Gattaca (1997) Only Genetic Perfection To Fly To The Stars

gattaca (1997) genetics dna sci-fi science fiction movie poster dvd cover

The future is here. Eugenics will change the world! No more lottery on your unborn baby having some form of deformity, however minor. Or even lets say, a lesser intelligence! Why would you take a gamble on your child’s future? Why not have some genetic selection cross referenced to ensure the best quality hereditary traits are met. Why roll the dice with a high percentage of heart disease when a little tweaking of the DNA code could almost guarantee a piston like pump into old age. To be able to eradicate certain unthinkable horrific life changing disorders like Motor Neurone Disease before a child is even born. But wait! Then no Stephen Hawking or at least a different Stephen Hawking. Yeah I know, that is an extreme case.

Vincent – “I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science.”

Other problems could arise. Does actually having the best start in life have the obstacle of damping drive and ambition? Could being an elitist push out other human qualities, like humour or passion. Would an employer look differently on employing a genetically superior candidate over, say a regular Joe Blogs?. Lucky genetic discrimination is illegal in this future but inside Gattaca Aerospace Corporation you have to be way above the best. Yeah they’ll give you a try of the exam but come on, they ain’t gonna let you in, it’s impossible. You ain’t going to space with a dodgy ticker. Unless that is, you have crazy ambition bursting through the roof. You’re willing to take your desire and obsession way higher than anyone would ever go to realise your dreams

Vincent – “They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don’t say that anymore.”

gattaca (1997) ethan hawke genetics dna sci-fi science fiction top of the class

Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is born the usual way. Conceived in the back seat of a Studebaker Avanti! (puts that on my bucket list). Making his arrival in the world with an instant blood test revealing how he will most certainly die! Estimated life span of 30.2 years! With that news looming over Mum and Pops, when younger brother Anton arrives, he’s already been giving an extra hand. Where Vincent is short sighted and slower to develop. Anton on the other hand is tall, good looking and, well, a bit of a knob! Brother rivalry is toxic and as soon as Vincent is old enough, he leaves.

Tagline – Only one criterion – genetic perfection

gattaca (1997) ethan hawke genetics dna sci-fi science fiction movie. line up looking

Vincent dreams daily of reaching the stars. To become an astronaut and travel to Saturn’s moon Titan. He excels in his studies, his determination is skies ahead of everyone. He would be top of the class at Gattaca. His drive is second to none. Yet his genetics let him down, he has and always will, fail the test. He hasn’t a chance. Yet! he is there, top of the class. Looked over admiringly by Director Josef (Gore Vidal). How?

gattaca (1997) jude law genetics dna sci-fi science fiction movie. line up looking

Well your need to sit and watch this impressive thoughtful science fiction film to find out if you haven’t seen it. But let’s say he has a helping hand from Jerome Eugene Morrow (Jude Law). And has to spend his pocket money on pumice stones, scrubbing brushes and a tiny vacuum cleaner. He’s in the NASA like facility, getting closer to his goal. Now don’t fall in love with Irene Cassini (Uma Thurman) and complicate matters? Can Vincent fool a perfection obsessed world and follow his dreams into space?

gattaca (1997) ethan hawke uma thurman car tunnel sci-fi

  • Written and directed by Andrew Niccol. He also wrote The Truman Show.
  • On paper, probably just me, that Ethan, Uma and Jude just all seemed strange choices for this film. Remember thinking that back in 97. So pleased I was completely wrong and the trio bring so much to the subdued dramatic in their performances.
  • Superior supporting cast including Xander Berkeley, Elias Koteas, Tony Shalhoub, and two classics, Alan Arkin and legendary, Ernest Borgnine.
  • Gattaca has a wonderful neo-noir feel with it’s retro throwback to the fifties. The fifties meets the future. Retrofitted cars run on batteries. The cops, Alan Arkin and Loren Dean wear rain coats and trilbys.
  • Check the cars! Oh my days. I always had my heart set on a Rover P6, one day she will be mine. I’ve always loved the French Citroën DS and I’d never seen the Studebaker Avanti before! That car blew my mind then and now!
  • Michael Nyman composes the beautiful soundtrack. It has the same beautiful, sad bittersweetness that 2016 Arrival has. Incidentally the main theme flowing through is called The Arrival. It’s stunning.

gattaca (1997) ethan hawke genetics dna sci-fi science fiction movie

Got to revisit Gattaca on Friday on Netflix with my daughter Nyah and she very much enjoyed it, result. I’d first seen it on release and just can’t believe it’s near on 21 years old now! Guessing it shows how much I’d loved it and the impact it must of had on me because I remembered it all so well. The vibe of the future world is extremely well filmed inside the cold complex of Gattaca. Minimalist with the feeling of a future world not that far away in time. The emotionless characters slowly seep out feelings and fears as the film unfolds. Never has a film had such a sombre mood and depressing nature but still beautifully captures and pushes the human thoughts of follow your dreams. Not sure that last sentence made any sense but hopefully you got my gist. hehe.

Yep Gattaca is still as impressive today as I remembered…. Mikey


11 thoughts on “Gattaca (1997) Only Genetic Perfection To Fly To The Stars

    • Many thanks Gary. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know much about Gore Vidal apart from I know his name and that he’s been about a bit! I need to go do some homework… It’s a wonderful film and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Great soundtrack too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review, Mikey! I remember watching this film back in the day with my youngest sister but I haven’t seen it since. Being the only member of my family with a VCR, I inherited the entire family’s collection of VHS tapes and I think Gattaca was one of them! I’ll have to check. I definitely want to rewatch the film now that I’m older/wiser and can understand the plot a lot better. I remember finding it incredibly grim and depressing as an already gloomy and depressed teenager. I wonder if watching it now as an adult would be more depressing or less depressing? Lol. I’ll just have to rewatch it and find out!

    What did Nyah think of the film? It must be great getting to share things like this with her!

    Thanks for this excellent and entertaining review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You remember so well. Yep it sure has that underlying deep depressing vibe to it. The soundtrack doesn’t help! It’s beautiful and melancholy. That bittersweet sadness, like I say, like Arrival from a few years back. Still it has a deep message of chasing your dreams. Might be a bit extreme but still an excellent message.
      Nyah loved it and even commented on my write up which nearly burst the Hoover Dam but I kept it together and smiled as I wiped my eyes out of sight. LOL. Yeah have a massive list to share her and my son. Though he’s not so interested quite yet, (I do catch him at times though) just means I’ll be going back and revisiting then all again.
      The Day The Earth Stood Still I’m hoping soon and Streetcar Called Desire could be next. (She doing that for A-Level)
      I hope you get to watch Gattaca again soon. It holds up very well and I’m sure you will love it…. Thank you Emily… Mikey

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember loving Gattaca when was released in the 90s. I was a teenager back then and there was something in the story I could relate to at the time about the struggle of trying to fit in. The swimming scene is my favorite part. Thanks for reminding me about Nyman’s score and yes I agree the film raised all kinds of questions about the direction we are heading as human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a surprising one. Really intelligent, extremely well acted, great cast and sets. It’s really well liked but still manages to duck under the radar. I don’t think it did that well at the box office though I imagine it evened things up on DVD release. Ernie great in his small part. Very recommended. It’s on Netflix if you have it.

      Liked by 1 person

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