Gattaca Essay: Narrative Voice Exploration

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Gattaca Essay

At the beginning of Gattaca, approximately eight minutes into the film, Vincent Freeman narrates and gives the viewers a summation of his life to the present time and also an insight into his desires restrained by his predetermined capabilities. The voice over extends for 20 minutes, stopping when it seems Vincent has transformed into Jerome, both physically and mentally. The mood is set to be that of a film noir as the voice over is a common vice used in that genre to tell the story through a character’s eyes. “No, there's truly nothing remarkable about the progress of Jerome Morrow...  Except that I am not Jerome Morrow.” This quote was shocking, in the film, as we had been listening to Vincent describe Jerome and his success in being selected as part of the mission team flying to Titan and were not expecting to hear that this is not our narrator. The voice over in this scene was used as a device to create intrigue and hook in the audience. Saying that our narrator was not Jerome Morrow created confusion and viewers were then interested in seeing who our narrator and Jerome Morrow are. The audience, after hearing the voice over, already has views and ideas formed about each character and their ‘true’ personalities. An example of this is Anton, he is a strong, capable man with perfect genetics, but in hearing Vincent’s view, “He had everything except desire,” we see that he lacks determination and drive, relying on his natural ability. Another example is Vincent himself, listening to him speak the audience begins to like him as although he is the underdog he has a strong will and desire to succeed. A particularly empowering scene being the ‘chicken’ race that Anton and Vincent partake in as young adults. Vincent saves Anton after breaking ahead and says, “I never saved anything for the swim back.” This shows us that Vincent was willing to put everything on the line to succeed. The voice over also illustrates the changes in Vincent as he...
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