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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie is one of the finest in its category, with a cleverly knitted
plot of threads of sci-fi, drama, irony and the human spirit to
endeavor and achieve against all odds.
The chemistry between the two Jeromes is great, with both the actors putting in credible performances. The twists in the end, with Anton and the doctor are well inducted in the story and justly highlight the accomplishment of the genetically inferior protagonist.
Not taking anything away from the brilliance of the director, there are several oddities in the plot like the inability of Eugene to get artificial limbs in the supposedly futuristic age or the inhuman treatment affected to genetically inferior people even though there is a mention that genetic discrimination was illegal ( especially the way they are treated by the police during the investigation reminds one of Jews in the Holocaust ). And you can hardly expect space travelers to don three piece suits while boarding space ships, no matter how advanced technology might be. Another point to note is the contrasting behavior of the detective while questioning an elite employee ( Eugene ), when he started apologizing for a mere offensive remark and his unapologetic boldness while hinting an accusation at the Director of the firm! Minor oddities not counting, the film was a refreshing experience and a certain to make it to the best 'hope' films of all time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Gattaca" is the only movie that made ME cry in recent years. I could hardly believe that it is not in IMDb TOP 250. This reminds me Will Smith's "The Pursuit of Happiness", the only difference is that Vincent was BORN "in-valid" and had nothing to do with it. Psychological value of this movie is even more than IMDB#1 "Shawshank Redemption's" one. It proves that aspiring man can reach his goal one way or another. I saw a lot of interpretations of that subject, and I consider this one the best. The subject is : "A man CAN but MUSTN'T". The movie doesn't give a chance to all that downers who says "I simply can't do this" or "The odds are always against me". Imagine that EVERY SINGLE DAY Big Brother is watching you and you don't have a right to mistake. Wrong blood or urine will simply terminate you. It is much more difficult than your everyday job, huh?
This film is about a boy named Vincent Anton (Ethan Hawke) who is born into a world where humans are created perfect before they are born. Using genetics and technology doctors are able to stop the child from EVER developing things such as: obesity, depression, violent moods, and even heart failure. The entire point is that this new generation this "perfect race" are not only given the chance of living a risk- free life. They are handed everything on a silver platter! The main character (Vincent) wants to be an astronaut for a living. This job is only given to the "new generation" I don't want to spoil anything so I think that's enough of a synopsis. This movie is incredible! It is, without a doubt, the best science fiction movie I have ever seen. The script is clever, the characters are consistent, the story line, while borrowing a few elements from previously made films, is original. And then there is the movie's score (background music) OH MY JEEBS! WHAT A SCORE! This is an almost flawless film from beginning to end. While Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman are good in their respective roles, the real winner here is Jude Law. His performance gave me goose bumps. WAY TO GO JUDE!
A fascinating futuristic tale with a dire dystopia warning, it looks oddly beautiful, with a yellow colour scheme giving a glow to everything in front of the camera. As for the film itself, it is full of interesting ideas, and at least for the first half hour or so, these are well explored. The film unfortunately becomes lost in a murder plot towards the middle, and this stops it from exploring the most fascinating parts in more detail. Even so, it manages to be relatively gripping, and there is more than just the murder plot that is not all so good about the film. Michael Nyman's music is simply beautiful, but it is overplayed, and while on the subject of excesses, the sea symbolism could have been played down a bit more. The narration is not the best, neither is Thurman's performance, yet the film always manages to sustain a nature of enticement. The sets are great to look at, and Jude Law gives off an intriguing early performance. If not perfect science fiction, this is certainly worth a look.
Everything about this film is just right - it's both accessible and intelligent. Visually it's exceptional and the casting is perfect. The Superbit DVD is one of the best I've seen and heard. When the mall-movies are wearing you down - watch this and have your faith in movies restored.
Gattaca explores a world where designer genetically modified babies spurn the next wave of human life eventually turning into the brilliant people of a new generation. Ethan Hawke's character, Vincent Freeman, wasn't as lucky' however, and in the 1990's was born as a then normal baby out of love by his parents. His brother on the other hand was given a genetic head start in life and seemed superior to Vincent in almost every way. Freeman's dreams of becoming a pilot in space and exploring planets are in tatters however, as who wants to take on somebody that has human imperfections. Not letting this change his ambitions, Freeman takes on the seemingly impossible task of becoming somebody else in order to make his ambitions a reality.
However, the changing world of Gattaca ensures that everybody is on record and that Freeman has to not only be somebody else in appearance but also must fake blood samples and urine samples as well as keep himself groomed to a state of paranoia so that no evidence of the real him can be found. Gattaca is excellent in almost every way exploring human instincts and emotions, whilst also highlighting principles and ambitions and the struggle to fit into a perfect society. The film is even more poignant in the now, as the issues of genetically modified babies are prevalent. Hawke's performance is also brilliant and Jude Law portraying a crippled man who could have had it all is also fine.
Uma Thurman gives an accomplished performance as Irene Cassini, a worker who sort of suspects something is out of order, but who goes along with her instincts of not saying anything anyway. Gattaca is a triumph and most scenes provoke deep thought. Some of the more emotional scenes are between the brothers, as the battle of pride takes them on the edge quite often especially as they play chicken with each other on the dangerous waves of the sea to prove what is better natural humans or modified beings.
