Gattaca Essay

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As a society, each and every one of us possesses an inner strength that aids us to overcome the impediments in life that we may face. This inner strength is what we call our human spirit.

In the film Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol the power of the human spirit is exemplified as the prominent theme, presented through the characterisation of Vincent Freeman, the protagonist of the film. Vincent is a young man living in a world which discriminates against one’s genes, and unfortunately for Vincent he possesses “Inferior Genes”. Through the verbal techniques of dialogue and narration and the visual features of camera angles and lighting Vincent’s inferiority is exposed. Through some of these same techniques as well as the technique of music we see Vincent overcome his adversities and reach the dreams his genes had denied. The character of Vincent embodies the vital theme Niccol intends to leave with the audience – “There is no gene for the human spirit”.

It is during the early flash back sequences of the film we learn of Vincent’s dream of space travel, and the genetic inferiority preventing him from reaching the stars. Vincent was conceived through what we today know to be the conventional method, into a world where genetic engineering had become the norm. Dialogue is utilised by Andrew Niccol at Vincent’s birth in order to establish his inferiority. At birth Vincent’s cause of death and life expectancy is already predetermined through a small sample of his blood. “Heart condition, 99 percent probability. Early fatal potential. Life expectancy 30.2 years”.

Succeeding his birth is a part of the flashback sequence where Niccol utilises camera angles to integrate the notion of Vincent’s inferiority. Visiting a kindergarten with his parents he is rejected due to his risk of injury. As the gate shuts, a close-up shot of the then young Vincent clutching the gate which appears to replicate the bars of a prison-cell reinforces Vincent being trapped by his...
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