Gattaca (1997)


This review shouldn’t contain any spoilers, but you should watch this being completely ignorant of the plot line, so go watch it now.

Gattaca is a film by Andrew Niccol featuring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law, released in 1997. It takes place in the “not-too-distant future”, in the USA, and tells the story of a “God’s child” in a world where eugenics make him an “In-Valid”, a less-than-perfect human with less-than-perfect genes, a lower class of beings that the genetic elite decided to use for menial jobs.

This is not your ordinary science-fiction film with special effects and very impressive technology, the technology isn’t a lot more evolved than ours, and the style of most of the objects in the film is “retro”, with architecture from the twentieth century and cars with a fifties look, the homogeneous clothing reminded me of the thirties, even.

The theme of transhumanism and eugenics are dominant throughout the story and the ostracism the “elite” exhibits towards humans that have not been artificially enhanced is a relevant and refreshing take on prejudice.

This film is an impressive tale about ambition and society’s resistance to change or abnormality, too, Ethan Hawke’s character is the complete opposite of Jude Law’s: perseverant and willful, filled with dreams of space travel, while Jude Law plays a cynic whose demise is quite striking intellectually more than physically even though he’s an alcoholic cripple.

The script is multi-leveled and the plot is impressively detailed, and unsurprisingly more consistent than the usual Hollywood flick. There are moments with incredible suspense, the flash-backs aren’t abused, and watching it was a calming experience overall, and encouraged reflection.