Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three by Three

Three things I liked about Gattaca.
  • The concept and execution of a near-future society in which your genetic code serves as the basis for a new class system. It's a neat concept, and a very believable one. The scene in the beginning, with the nurse taking the just-born baby's blood and dispassionately reciting its chances of contracting major diseases was chilling.
  • Its depiction of such a society as a somewhat sterile place. It makes sense to me that in a society where so much is predestined, much of the drama that makes the human race interesting would be leached away.
  • The murder mystery, which is nicely woven into the larger story, and which reminded me of Asimov.

Three things I did not like about Gattaca.

  • That the lead detective turns out to be Vincent's brother. Contrived and didn't add much.
  • While the idea of a non-genetically ideal person stealing a genetically gifted's identity is neat, the execution pushed credibility to the breaking point. He had his legs cut off to gain 4 inches? How does that even work? And the daily scrubbing of the skin and hair to minimize biological evidence seemed silly - no amount of scrubbing is going to prevent you from dropping hairs and skin cells, is it?
  • The Jude Law character in general - I found the notion that a genetically gifted person would become a useless part of society just because he was in a wheelchair hard to swallow. And the suicide at the end just didn't land. I didn't buy it, or care.

Until Whenever


R.A. Porter said...

One of my favorite SF films, enhanced by the unique architecture throughout. The space port itself was filmed primarily on location at the Marin Civic Center which was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's late buildings. TheWife and I lived right down the road from it when Gattaca came out and got our marriage license there, so we can tell people we got married in Gattaca.

The only thing that's gained from having Anton be the lead detective is the swimming scene, but that could have been arranged by just having Anton spot Vincent at some point and start spying on him without needing the massive coincidence.

As for the leg lengthening surgery, it's been done for years, usually for people with one leg dramatically shorter than the other, but also cosmetically. It's a nightmare. Here's a link to an ABC piece on it.

Tosy And Cosh said...

I'm pretty sure I watched this because you highly recommeded it a few months back. So, thanks!Finally made its way up the queue. I should have mentioned the architecture - I loved the endless rows of little half-moon desks. Will check out the ABC piece. Also - did I miss something with the eyes? What was Shaloub suggesting that Hawke was so resistant to? Did they give him new eyes? And why did he toss his contacts when they came up to the police check-stop? I got confused there.

R.A. Porter said...

I haven't watched it in a while, but he couldn't have the laser surgery because it would leave obvious scars, and I think his eyes were a different color from Jerome's? I'd have to watch again to clarify.