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Interesting Sci-fi Parable about Destiny

Author: akash_sebastian from India
30 August 2015

In a near-future eugenics-based world, where one's genetic superiority defines their ease of success in society, Andrew Niccol's 'Gattaca' explores the story of two men who have been affected by it; too much was expected of one and he succumbs to pressure, and nothing much was expected of the other and he tries to go against those expectations to achieve his dream. In this hypothetical gene-discriminatory society, the film's essential theme is of one's value and destiny; whether we define it or someone/something does, ultimately, it's upto us.

The casting is good, and the acting is commendable. Though it's a science-fiction film, it didn't need any special effects to explore its themes; it made use of the well-designed sets and captivatingly-coloured cinematography.

The ideas explored in the film are intriguing and thought-provoking, but other than the lead character Vincent, whose description would take five sentences, other characters' descriptions would take just one. Especially, Irene (Uma Thurman), of whom we get to know nothing. Most of the movie is a cat and mouse chase, with characters dancing around the lines of morals and ethics, not that it wasn't entertaining.

Overall, it's a film which is firm in its stand against discrimination, and inspires people to against all odds to fulfill their passion; an interesting sci-fi parable about destiny.

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"You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back."

Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
18 August 2015

There's a subtlety in the design of "Gattaca" that really showcases the narrative's dramatic punch. Even with a modest budget, all of the locations really pop and the '60s retro futurism is a very striking look. And the dystopia it posits is understated, but still very scary; a future that sees science manipulating nature, where people with defects suffer genetic discrimination. It feels so close to becoming a reality.

But the movie's real power (aside from the awful burden of perfection) lies in Ethan Hawke's dogged struggle to pass himself off as a "valid" to go into space. Sheer force of will, that's all he's got. And it's the kind of laser focus you just don't see every day. Beneath its cold veneer, this movie's got genuine heart. I swear, I can watch this movie if ever I've feeling down, and I always feel better. It's that kind of story. Both thought-provoking and soul-enriching.

Hits me right where I live.


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Simple Is Complex

Author: Javier Pizarro from United States
14 July 2015

It is common that filmmakers, when trying to create a 'thought- provoking' movie for audiences, they create extremely complex story lines and themes for the movie. These 'complex' themes and story lines, however, often end up lacking logic and have no connection to reality whatsoever, as their main focus are fictional elements showing their 'complexity' and forget to show any humane themes, which are simple.

Gattaca indeed takes place in a fictional world, a future, but the focus of this movie its not in 'complex' fictional elements but rather on it's humane characters and how different situations affect their nature. In this case, the fictional elements are merely shown to illustrate the different situations the characters find themselves in and do not take over the whole movie.

By not attempting to create anything complex, the filmmakers achieve complexity by simply showing reality, as reality is always more complex and shocking than fiction. Gattaca is a success, managing to show simple humane themes through science fiction, making justice for both things.

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Orwell meets Alger

Author: Fluke_Skywalker from United States
6 July 2015

'Gattaca' is that rare bit of speculative science fiction that never grandstands or feels preachy. It has the confidence in its story--and storytelling--to simply let the viewer think for themselves. As a result, the connection is stronger, more personal and the message resonates more clearly.

With its combination of noir and retro futurism, 'Gattaca' is certainly a beautiful, but cold film. There's a mounting tension, but the emotional needle rarely ever moves.

Despite this, and despite a few glaring plot contrivances, 'Gattaca' is still an interesting and thought provoking work.

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School review

Author: snankrum-90716 from United States
26 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The main characters in the film Gattaca (Niccol, 97) are Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman, Uma Thurman as Irene Cassini, and Jude Law as Jerome Eugene Morrow. Gattaca's theme is Moral Philosophical Riddle, Social Problems, and a little bit of Human Dignity. The scene that best supports these themes would be in the beginning of the film, Vincent's parents conceive him out of love for one another the "unnatural" way of doing things, but the father did not want him to take his first name after the doctors tested his blood and gave all the conditions he would have and his expected death date. So the next time around they decide to do things the more "natural" way and leave no chance to the success of their second child, another son but with a more promising future, and he would take the first name of the father, Anton. This shows that there is a lack of human dignity in that you are already classed before you even get a chance to make a name for yourself. At birth you are sorted into either a Valid, or Invalid. The Invalid's go to Gattaca (97) to work as Janitors, while the valid work on space missions, or do other important missions. The invalids are never even given a chance to prove themselves in the valid world. All you need to pass an interview to get a job in the space missions is to give a blood sample and you are in. This is an example of how the social problems are prevalent in the film. Moral Philosophical riddle comes in when Vincent an invalid decides to impostor himself as Jerome, a crippled valid, so that he can land a job with the space missions, and fly space ships. This is the gray area that allows an invalid to be successful in a valid world.

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Great movie, so-so trailer, awful name

Author: mj68538
6 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't see this at the cinema when it came out because initially I thought it was a remake of Battlestar Galactica, and then when I saw the trailer I thought it was a remake of Saturn 3.

But having just watched it on the TV (there was nothing else on) I now know I was completely wrong.

Some interesting concepts in there about your genes deciding your future (but then they always have, e.g. there's not many fighter pilots with glasses or ugly models), and some nicely done plot points and small twists. And there are some truly great moments when Jude Law and Ethan Hawke are together. Not quite so sure about some of Uma Thurman's moments though, or the motivation for her character (why wouldn't she dump a liar and cheat in it, especially if he manhandled her on their 2nd date as much as Ms Thurman's acting would suggest).

