Gattaca (1997)

One of those sci-fi thrillers that actually mean something in today’s world.

With one eye on his lifelong dream of working in outer space, a genetically flawed but determined “In-Valid” (Ethan Hawke) hires a DNA broker (Tony Shalhoub) to help him obtain more desirable genetic material from a paralyzed man (Jude Law). In the process, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful “Valid” (Uma Thurman) with a heart defect.

One of the things about this film that may throw a lot of people at first sight, is that it does have an odd premise, and weird future of the world. But I can tell you one thing, do not let that spoil you, its something completely different.

I’m always against these odd sci-fi films cause quite frankly I feel like their all the same formula. But Gattaca here is an exception cause it poses the same question about idenities but in a slightly less harmful way. We get the story front up about this person and what he wants to do, and we see his whole story through his eyes and we get the sense of this person’s tragic life.

I liked the film most importantly for its message that it shows very well. It shows what our world is fast becoming and the lack of privacy we will have roughly 20 years from now. I like this movie however, because of the point it gets across so well: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It shows us that even with all the up-and-coming technology, intelligence and security improvements, one who is strong enough willed can still “beat the system”. I think the tag line for this movie says it all “There’s no gene for the human spirit”.

I think the film would have worked better as just a character study drama than the little thriller pieces it added on. Randomly by the end we had these slight bolts of tension that I don’t think quite worked, mostly cause the whole film was just based on watching these characters. Also, the film does get a bit slow in points, mostly just about them talking all this futuristic junk, but this did kind of break down my attention span.

The most engaging part of this movie here is the strong characters, along with the performances that inhabit them. Ethan Hawke does good job as playing our main protagonist, who in every way beats the system and tries to achieve his ultimate goal, and that comes out very well in this performance. The real shining star in the film is a younger Jude Law, who adds a lot of pizazz to his flat character, and makes him a lot more interesting that you want to see more of him. The only thing I wondered about him was if science was so intelligent why couldn’t he walk and still in a wheelchair? Just a question.

Consensus: With obvious little plot holes, Gattaca does a superb job at creating engaging and interesting characters that make this sci-fi trip a lot more believable, with a future that we may not be able to overcome, mostly due to the direction we are heading.


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