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Film Review - Gattaca
Here is a true gem of a movie. Have you ever read a really great science fiction novel? You know, one that's not space opera. Gattaca embodies what is best about mainstream science fiction literature. It has at its kernel a premise; the kernel is surrounded by a great collection of characters who have been completely fleshed out with motives. These characters are plunged into a plot, that if you think about it, could happen. No bug-eyed monsters, and very few special effects. Holy cow! This is a real movie!
Ethan Hawke plays Vincent. He's a naturally conceived human, in a world of people who were not naturally conceived. The world says he should be dead by the time he's 30, he will have attention deficit disorder, and short temper. The world says he's not good enough.
Vincent can't accept the limitations of society and assumes the identity of Jerome, a generic "10" who failed a suicide attempt. Vincent is far more than society might have dreamed. He's the best Gattaca can produce for the upcoming mission to Titan. He'll go into space if he can only keep people from finding out who he really is.
This is a great little premise. There are lots of messages here about deciding for oneself what one can do. So many people in our society decide to accept what others decide they should be. So much potential is wasted. Along with this is a layer of prejudice, this time not on color of skin or nationality, but on one's genetics. (People can even decide the suitability of a mate with a single strand of hair.)
The duo of Vincent and Jerome is a great contrast. Vincent is driven by the pressure to prove he is more than the bottom of the barrel, and Jerome was broken by the pressure of being "perfect" and unable to make a mistake.
We can only pray that Gattaca makes a pile of money so more movies with real plots and real characters will be made.
Directed by Andrew M. Niccol
Released in 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo