This short text was originally written in the summer of 2019 after I heard actor Rutger Hauer had sadly left us:
This short reasoning goes out to all the fans of the film Blade Runner. As most have probably heard, the actor Rutger Hauer passed away a while ago. When thinking of him, I always remember the classic Tears in the rain-monologue, which culminates the sci-fi classic Blade Runner . This film was also Hauer’s own favourite of his own films. I’m sure almost everybody knows the film and the monologue . It is a short talk that addresses the perishableness of everything: “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain”. Apparently it has also been called as “the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history”.
As a few people have pointed out, the weight of the whole film can be felt in this one fragile moment.
Hauer plays Roy Batten, the main antagonist of film. Roy is a so called “replicant”, a machine with a short few years lifespan, built by humans just to serve. Throughout the course of the film Roy seeks a way lengthen his life, but slowly realises it is not possible as his body starts to fall apart. This short flash where he realises his life is soon over underlines aptly the theme of the whole movie: the shady border between a man and a machine. If not already before, at the latest at this precise moment that border completely dissolves. Here we have a form of life – a machine, if you like – whose sole wish is only to exist a little longer, only to live. His lust for life obviously stems from the fact that he is attached to his memories – and to the feelings driven from these memories. AND to the sense of purpose driven from those feelings.
Then there is also the glimpse of empathy in such a dark film: This non-human machine actually saves a person, who just tried to kill him. A move that somehow raises him morally over the commercial human institution that first made him and now tries to get rid of him. – Or, maybe it’s just the inevitableness of death, that he accepts? You realise you’re at a point where you have nothing left to lose, nor nothing left to gain either. How human is that? I love the way how he smiles after the words “Time to die”.
And lastly there is of course the dove.
At the moment of his death, Roy releases a dove, and it flies away representing the soul that he supposedly never possessed. An unforgettable moment and an unforgettable scene! R.I.P. Mr. Hauer.