Becoming human through identity crisis

The movie never mentioned if Rachael was a Nexus 6 or a more advanced version of replicant, but while it usually takes “20, 30 cross-referenced” (21:47) questions to detect a replicant, it took more than 100 for Rachael. Deckard’s immediate reply: “she doesn’t know” (21:53) seems to provide the reason for the difference in Rachael and other replicants if they are of the same technological level, and then Rachael’s self-awareness as a person actually made her more human, at least according to the test. However, her facial expression more or less remained the same, and several instances of her burst of emotions actually happened after she realized that she was a replicant, for example, her tears while she learned that her memory was implanted, and her fear and shaking hands after shooting Leon. It seems almost ironic that the challenge to her identity as a human being infused emotional responses in her so that she was closer to human beings as if it were the internal conflicts, the self-doubting, that made a human. Probably it’s her unique experience to live a life of a human as a replicant, not completely one or the other, that enabled her to doubt the reliability of the text, asking Deckard if he had taken that test himself, and by doing so, challenging the line between a replicant and a human, which was delicately vague for her.

1 Comment

  1. I think this is an awesome point, and I think the theme of weakness relating to humanity manifests in a lot of ways in this film. We definitely begin to feel connected to Rachael as soon as she looses her composed persona, and our indications of emotion from her continuously come from her displays of sadness. This happens multiple other times with other characters too – we feel that perhaps there is interiority in the character who curls up in the trash on the street or the panicked woman trying to get up the subway stairs. Even though we are trying to look for signs of emotion for interiority, the only effective ones are the displays of those characters at their weakest moments.

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