Is Rachael an Android?

One of my favorite scenes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is the Voigt-Kampff test on Rachael Rosen because, like Deckard, we’re trying to figure out if this woman is an android. Since the readers aren’t given much context about the post-World War Terminus beliefs, we’re kept in the dark mostly and have to guess if Rachael’s answers are acceptable responses. A film version of this scene would have to pay attention to what readers can’t do with a book. The watchers don’t depend on the how the needles move like how the readers do. The watchers of a film see the change in her expression and hear the inflection of her voice. The film uses different techniques to show her and the other androids’ ambiguity. On 20:01 Rachael looks at Deckard and pauses to smoke before answering his question. Nonchalantly smoking during an interview that determines whether or not the interviewed is an android shows off Rachael’s confidence that she’s human. She directly answers and takes her time unlike Leon who was nervous and constantly interrupted the interviewer. On 20:34 Rachael looks to the upper right briefly before Deckard interrupts her to show the watchers that she’s thinking instead of giving an automated response. On 20:53 there’s a dissolve transition that signifies the passage of time and Tyrell on 21:51 says there was 100 questions during the interview. At the time of the transition the watchers know Deckard has asked many questions and therefore didn’t know if she’s an android and the watchers can only guess if she is or not.

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