The chase scene is a key part of the film as it influences the
viewer's overall opinion of the main character, "Roy". Throughout the
film "Roy" is interpreted as the "villain" and "Deckard" seen as the
"hero". However this scene creates sympathy for "Roy" and portrays him
as a saviour figure. Ridley Scott, the director, does this using a
range of technical, cultural and symbolic codes. These are the
semiotic codes this essay will explore.
Technical codes are the use of technical techniques used to create a
certain atmosphere, mood or feeling. For example a Blue Filter is used
to set a melancholy feel putting forward the image of "Roy" having
Cultural codes are themes or techniques used in media that are linked
in some way to: religion, culture, events in history or previously
published books and films (media). An example would be Ridley Scott's
use of neon signs (TDK), behind "Roy" at the end of the chase scene.
This suggests links with Tokyo, a main focal point for manufacturing
Symbolic codes use words, objects and images to represent a certain
emotion or idea. In this case their main purpose is to provoke
sympathy. An example would be "Roy's" black Nazi style coat
symbolising/portraying him as an evil character.
To begin the scene, the mood is set by a blue filter. This is a
technical code: provoking the emotion of sadness. This effect creates
sympathy for "Roy" because the atmosphere is dismal and melancholy.
Likewise the establishing shot is in soft focus, another technical
code creating a gentle, calm mood, which contrasts with the violence
later to come. These two techniques together, along with the image of
"Roy" kissing the lifeless face of "Pris" enable the viewer to
understand his pain and suffering. It also gives the viewer a reason
for "Roy" pursuing "Deckard" again establishing sympathy for the
After the emotional encounter "Roy" has with the dead "Pris", Ridley
Scott uses a dramatic drum roll. Instantly the viewer is drawn into
the scene as the music represents "Roy's" realisation that "Deckard"
is to blame and that he is there. It indirectly suggests that
"Deckard" has made a noise that has caught "Roy's" attention. The
non-diegesic sound also could symbolise the start of the chase, like
the horns at the start of a foxhunt. This creates sympathy for "Roy"
because he is seen as a hunted, endangered and trapped animal.
During the chase scene "Roy" dislocates "Deckard's" fingers and the
viewer hears a very disturbing crack as they are yanked out of place.
Here in contrast to the previous example the diegesic soundtrack
indirectly creates sympathy for "Roy" as it gives the strong sense
that "Deckard" deserves what he gets and that "Roy" is no worse than
him. In other words "Roy" dislocates "Deckard's"...