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GATTACA. Page 2
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     Vincent's parents have a second child. This time they conceive through genetic engineering. The two sons, Vincent and Anton, grow up together. Vincent sets out to beat the system from an early age. He competes with his brother in swimming contests and finally wins. He realizes that he can beat the system through hard work, ingenuity and self-determination.
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     Ingenuity is most important. In order to "transform" himself into a Valid, Vincent needs to take on the persona of a Valid. Through an illegal DNA broker, he makes a deal with a Valid man named Jerome (Jude Law), who has the right genes, blood and credentials, but was paralyzed in an accident. Jerome will provide Vincent with blood, urine samples and a Valid identity. The transformation begins. In order to become the nessesary height Jerome, in a crucified position, has additional bone grafted into his legs and gains 2 inches. Jerome sheds his blood so Vincent can place it in his false fingertip. Vincent scrubs his whole body to rid himself of any old loose skin. Through the shedding of the old self (skin), the shedding blood and the painful cross Vincent is then transformed into a "new person" -Jerome. It is interesting to note that both the names Vincent and Jerome are the names of very famous Christian saints.
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     It works. Jerome/Vincent can now enter the brave new world as a Valid. A few more tricks include wearing a heartbeat recording during exercise time so his imperfect real heart won't be detected. Transformation always brings about a new heart. He now pursues his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. However, a week before his flight, a Gattaca mission director is murdered and an unnoticed eyelash singles out Vincent, but not Jerome, as a suspect. When the colleague he has fallen in love with (Uma Thurman) begins to suspect his deception he feels compelled to reveal his true self. He tells her. She can't understand how an Invalid can physically achieve a Valid's physical endurance. He has her feel his heart.

Feeling his imperfect heart she says, "You are a God-child."

He replies, "My heart's okay. I should have died long ago."

"It's not possible," she says.

"You're the authority of what is not possible. They got you looking so hard for any flaws that after a while that's all you see. I'm here to tell you it's possible."

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     His brother also discovers his true identity too. In one final swim in the chaotic sea Vincent proves that an Invalid can outperform a Valid. Anton swims to exhaustion and Vincent must save him. As they swim back to shore the heavens open. Truly, this is the child of God.
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In the final scenes Vincent and Jerome have a last supper together in which a wine glass plays a significant part (see the video). Afterwards, Vincent places Jerome in bed as he lies in a cross like position. The following day, Vincent finally gets to ascend into space. He kept his eyes on the goal and heaven became his.

 

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VISITOR REMARKS

ABOUT THE LETTERS IN GATTACA
Subject: about gattaca
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001
From: Marie Ranieri

Gattaca is definetely the best sci fi film I've ever seen. Transformation is indeed the key notion of the film and each main male character is trying to resemble someone else. The theme of the double is really essential here. Vincent manages to change identity thanks to Eugene's DNA. What is interesting to notice is that the very word GATTACA is solely made of the letters A, T, C, G which correspond to the nitrogen bases (Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine) which partly constitute the nucleotids which DNA is composed of. As a consequence, the very place Gattaca stands as a microcosm representing this whole society which has come to consider DNA as the only way to judge people. Andrew Niccol is something of a genius !!!
Marie Ranieri

END TIMES MOVIE? GATTACA IS GREAT STUFF ANYWAY!
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2000
From: Darren

I loved this movie. Yes, the religious themes in it are hard to miss (please note that the writer-director of Gattaca is Andrew Niccol; he also penned The Truman Show another film which has strong religous themes!) I am surprised,however,that when this film came out in theatres, most everyone missed it. Yes,I too like sci-fi action films. Gattaca was and is a nice and interesting departure.

"The First shall be last,The last shall be first"

One of the best things about the film was not only the suspense of the main character being caught, but that under his own merits and under stress he did his job well. But if he did not pretend to be a "valid" he would be considered less than human, and could not have the job. When the murder mystery kicks in,it also made a good whodunit. We are told that "it is impossible" for a invalid to pose as a valid (although it is stated by those helping the hero that this sort of thing is common) and its "unlikely" that a valid could "murder" ,and that the brother born natually could "die by thirty" when his genetic enhanced brother almost drowns! By films end,he goes into space as himself, nt as the person he was posing as. No one seemed to care that much.

