Review of Andrew Niccol's film
The story is set in "the not-too-distant future", a chilling expression which infers that its author is certain that not only people are evolving towards the society described in his visionary film, but also that it is happening very fast. In this future, most children are perfectioned via genetic manipulation while still embryos. Segregation in all ways of life is not based on gender or ethnicity any more but on genetic material. Those born naturally, either because the parents could not afford or refused scientific intervention, are the new underclass. Vincent is one of them. His dreams, his passion and ambition for space travel are doomed to failure because no matter how hard he works and studies, no employer will hire an 'invalid' as anything else than a cleaner. However, his determination seems boundless and he is ready to attempt anything to challenge his fate.
A deeply pessimistic vision of the future of genetics which unfortunately also seems sadly realistic and highly probable. What are the odds that a scientific invention, however strong its beneficial potential, will be used for good deeds and not to cause more oppression for a change? This film questions the inescapability of fate and celebrates human will and the refusal to give up one's dreams in the face of adversity. The story also asserts the superiority of the soul, of the individual over conformity and perfection. The futuristic universe of Gattaca is cold and sterile. All the workers are as efficient and deprived of individuality as the computers they use. Love and humanity have given way to a machine-like way of life, in which people choose their life companions, friends or employees according to their genetic potential solely.
The photography is beautiful. Most colours in Gattaca are cold and neutral tones as to emphasise the asceptic nature of this future, while the scenes shot outside are most often bathed in a soft golden...