Gattaca [1997]

Perhaps you saw Gattaca in 1997.  Perhaps it may have been cooler if I had watched it then, but I just watched now in 2009 and was not impressed.  It is an okay film with a heavy handed message about tolerance and acceptance.

The movie put into place several scientific contrivances in order to make the plot run.  It seemed the genetic code was completely manipulable when it came to making physical superman – at the time of fertilization.  After that it seemed there was little that could be done with peoples physical ailments.  It seemed a little out of balance.  No help for the living.

The movie had an artsy flavor, and some of the shots were quite well set up and visually appealing.  However it was also dull at times and a little preachy and dare I say even pretentious, but Uma looked good.  The fashions of the movie fit her long frame well.  She seemed made for them and as a result she was really at the top of her game in the looks department.

In the workplace of the future, one must adhere to the dress code.  Of course if your cube mate is Uma Thurman...

In the workplace of the future, one must adhere to the dress code. Of course if your cube mate is Uma Thurman...

The film went out of its way to duplicate the noir feel.  Be it with smoking, lighting, or fashion.  I thought these efforts fitting except for the policemen’s hats which were too obviously anachronistic.

As for the sci-fi elements, well, there really were none.  It is quite a feat to set a movie in the future like this and show as little technology as they did.  One of my least favorite but oft used tricks is taking a very normal car and dubbing the old “space sound” on top of it when it drives by.  Classic, and cheap.

Gattaca (I never found much significance to the name) is not a bad movie, but not one I would recommend either.  This despite the fact that it has Ernest Borgnine in it.  Everybody like Ernest Borgnine!  The overall message is indeed a good one though.  One should be measured by who they are and what they do, not their genome.

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2 thoughts on “Gattaca [1997]

  1. Even my favorite cinematographer, Slawomir Idziak, couldn’t make me like this film. While I think it’s beautiful to look at, like you said, the film is just so heavy-handed and preachy with the material that an interesting concept gets wasted.

    The significance of the title is that it is made up of the first letters of the four bases of DNA: guanine, adenine, thymine and cytosine. I knew college Biology would come in handy one day.

    • Yeah, that is a nice bit of wit regarding the title. Although how witty is wit when .02% of the people watching the film get it? Heh.

      Interesting about Slawomir Idziak. 2004’s King Arthur had an interesting look, although we did not care for that interpretation of the classic. We liked his cinematography in Black Hawk Down. He seems to cover a wide range of genres, although tending toward the action in his later films.

      PS – We doubt that college biology is doing much else for you. 😉

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