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Thoughtful Science Fiction - Gattaca

Gattaca (1997) is a film directed by Andrew Niccol that is based on the science of genetic engineering. It portrays a world in which scientific proof becomes the basis for discrimination. While society holds it as a truth, genes are a primary factor that determine the success of an individual. The film revolves around the Protagonist Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), who is ignored and excluded from most aspects of society. His life is limited to the ‘second best’ option.
This world is a hostile one for the In-Valids. However, the engineered (Valids) people have the opportunities to do whatever they so desire. Although discrimination is illegal, people still discriminate and judge people according to their genetic makeup. Furthermore, characteristics such as personality, beliefs, values, and one’s moral code are considered irrelevant. The flashback to Vincent’s first day of kindergarten reinforces his defects. As he cannot gain insurance due to him being In-Valid, his entry was initially prevented. His exclusion from society sets a pattern throughout his life that
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This idea of perfection is corrupted from within. Jerome Morrow (Jude Law) is an example of this. He is considered by society as a ‘perfect specimen’. Yet Jerome suffers from the ‘burden of perfection’. Director Niccol is showing us that no matter how much a system may try to manufacture individuals it cannot completely control their psyche, inspiration and motivation, which are key ingredients to an individual’s chance to succeed. Vincent proves that the philosophy underpinning discrimination is flawed. Niccol portrays this by the cross cut editing at the end of the movie, with Vincent finally achieving his lifelong dream, and Jerome committing suicide. Success is determined by other variables that are not within the control of Science. There is no gene for the Human
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