Blade Runner 2049 Film Review + Cinematography Composition Analysis

When I first heard Kanye tweet “I watch blade runner on loop” I was intrigued to rewatch it. And I was not disappointed — it’s a truly great film. Beautiful, great cinematography and color schemes and palettes — worthy of any visual artist to watch, analyze and study!

Quick thoughts

  1. I find one of the greatest parts of the film to be the relationship between Joe (Ryan Gosling) and Joe (the AI).
  2. The environment of Blade Runner as truly transportative — it sucks you into a new world.
  3. The storyline of the film is just plain good. Note that great films need great stories.

Overlay technique

I will still never forget the first time I watched blade runner 2049, the scene where joi the AI over lays her self on top of the real life human escort, how this concept totally blew my mind. Funny enough, it is a very basic technique and concept idea, but feels entirely real.

Sense of scale

What also makes the film great is the sense of scale. You get a sense of what Los Angeles will look like in the future, the sense of alienation. Also in Las Vegas the dusty sandy ozone ridden vibes of the dark desolate desert.

Humans of the future

What is the central notion of the film? In my opinion is about avoiding alienation, solitude, and having a deeper sense of purpose, direction, and authenticity in life. Joe the blade runner isn’t interested in vain sexual pursuits, but truly wants a companion out of joi the AI. And in the film, the relationship between joi and Joe is one of the most intimate and authentic relationships I’ve ever seen in the movie. Also the actress who plays joi the AI has a wonderfully beautiful face.


The theme of book birth and procreation is a huge one to the film. I find this particular interesting, because having had my first child and witnessing the miracle of birth, it is truly what makes humanity in life so insanely epic. Our ability to procreate. Plus perhaps for those people seeking more purpose in life, rather than focusing on “individuality“ “freedom”, it is more about procreation, having a child, raising and training a child, and perhaps focusing on philosophical and arts and photography related pursuits.

Philosophical takeaways

What are some of the philosophical takeaways of the film? For me, it is about the love and sacrifices of a parent to their child, our desire for authenticity and realness, our desire for companionship.


Also another huge theme of the film which I think is often overlooked is the notion that all great civilizations are built on the backs of slaves. I think this is a hard truth, but a real truth. Even in modern day society, many of the great advances being made are based on call “slave labor” in China, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world.

Even much of the social media giants of today are built on the unpaid labor of individuals for technically “slaves “, in the sense that they are doing all the work for free, whether the emotional or the information based knowledge.

Our desire to touch and feel

After watching the film, a huge sense of gratitude is our ability to touch, feel and be part of the physical and embodied world. Just consider the joy that joi the ai had when she first went outdoors, untethered from the cubicle apartment with the tethered cable, and was able to step outdoors and experience the rain for the first time. Or her deep desire to connect with Joe, a sense of a sexual embodied intimacy she desired with him, and why she had to enlist the services of escort.

So perhaps what it means to be human is literally our sense of touch and hands.

So what does humanity want?

According to Wallace, it is the desire for humans to conquer the universe, extend ourselves to the stars, and create trillions of versions of humans, and to continue to create a great civilization.

So why watch and experience the film?

To me, it is almost like a Zen techno meditative visual experience. Even when watching the film on Mute, the film holds up. Perhaps this is a sign of a great movie, when watching a film on mute is still strong enough to stand on his own two legs.

Also I see the film as a beautifully moving visual stream of images, which I think will inspire motivate and uplift any visual artist, photographers, filmmakers or cinematographers.


Cinematography and life lessons:

Cinema and Film Reviews

Space Films

Cinema and philosophy

King Leonidas— a true man of virtue.


Gangster Films



Articles on Cinema

Great Cinema

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