About the writer: The writer of GATTACA is Andrew Niccol, a talented New Zealander who also wrote "The Truman Show". The audiences and critics recognized GATTACA as one of the most intelligent science fiction films of the 1990s.
Quick take: GATTACA is a science-fiction- drama about a genetically caste society in the future where a person's genetic make up determines the social class and future. A natural born man tries to succeed in travelling to space although his imperfect DNA.
Connection between the movie and the society today: Today one of the most interesting and the (most) often discussed subjects in society is the genetic engineering. Doctors and scientists think to have a research assignment because they have the possibility and the know-how in order to cure and prevent diseases and in order to discover more about the biological system of a human being. This is the one hand, on the other hand there are arguments against interventions in nature. Religious people and others decline genetic engineering due to moral and ethical issues. Should human beings create other human beings after their model and imagination and act like God???
Plot: Vincent Freeman is one of the last "natural" born babies in a genetically-enhanced world where society is divided up into "valids" (genetically engineered) and "in-valids" (natural born). Vincent is supposed to die at the age of 30 because of a congenital heart condition. In-valids are discriminated and fated to low-level occupations while valids qualify for positions at prestigious corporations such as GATTACA, a space company. In order to achieve his lifelong desire and life's aim Vincent assumes the identity of Jerome Eugene Morrow, a valid who was crippled in an accident and works at GATTACA. He uses samples of Jerome's hair, skin, blood, urine in order to pass the gene-tests, e.g. for entering the company. At GATTACA the mission director is killed. By chance an eyelash from Vincent is found at the scene of the crime. The policemen, one of them is Vincent's valid brother Anton Freeman, start the investigations and Vincent lives in fear to be discovered. While working at GATTACA Vincent falls in love with Irene who loves him and who discovers his real identity. Finally Vincent subverts the society's social and biological barriers and travels to space. Jerome commits suicide.
Analysis: GATTACA as a dystopian movie shows a merciless and discriminating elite-society where imperfection and mistakes are not allowed. GATTACA can be seen as a forecast or a warning to everyone, giving a push to think about the consequences of genetic engineering. By reading the taglines (headlines) you already get an impression about the film's plot: -There's no gene for the human spirit! -How do you hide when you are running from yourself? -Only one criterion: Genetic perfection! -Only the strong succeeds! GATTACA is a movie about the excessive intervention in nature and the discrimination against those who came into being by love and not in a laboratory. It is shown to what the wish of improvement and optimisation of the human being can lead. In GATTACA we find several hints to genetic engineering. The company's name GATTACA is composed of the four letter code of the DNA-nucleotids and the staircase in Jerome's house is like a double helix of the DNA. The example of Jerome shows that perfect genes are not equivalent to happiness and success. In sports he was only second best. Jerome was a valid but because of the fact that he was crippled in an accident and now is paralized he became in-valid. He does not succeed in life. Vincent, what means winner or victor is the proof that ancestry and parentage are not that important and that the human being achieves hisher aims by willpower. Vincent has not a perfect DNA and he is expected to die young because of his congenital heart condition but he shows strength, perseverance, tenacity and heartfelt humanity, warmth and sincerity. He saves his valid brother's life twice who outdoes him at nearly everything, when they have dangerous swimming competitions although he risks his own life. Vincent subverts the society's barriers and overcomes his DNA-imperfection.
Actors, target group, a movie for kids? The movie has a "star-filling" with Ethan Hawke as Vincent, Jude Law as Jerome Morrow and Uma Thurman as Irene. The actors identify with their roles and play very well. The movie is rousing and interesting for both men and women, perhaps not for kids because they do not think about ethical and moral issues and do not have the background knowledge about cloning or gene research. Kids do not think of the possible consequences in future and could be afraid when they see how society could be like. For teenagers the movie is interesting because they should think and reflect about subjects treated in GATTACA. In the movie there is a murderer and you see a bloody corpse. Jerome commits suicide and you see people drinking and smoking, but there is not much brutality, violence and no sex-scenes.
My opinion: I really like the movie and the plot because the subject interests me. After having watched the movie I thought about genetic engineering and the pro's and con's.
I was impressed by the message of the movie that you can achieve your dream by fighting hard for it and that Vincent acted ethically in an in-human environment. For me GATTACA is a parable (parabola?) of discrimination in this case against genetic "inferior" subjects. I associated it with the discrimination against religion or race in our society.
So my advice to YOU: Watch GATTACA and form your own opinion!!!
Review by volley_katha from the Internet Movie Database.