Gattaca Essay

Richard Parker April 22, 2010 Movie assessment-Gattaca Ordering of Inbreed Superhumans The movie Gattaca written and directed by Andrew Niccol in 1997, bring about very controversial topics in today’s world. It makes us step back and take a good look at where we are going with our science and technology. It shows gene manipulation, forms of cloning and technology that can only be seen in some distant future. Not to mention it is almost the ultimate form social control. In Gattaca there is one main form of social control and that is their government. Genetics is what the society drives for, becoming the perfect human.

They strive for perfection. People are constantly tracked through urine test, hair follicles, blood and even dead skin particles found lying around. Invalids (the people who were born naturally) were discriminated against for not having their genes chosen; invalids are not allowed in certain areas and are also not allowed jobs that are available. Some values that have also changed are the role of family life. Valids no longer need to have intercourse and are in fact trained to resist all sexually urges. Men and women chose their life mate based upon their partners genetic makeup.

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In this society there is a regular competition among the people because everyone is trying to prove that they are “the” super human and how they have the best genes. The society is divided into Valids and Invalids. Valids are the people who have had their genes chosen and the Invalids are the “god child” who was created through intercourse. Valids are the people who run the civilization. They have the more important jobs and are in control of the space program. Invalids were the lower class; they are not good enough because their genetic make up was a role of the dice and not picked.

People needed to have money in order to create the perfect human. Invalids held jobs like janitors and or anything that did not use brain power, very medial work. Gattaca is the social institution. Most of the money was controlled by Valids and stayed with them because it was needed to create your child. Police or investigators were always patrolling searching for Invalids among the Valids; area sweeps, dusting for skin particles. No true form of privacy. Family life is not what it used to be, intercourse is basically gone because people are trying to create the perfect child.

There is no form of sexual attraction Valids are a-sexual. The only form of family is “the family image”. Education is only a brief part of kids’ lives; it is more of training for their life job. Gattaca was a form of utopia society with very few conflicts no war that is seen and the environment is not worried about. There seems to be a huge a huge paradigm shift in genetics; baby’s genetics are chosen and no longer random because of intercourse. The population is divided up into two different cultures the Valids and In-valids. This society is very advanced; it seems that most of their research is based upon space travel.

Gattaca has a lot of technological advances in their world. To being with the whole birth process for Valids is new, babies are no longer born they are basically grown. Genes are chosen for them almost like going to a restaurant and ordering a meal is how Valids are chosen. The constant scans for Valids and In-valids are new technology also, all the finger print scans, finger pricks, DNA from dead skin and hair that has fallen off. Their whole genetics structure can be found out within minutes when in real life it takes about a month. Space seems the be one of the society’s main drive also with dozens of space launches a day.

Don’t forget the incinerator with the button on the inside; cars were run on solar power. Their environment is very clean and so are the housing units. Jobs for Gattaca that are available are ones for Valids which are more leaned towards space exploration and the more mundane jobs like janitors were meant for In-valids. People are required to wear uniforms and remain neat and clean. The environment seems to be very futuristic almost not realistic. This was a very good movie, one of the best we have seen this semester. In high school I watched the movie just after reading the book A Brave New World by Aldus Huxley.

I thought it was an ok interpretation of the book. This movie also brings up some interesting debates such as stem cell research, cloning and the whole human genome project. Is this really where our society is heading in the future of science and technology? The acting was not the best I have ever seen; there actions were very monotonous but then again people we breed to basically have no emotions. The way their future is seems to be extremely controversial. The main character in the movie Gattaca is one of the last “natural” born babies in this society of super humans.

His dreams are to make it into space but because of his genes, he was not a suitable candatie for space travel. He learns of a Valid who became a paraplegic due to an accident; later assuming his identity because the accident was not known. Vincent learns how to manipulate DNA and urine tests as part of the random screening in Gattaca. He uses samples provided by the crippled Valid. During all of this the commander was killed and Vincent (aka. Jerome) losses a hair from his body. This gives them a sample of DNA but when all known records of Vincent are loss and he is nowhere to be found people start asking questions.

In the end just before he is about to launch into space his true identity is found out but still does the mission he set out to do and accomplished his lifelong dream. Many movies are created on the basis of some form of literature, Gattaca was created through the eyes of Aldus Huxley. They both showed many different point of views of the topics brought about; A form of “ethnic cleansing” almost. Gattaca take away from mother nature and there is no more natural selection. Everyone and everything is breed to be at optimum level. What would happen if there was no more genetic drift?


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