Notes: Title based on the beginning of the DNA sequence.
The storyis set in a not so distant future. Eugenics is very common and is used to determine everything. Children are rarely conceived without eugenics, and those who are so, are considered to be easy pray to diseases and are heavily discriminated. In a world where your DNA matters more than your cv, a young man named Vincent Freeman dreams of working for Gattaca Aerospace Corporation and, eventually to go to space. But he is an in-valid, since he was conceived “naturally” and is forbidden to take such a job. Vincent is still a brilliant man and decides to prove that he can fool the system and obtain what he wants. He finds a donor, a now wheelchair-bound ex-swimmer named Jerome Eugene Morrow and he uses his dna and samples to get hired by Gattaca and to evade the continuous testings while he proves to be incredibly competent and physically fit in a way nobody would expect from an invalid. Things start to get problematic when one of Gattaca’s higher-ups is found murdered just a week before Vincent’s space flight.
Besides the stellar cast, this movie has many merits and details that make it worth watching. Let’s start with the theme, which is compelling and interestingly developed. The plot is well handled: it’s nothing groundbreaking, to be honest, but it does not make the movie boring, because the most interesting elements rely on character interactions and suspence, as we await for the moment in which, we fear, Vincent’s truth will be unveiled. The relationship between Vincent and Jerome is interesting, as they both depend on each other. And of course Vincent has a younger brother, Anthony, who was eugenetically conceived and therefore, the confrontation between the two is unavoidable. The genetically perfect Jerome is a wreck of a person, now a reject of society for not being perfect anymore (remember the wheelchair?). All the names have some reference to their status, Vincent meaning “victorious” and Eugene meaning “born well” (with good genes), and that without considering the obvious ones like Vincent’s last name (Freeman).
The whole aesthetic of the movie has been prepared with extreme care. Cars, buildings and clothes are reminiscent of a retro, ‘60s aesthetic, but with a futuristic spin that make this movie visually unique. The technology used by the characters feels modern and old, in a sort of uchronic feel. Everyone is impossibly beautiful - again, genetics - to the point of looking like propaganda. Thus, looking like a dystopia. The story told by this movie is a good example of why dystopias are possible, but utopias are not possible (and by definition). Any utopia would be based on the exclusion of someone deemed unfit to be part of it, and would therefore not be an utopia. Which is always an interesting lesson to remember.
I have but one (1) Gattaca Thought, and that Thought is WHY WASN’T GATTACA ABOUT JEROME EUGENE MORROW, THE LONE COMPELLING CHARACTER IN THE WHOLE FILM?
I know we all supposedly love an underdog but Jerome was literally BRED TO BE PERFECT and when he wasn’t perfect he walked in front of a car, and when that didn’t take he sold himself as a DNA vending machine to someone who simultaneously became him and became his only friend, then drained himself dry of blood and urine samples and skin cells and hair and COMMIT SUICIDE BECAUSE JEROME MORROW WAS GOING TO SPACE AND HE, JEROME MORROW, WAS LEFT TRAPPED AND ALONE ONCE HE’D FULFILLED THE PURPOSE HE’D BEEN BOUGHT FOR!!!!!
and it turns out it wasn’t even based on a book, so I’m never gonna get my fix. anyone got a 500,000 word, high literary introspection, OG J. Morrow fanfiction knocking about??? SEND IT MY GODDAMN WAY