The opening credits to the movie had an eerie feel to it with minor chords, fading credits and odd movements going on. This and the amount of well-known actors shown in the credits immediately grabbed my attention. Then the word GATTACA comes up. At first, I had no idea what this meant. I thought maybe it was the name of some extraterrestrial source or something futuristic. After researching, I find out it’s the name of Vincent’s workplace where people are trained to go to outer space. It is also a reference to a DNA nucleotide sequence – guanine, adenine, thymine and cytosine. The theme of identity remains constant throughout the movie.
At the beginning of film, we find out that Vincent is going to live a short life and is going to have a lot of health issues to live with. Growing up, he refused to live with the thought of having an inferior life compared to his younger, stronger brother and leaves. This idea of escape is evident throughout the movie, especially through the four classical elements of earth, water, air and fire.
When they were younger, Vincent and Anton would have races in the ocean whenever their parents weren’t looking, an escape from adult supervision. All the people that travel in space escape the element of earth and air. Both Vincent and Eugene use the fire element to escape. Vincent uses it to rid the scrapings of his identity as means to prove that he is a valid while Eugene uses it to completely erase himself from the world. One thing that all of these characters have in common is the want to escape uniformity and perfection.
There is an obsession with perfection present from the beginning of the film. Vincent’s parents opted for a perfect son with their second child and Vincent’s workplace is constantly being cleaned by the many janitors with a zero tolerance for any unwanted substances. Vincent and Eugene go against this idea of everyone being the same by switching identities.
In a few of the scenes, a yellow filter was present. One of the things associated with the color yellow is the Sun. In the movie we find out that Vincent wants to travel to outer space (where the Sun is), which is something that the yellow filter foreshadows. The filter also appears in scenes of nostalgia such as the moments when Vincent and Anton would race and the scene where Vincent was born.
Towards the end of the film, I really tried to contain my tears since I was sitting in the front of the entire classroom. Once Jerome got in that incinerator, I knew what was going to happen. Eugene was my favorite character in the movie mostly because he was the comic relief in the film. My favorite parts come from him – his drinking, the scene where he told Shrader off and that scene where he asked Irene for a kiss. I got a little offended when my fellow classmates laughed at him when he was trying to get up the DNA helix inspired stairs to answer the doorbell (what was so funny?).
Gattaca gives an inspirational message that although there may be a few setbacks, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from reaching your goals. Vincent was told that he was an invalid from the moment he was born, yet that didn’t stop him from living his dream of going to space. He even fell in love with a fellow invalid, Irene. Goes to show that if you don’t put any effort in what you want to do, that opportunity may be blown away by the wind. Great movie selection Prof D!