A film doesn't need to be independent, nor DE-pendent upon special effects
to shine a mirror back on society's future for what it is (and what it has
the capability to evolve to), should the course of events proceed
I think the film moved me so much since I guess I have lofty goals about employers myself, and yet would NEVER be considered genetically sufficient enough to work there, should the "entrance" requirements become so stringent as DNA testing. Perhaps I empathized more with Ethan's character, or just appreciated a simple noir thriller, but nonetheless, each character seemed as real to me as if they were sitting next to me. Uma in particular astonished me with her apparently dormant ability to appear "cultured" & restrained (so who was that in Batman & Robin?).
Some people may have concerns that the film has too many open questions, yet the only question I found myself asking was, "what do all these people do on the weekend ... or do they even get weekends off?". :-)
This film represents what amazing film writing can actually do. This film has absolutely amazing dialogue and this film is not held by one actor but three. Jude Laws performance is mesmerising as he allows the viewer to understand his pain and it brings the 'human reality' to this picture, as you normally feel this film is just to much like 'Playing God' it doesnt harm the story but it does enhance it and its credibility. If you cannot lose yourself into this film then there isn't very much hope. Fantastic, Ethan Hawke proves his fame is well deserved and if you enjoyed his performance in this film you must have a look at Training Day. Top 3 film easily.
"Gattaca" is intended as a cautionary tale about genetic engineering. The
film takes place in a future world, not too far removed, where destiny is
determined by genes: all babies (except for a few "accidents," known as
"invalids") are genetically engineered to near-perfection, people are hired
on the basis of their genetic profile, and the imperfect products of
accidental births are relegated to low-status menial jobs. Our hero,
Vincent (Ethan Hawke), is an "invalid" who wants to rise above his genetic
destiny. So, in an elaborate scheme, he buys the identity of Eugene Morrow,
a genetically perfect athlete crippled in an accident, and gets the job he
always dreamed about in a space-exploration program. Complications ensue as
Vincent/Eugene is threatened with exposure and, at the same time, becomes
involved in a risky romance with his beautiful co-worker Irene (Uma
One problem with the film, in my view, is that the model of the future society in "Gattaca" was not sufficiently well-thought out. The narration (voice-over by Vincent) informs us near the start of the film that genetic discrimination ("genoism") is technically illegal but companies get away with genetic profiling under the guise of testing blood and urine for drugs. Yet throughout the rest of the film, the second-class citizenship of the "invalid" is taken for granted by the legal authorities. Nor does it make much sense that people would be hired for challenging and demanding jobs simply on the basis of a genetic test, with no interview and no testing of skills -- as Vincent/Eugene is hired at Gattaca. Even in a gene-obsessed society people would know that you can't always judge a worker on the basis of his or her POTENTIAL, which is all the genetic information can tell us!
The message of the film is that biology is not destiny; it is statistical probability, but the probability can be transcended by the individual spirit and will. It's a good message, no question about it. But its value is undercut by the fact that the futuristic model of genetic determinism challenged by the film is highly improbable and muddled.
The problems of the film are compounded by a weak murder-mystery element tacked onto the plot, and by the dull and bland acting of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. The most impressive and moving performance by far is that of Jude Law as the real Eugene Morrow -- arrogant, self-pitying, self-destructive, cynical, and yet in the end capable, it turns out, of true nobility.
Visually, "Gattaca" is powerful and striking; the film does a great job of creating the cold, sterile, inhuman look of an inhuman futuristic society. Particularly fascinating is the scene in which Vincent/Eugene, out with Irene for an evening on the town, loses his contact lenses; of course, Irene doesn't know that he has very poor eyesight. Seeing nothing but a blur of flashing light, he has to cross the street and then pretend to look at a beautiful sight Irene wants to show him.
Unfortunately, the visuals often end up overwhelming the story and the characters. "Gattaca" is worth a look, particularly for those who like futuristic films, but it does not live up to the importance of its subject.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The idea of dealing with the issue of the century was timely, and this
is probably why this film receives over 200 comments and over 10,000
votes today at IMDb. The issue regarding genetic engineering does bring
us realistic concern, and hence raises a lot of questions in our mind.
So we naturally expect some insight from this film. We don't get any.
What the film does, instead, is merely to re-phrase the questions which
we are already asking.
In addition, the plot was oh so lame and boring. Having genetically modified male and "organic" male as brothers was a brilliant concept.
But alas, the film spoiled this and reduced it to a swimming contest (a very minor spoiler). Swapping identity, again, was another plot which could have brought to fore a lot of issues, but the story dealt with this as if a 10 year old writer-wanna-be would have handled. And as pointed out by others, the murder case was nothing but a mess. And lastly, what in God's green earth was Uma Thurman doing in this film??? It would have been fun, at least, if she was the killer (another minor spoiler, I guess).
If you've never had any thoughts on genetic engineering, this film may leave you with disturbing questions. To that end, the film deserves credit. But if you've already had hopes or doubts about this issue, there's nothing new in this. Not even the beauty of Uma will be enough to keep you entertained.
If you're going to tamper with a provocative theme, at least try to tackle the issue rather than just describing it!!!
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