Monday, April 27, 2009

Gattaca (1997)

I liked the style of this film a great deal. It feels very much like the not-too-distant future, and with a minimum of effects and gimmicks. According to the IMDB trivia section, "When Gattaca was first released, as part of a marketing campaign there were adverts for people to call up and have their children genetically engineered. Thousands of people called". The story deals with Ethan Hawke's character's attempt to fake his genetic makeup in order to be selected for a space flight mission to Saturn. This involves an elaborate plan where he assumes the identity of a man with a more favorable genome (played by Jude Law) as well as lots of naked scrubbing scenes in which he removes all the incriminating dandruff. If you were wondering where they got the title, as I was, the name "Gattaca" is composed of the four letters in the DNA "alphabet", and the order that they appear in has some further significance that isn't worth going into here. I enjoyed Ethan and Uma (they first became a couple during filming), Jude Law, Alan Arkin and even good old Gore Vidal. But in the end I couldn't help but feel like it was a somewhat bleak and sedated version of something that could have been a little bit cooler.

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