Roy Baty’s Rage

1:26:20: This scene depicts Roy Baty’s murder of Tyrell, with heavy emphasis on the bloody gouging out of Tyrell’s eyes and the complicated emotions which cross Baty’s face during the killing.

Why does Roy Baty express so much rage and perhaps grief in the killing of Tyrell? Why the deliberate mutilation? Isn’t this an expression of emotion? Watching this scene, I felt a confirmation of both Roy’s villainy and his definite interiority and perhaps even empathy. The murder of a person described as one’s ‘father’ in such a deliberate and torturous way carries enormous emotional resonance and seems unlikely for an android. If androids have the capacity to kill easily, isn’t it because they do not view it as hugely significant or in relation to themselves? The murder of Tyrell to represent the death of the father or creator – particularly as Roy has knowledge of his own impending death – seems to point conclusively to androids as having ‘real’ emotions. As these emotions pass across Roy’s face, the viewer has the ability to attempt to empathically connect, to put themselves in his position and try to guess his range of emotions. Yet this ability to connect seems out of the grasp of androids…the whole scene is very confusing and provocative but (as in other parts of the movie) lacks certain subtleties of the book. It seems too obvious that androids really CAN develop ‘real’ feelings, in contrast with the strange, eerie ambiguity with which Dick ends his novel.

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