angered by his soldier’s refusal to do what is right? I assume that is why you quarrelled Colonel? You were aggrieved that your friend did not live up to a soldier’s honour? Did your anger spill over into violence?

And Miss Scarlet, why did you come here to this little gathering? I doubt your father invited you. So it was on the Colonel’s wishes, but why did you want to meet with a man who so clearly wanted nothing to do with you? Why now, after all these years?

Murder! That is the reason. You knew the Colonel would legitimise you, and if you could not claim your father’s love, you wished to claim his estate. I’m sorry to say, now, you have lost it all.

#149 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 9): The Revelation, recorded verbatim

Colonel, Miss Scarlet, you know each other, the young lady told me so. However, please beg my pardon, neither of you seems like the company the other would usually keep. So what is the connection? Obvious! Doctor Black. But how?

Colonel, you knew Black in Africa, were his commanding officer. Battles make brothers, do they not? And what would a brother not tell his brother? Nothing! So what did Black tell you? Was it the very same thing that the Reverend saw you arguing about? I think it was.

And the ring Mrs White accidentally knocked from Miss Scarlet’s bed, was it truly a gift for the Doctor? No! Miss Scarlet, you told me you grew up an orphan, that was only half true. Your parents were absent, yes, but not because they were dead. That ring is your birth right, you are Doctor Black’s daughter!

To be continued…

#148 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 8): The Revelation, recorded verbatim

After my deliberations, one thing is clear; any one of you might have been the killer.

However, only one of you is. I will confess, you led me a merry dance. Repeatedly I felt sure I had solved it, only to be waylaid by another revelation. Mrs White, the housekeeper, in love with her master, consistently knocked back, if the Colonel’s accounts of the Doctor’s troubles with you are to be believed. Motive? Definitely, but I am convinced your heart is true.

Professor Plum and Mrs Peacock, both so disappointed not to be able to go for a walk in the grounds, neither telling me the whole truth. Dishonest? Yes, but killers? No. Lovers? Most definitely!

And the Reverend Green, the weapon used to perform this terrible act belongs to you, I think, but the crime does not.

So that leaves two, the Colonel and Miss Scarlet.

To be continued…

#147 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 7): Interview with Mrs Peacock, recorded verbatim

I had planned to go for a walk for a moment of privacy. Of course, the rain interfered with that scheme, so I spent some time wondering about the house instead.

(I asked if she remembered seeing Miss Scarlet.)

Yes, I do believe we crossed paths. Near the conservatory actually. She was standing still, rolling a small object in her palms. I did not see what it was.

(I recounted Mrs White’s assertion that her door had been locked.)

I went back to change before dinner and touch up my lipstick. I did not want to get walked in on, I am a lady of modesty, a good Christian. It’s a shame the same cannot be said for the Reverend. Perhaps if he spent more time praying and less time playing with his car and all those silly tools, this might never have happened.

Note: Mrs Peacock wears pink lipstick.

#146 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 6): Interview with Miss Scarlet, recorded verbatim

It’s terrible, just terrible. I have only just become reacquainted with the Doctor and now he’s… dead.

I had recently met him in London and he invited me to this little gathering. I know the Colonel too of course, but he seems to have withdrawn from me since… it… happened so I’m quite alone here. I am used to it. Orphan’s lot I’m afraid.

I wish I could be more help. I was taking a walk when it happened, the rain helps me think. I didn’t see anyone else until we were all gathered in the conservatory. Well, Mrs Peacock had passed me from that direction a little earlier but we did not speak, she seemed agitated and I turned away to head for the gardens and thought little of it. Do you think it’s related?

Note: Miss Scarlet’s boots show no signs of having been in the rain.

#145 From The Notebook of Hercule Cluedo (Pt. 5): Interview with Professor Plum, recorded verbatim

I cannot tell you very much. After breakfast I had planned to take a stroll in the gardens, but the rain rather spoiled that idea. I returned to my room and laid down. I had only intended to do so briefly before continuing with my research, but I’m afraid to say I fell asleep and was only woken by that awful racket the housekeeper was making.

(I told him Mrs White claimed that his room was quite empty when she went to clean it.)

Well she was mistaken. I was asleep. Instead of quizzing me why don’t you speak to that Scarlet woman? None of us even know why she is here. I for one find it rather odd that Doctor Black was murdered when there was a stranger in the house.

Note: The Professor had a bright pink smear on the inside of his collar.