Also, what do you think? All it would have taken is a polish on the script here and there- and you'd have something like a End-times movie . I know the sequel "escape from LA" made a big issue of the mark of the beast without much payoff. I'm not saying
Gattaca should have been an end times flick,I'm just saying it is strongly implied,though not directly.

Darren J.Seeley
darrenlives@AOL.com

Response: I think I am a fan of writer Andrew Niccol. I am with you he has done some great work.-David.

SCIENCE FICTION IS THE REALM OF THE SPIRIT
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000
From: "Jon Zuck"

Dave,
I've meant to write about Gattaca for a long time. I truly regret I never saw it in the theater. I think I was turned off by the "Kraftwerk" look on the posters, but as they say, you can't judge a book by its cover! Gattaca is simply one of the most simple and powerful films ever made. I hits the heart, and hard. Ethan Hawke and Jude Law are brilliant. So is Uma Thurman as Irene, who is both a temptation and conscience figure together. She enables Vincent to see the potentials of the natural-born that even he, natural-born though he is, would never guess, like the advantage of having twelve fingers to play music which "perfect" people could never produce. And yet, even though she tells him her secret, can she be trusted? The variety and complexity of love is a persistent theme. Vincent loves (and hates) his brother Anton, and tears himself out of the family picture as he tears himself out of the family. He loves (and fears) Irene, and loves Jerome/Eugene with the complexity of being a friend to someone who at first bitterly rejects and friendship, and the even greater difficulty of receiving a gift so great (new identity) that it can never be repaid. Vincent and Jerome each are Christ figures to the other. Jerome gives Vincent his gift of blood and sacrificial death, and Vincent gives Jerome his Ascent and Resurrection into a new life. Pain is also a strong theme. Vincent, Jerome, Irene, and even Anton have tremendous pain, and deal with it differently. The portrayal of how they shape their lives in dealing with their suffering is profoundly moving without being sentimental. The music is perfect. The photography is astonishing. The yellows that tint the whole childhood sequence are reminiscent of the fading family snapshots with bad color. The ghastly white of Gattaca and the totally soulless atmosphere of the place is a omnipresent threat to Vincent's passionate dreams, pains and fears. Finally, blue in the beautiful swimming sequence suggests heavenly help, a dark night of the soul that meets God before He brings the dawn. Even the restrained use of nudity helps convey the spirituality behind Gattaca, much in the same way that medieval Christian art always illustrated the soul by simple nude figures. Here nudity means vulnerability, in shedding his "inferior" DNA, in opening himself to Irene, and finally, in showing his true strength and the depth of his pain ("I didn't save anything for the trip back!") to his brother. And the names: Vincent to me recalls Vincent Van Gogh, obessed with visions that no one else could appreciate. Jerome, the name Vincent assumes, suggests Jeremiah the weeping prophet. And as Jerome becomes Eugene, he weeps less for himself, and sees a purpose finally in his life. Eugene literally means "welborn," and is related to the word "eugenics." This is science-fiction without special effects to speak of. I find it reminiscent of the best of the greatest written science-fiction by sensitive authors such as Ray Bradbury and Orson Scott Card, a journey into the future about the full human condition,including the spirit. How sad this kind of science fiction almost never makes it to the screen! This film made me weep--for pain, for love, for hope, and for God! Once again, thanks so much for HJ!

My response: And thank you for your wonderful contribution to HJ!

