Sunday, 22 January 2012

21/01/2012: Gattaca [1997]

I had only heard of this movies once before I discovered it on Netflix and that had only been its name. After watching it I find it amazing I had never heard of it before. I have always found it strange that, with all the books in the world, high school english class still makes everyone read 1984 and A Brave New World and such Utopian/dystopian novels. But if those are the chosen novels why would you not mention or show a movie such as Gattaca?

By now I hope you have realized that Gattaca is another greatly written movie about a Utopian/Dystopian society "somewhere in the near future" where there is no racism, sexism, and whatever other ism's you can think of. Instead society has taken discrimination down to a science. With one drop of blood they can determine all of your potential. At birth they know when you will die, what chances you have of contracting heart disease, going blind etc. However with this advance in genetics, comes the ability to genetically engineer your child. Pick gender and colours, along with a standard removal of depression, alcoholism, and diseases you get the best of you. These engineered people become the worlds elite, while those known as degenerates or in-valids live a life of poverty, struggling to find jobs and never attaining their dreams.

Gattaca of course being what it is, follows the story of Vincent, an In-valid with dreams of going into space and working for Gattaca (NASA really). Being with a 99% chance of developing a heart condition, Vincent has no chance to get in himself regardless of how hard he works or how much he studies.

However in a world where DNA scans occur so frequently there comes a new kind of identity theft. Vincent meets Jerome, a man with the perfect genetic makeup. Athletic, smart and with no chance of dying from disease. Jerome however has become paraplegic in a car accident and with no possibilities ahead agree to give Vincent his identity.

What follows this is a great story I won't ruin for you and an impressively under-appreciated movie. The cast includes well known Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law who all give great performances. The visuals and setting paint a great picture of the future, as usual mixing elements of science with the art of the past.

I must say even if you've never heard of Gattaca, there is no reason you shouldn't have. This movie is right up there with the rest of the Utopian/Dystopian films and benefits from being written for the screen and not a novel.

This poster is a concept poster but I didn't like any of the official ones.

Gattaca IMDB
Gattaca Netflix

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