But one of the best things about the film imo was it's ending. Both uplifting (Vincent attains his goal despite his genetic disadvantages) and sad (Jerome's death) at the same time, with one final undercurrent... During one of Vincent's speeches to Irene he says his heart is already 10,000 beats overdue (for failure) and his final monologue about leaving the earth suggests he thinks he's not going to make it back.

But despite all the good things in this film, nobody's going to see it if they get the wrong first impression, which is presumably why it bombed.

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your willpower never betray you

Author: egorkamilev from Russia
29 March 2015

Few weeks ago I've watched the science fiction film "Gattaca", which was released in 1997. I think "Gattaca" is one of the best drama films, which I've ever seen. First of all, this film shows a not so far future, where genetic engineering is common part of life. It is a "perfect" world, where no place for imperfect people. The plot of the story is simple, the hero wasn't born in a test tube, that is why he has disadvantages in the "perfect" world, but also he has a huge dream and willpower. The story is extremely intelligent.It is very provocative film and it makes you wonder. In conclusion, I would like to say, we all have ever doubted yourself. And if you think that you haven't place in this world then look "Gattaca". Look at hero who defeated the whole world without destroying. He defeated himself. Despite the fact that he isn't perfect. Just live. Because your willpower never betray you.

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Shame this movie wandered into space

Author: stephen7272 from United Kingdom
12 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1. The topic of genetic discrimination might be more topical in the future but it wasn't in 1997, which is why it flopped at the box office.

2. Genetic science has moved on since this movie was made and proved some of the film's assumptions to be untrue. We all share the same genetic material but some genes are turned on in some people and turned off in other people. One of the goals of modern science is the ability to turn those genes on and off at will.

3. There isn't much acting to do. Jude Law had the hardest role to play and played it well.

4. Several plot flaws such as why don't the authorities have everyone's home address? Why can't they detect alcohol and nicotine in Vincent's bloodstream?

5. If Vincent is concerned about genetic faults holding back his ambitions he should watch a movie like Precious to truly understand the effects of physical discrimination.

6. Why would anyone want to go to Titan? There is far less there than on Earth.

7. Had nobody noticed that many of the greatest scientists were physically imperfect (e.g. Einstein and Stephen Hawking). So there is no relationship between physical attributes and mental attributes. In fact, physical imperfection may result in mental perfection.

8. Great to see Alan Arkin again. Just a hint of his Catch 22 style. Such an underused actor.

9. I suppose this movie appeals to self conscious pretty 20-somethings who feel that a blemish on their skin is a negative attribute.

10. Is it true that physical appearance holds people back in their working careers? The studies show it does. Unfortunately, the script failed to go there. It could have but instead it wandered into space.

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High Concept, Average Execution

Author: Ryan F from United States
12 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gattaca is based on the idea that some people are genetically engineered to superiority. It follows Vincent, a man who poses as someone with better DNA to qualify for a trip to space. This is incredibly important to Vincent and he risks his life for it, but it flows in a somewhat awkward way.

I wanted more focus on the relationship between Ethan Hawke and Jude Law. Often movies are criticized for unneeded love interests. I often disagree with this, but Gattaca didn't need a love story. It added nothing and actually distracted from the main point. The good moments of seeing Vince as a character were bogged down by the overly-present score. How prevalent music is in a movie is a directorial decision, but it was another distraction here.

The ending was almost exactly what you'd expect. Pull out of this review now like a mofo if you don't want to hear it. Vince tries and tries over the course of the film to get to space, when he finally does, not much has changed. He's the same guy. His lover is left back on Earth, but he'll just be back in a year, right? The only real sadness at the end is Jude Law's suicide, but that isn't all that important since there were only a few scenes that looked at him as a character. But those scenes don't do a whole lot to make Vincent or the audience care about Jerome.

While Gattaca is a fairly well done movie, it has its flaws. Too much time is spent on Vincent's childhood and a whole lot of focus is put on his brother. When it turns out that his brother is alive, nothing is changed. Even Uma Thurman's character was another one of the things that added fat to a movie that began skinny. This movie doesn't run at 100% all the way through, but it's not bad.

Gattaca felt too movie-like. It had its tropes it stuck to. It's not bad for a story to have tropes common to its genre, but hey, form over content right? The form of Gattaca was off. In spite of all of this, there was a decent movie sticking its head out of the flak-filled water. It hangs in the space above okay and below pretty good. Gattaca is enjoyable, but don't expect any stellar storytelling. This movie shot for the moon, but landed somewhere in between that's alright, but not amazing, but pretty good, I guess.

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Thoughtful, Elegant Architecture and Actors

Author: mabry-bob from Conroe, Texas
4 January 2015

Tense, socially aware, with beautiful architecture and actors, reflecting on racial discrimination and the dangers of genetic engineering. Understated, hardly any violence. Like In Time, but far less melodramatic and less contrived, which, by the way, was also written and directed by Gattaca writer Andrew Niccol. He is a very imaginative guy. Gattaca was his first. The Truman Show was his second script. Number three: S1m0ne about the problems arising from a CGI "perfect woman," which he wrote and directed "In Time." Complaints: Ms. Thurman is so understated, it is as if she sleep-walked through principal photography. The clothing of spacepersons on their way to the launch is strange. At least one major plot issue is resolved summarily and off- handedly.

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