GATTACA -COOL AND BEAUTIFUL
August 10,1999. I thought Gattaca was the most beautiful and cool films I have seen. I love the buildings who were designed by Frank L. Wright. The film could have done with better editing and directing though. ie the suspense scenes, the meeting of Eugene and the investigator.
     There were many Christian-like references, i.e. the blood of Eugene allows Vincent (Ethan Hawke) to get to Gattaca and finally Heaven. The last scene could also have had a marvelous Christian theme.
      Vincent, the main character, is finally "caught out" by the kind doctor (who seems to have known about his fraud). But the doctor, remarking about his own son's poor gene condition, allows Vincent to pass as a Valid. As the doctor smiles and beckons, Vincent cries then proceeds on to fly into the heavens.
     I thought the doctor could have been a symbol for God the Father who shows grace to Vincent. "For it is by grace that we have been saved not by works so that no man can boast."
     But of course, the doctor's remark makes this idea unworkable. Still I would love to reedit the film one day.
Cheers, Yau-ming
You can post this online, thanks!

THERE'S NO GENE FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT
April 10, 1999. Gattaca is more than just inspiring. It is Nicol's outright challenge to genetic engineering and worship of the material; "there is no gene for the human spirit". Make no mistake, laws or no laws, genetic engineering will be a reality - and maybe even a commonplace one - within the next generation. Gattaca is a timely film, therefore, one that ought to be heralded loudly before the young generation. Yet, while we applaud the truly valuable accomplishment of Vincent - he gains his spiritual quest; he enters heaven - let us not forget Jerome. Jerome's accomplishment is the vicarious sharing of Vincent's triumph; and one that can only be gained through the obliteration of his self. As surely as Vincent must become "a borrowed ladder" and 'be' Jerome, Jerome must become no-one. It is poignantly fitting that at the moment Vincent achieves heaven, Jerome ceases to be a physical person at all; he suicides through incineration. Yet, in a way, he is not condemned to annihilation. Jerome's spirit lives with Vincent. This is a telling motif for all of us. Vincent's achievement is a metaphor for that of Christ; the gaining of a heavenly life. As surely as Jerome "threw in his lot" with Vincent in his denial of the artificial world, so too can we gain a heavenly life should we throw in our lot with Christ. Of course, the death of the body is the easy part...? A marvelous film! Hollywood, take a bow (for a change!) --Mark Storm storm@ruralnet.net.au

ARTISTICALLY INSPIRING
Feb 10, 1999. This film is one of my favorites, I've probably seen it 7 times. I love everything about the way that the film looks. I like how the future is portrayed as mostly a copy of the past, with the suits that people were and the cars that they drive, there are only subtle modifications. The setting are wonderful, the architecture and the way that the outside daylight scenes have an orangish shade to them. As an artist I am inspired by this film.

A JACOB AND ESAU TALE
Feb 9, 1999. This movie reminded me of the story of Isaac's two sons, Esau & Jacob. Hairy, strong & dumb Esau was set to inherite his fathers estate because he had the birthright & would recieve his fathers blessing. Jacob traded a bowl of stew for Esau's birthright, and then conned his father into giving him the blessing meant for Esau by covering himself with fur to fool his blind dad into thinking it was Esau's hairy hand he held. P.S., I liked the movie.
My Response: Very good. Yes there are paralells.

MOVIE AND MUSIC PERFECT MATCH
I wasn't expecting much -- wasn't expecting a bad movie, had a vague idea of what it was about, sat down to watch it just out of curiosity.  If I wouldn't have been so entranced I'd have been floored. A high quality speaker system brought the film's score to me almost before I realized what was happening, and after that it was simply a ride to the end. I don't know which I like more - the music or the movie, but when I reflect I don't think you can separate the two. I don't believe I have ever seen a movie and its score so perfectly melded. The soundtrack filled in every bit of the emotion absent from the people of an engineered world, and drew emotions from me which I haven't felt in ages.   Simply a must see. The movie takes it spot in my top ten, and the score occupies my favorite spot.

ONE OF THE BEST
This movie is one of the best movies I've seen. The cast was great (especially Loren Dean, Jude Law, and Ethan Hawke!!), the setting was perfect, but the ending.. Anyways, I recommend seeing this movie because it has a lot to do about achieving dreams. But it has to do a lot about genetic science.

 

OFFICIAL SITE (This is a must see. Great design)
Gattaca © 1997 Columbia Tristar (Sony)

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