Andrew Niccol's Film Gattaca Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1366 Words
Date:  2022-07-01


Andrew Niccol's film Gattaca is primarily based on a world that entirely relies on individuals with genetic perfection. Opening introduction to engineered purification. It portrays the dire consequences the society in the plot has to face. One of the scientists is heard saying that "there are enough struggles in the world, you need to give your child as much a head start as possible." Sets the tone of the discussion. What to expect in light of the struggles of the "in-valids." In any case, the world is reliant on only having individuals whose genes are perfect. The character Vincent Freeman is one that beats the odds as he "refuses to play the hand he was dealt." Despite the discrimination, there is hope(tone is optimism). Although he has an imperfect genetic composition and the world of Gattaca considers him cursed, he manages to overcome all the situational odds associated with his situational odds and achieves his space travel dream. The main theme of this movie is the purity of a person's DNA, the person's genetics and how that purity translates to the whole society. Introducing the concept of the "In-Valid." The genetically impure get weeded out. Purification equal godliness and perfection in this society.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Engineered purification is the running theme of the film

The entire thematic structure of the film embodies social discrimination, genetic engineering, mystery, murder, and love. The prelude to discrimination against the "In-Valid." Vincent is born into a world that already has ridiculous restrictions that are targeting his inabilities and possibly his untimely demise. He is facing a giant of restrictions that may derail his ambitions and life goals he intends to pursue. Precedence of the ordeals facing the genetically challenged. His father already flagged his "invalid" son as unworthy from the moment he sees him because he does not have the necessary genetic traits that would qualify him as his son and even bestow upon him his name. Also known as the misunderstood. The so-called superior "valid" members of the society become the primary source of ridicule from his days as a child to adulthood. Who is "valid" and who is the "In-Valid?" He becomes a victim of prejudicial ridicule and an outcast from the clique of the genetically superior. He faces incident such as the deliberate but symbolic kinder garden gate shutting on his face when trying to make entry. The invalid becomes segregated against. At home, he also becomes subjected to taunting by Anton, his "valid" brother when they are playing chicken one of their "favorite game" which automatically renders Vincent a loser of the race. A favorite game from a physically challenged is ironical. The game involves a swimming race where the two brothers "or two competitors" would swim daringly "out towards the horizon" to find the loser who would "chicken" out of the race first. To chicken out is already a sign of weakness. Vincent derives his motivation from the constant taunts his brother hurls at him "come on coward" despite knowing he has no chance of winning the race. Is there hope for the disadvantaged? However, when he finally manages to beat his "perfect" brother Anton in a "chicken" race, Vincent begins to reflect "it was the one moment that makes everything possible" as he in his "imperfect" state out battles his constant rival and Brother Anton. Pre-cursor of the breakthroughs in technology. Does humanity win the fight against discrimination?

The society is divided between the genetically-gifted the "clean and the "unclean."

The clean is accepted while the unclean get weeded out. The unclean are also known as the invalid. Vincent's achievements become more remarkable because, in the latter years of his childhood, he remains in solitude preferring to stay alone than be a cause of ridicule to his loveless family. Isolation is a form of punishment for the "unclean" (melancholic state of the In-Valids). Growing up in marginalization both from his family and the community, Vincent becomes even more determined to achieve his dreams. Change of tone. He comments that "I must have cleaned half the toilets in the state" showing how difficult and drudgery an "invalid" person faces apart from being an outcast of the community (Tweg, 2009). Despite the sufferings in their world, the in-valid deal with hard toil. He shows no surrender in the quest for his life ambitions and decides to take "more extreme measures" by assuming the identity of one "valid" Jerome Morrow. Jerome comes into the scene as a bitter and an alcoholic. The separation of classes. The valid versus the invalid He is "burdened by perfection" and has a "genetic quotient that is second to none" in Gattaca. He almost commits suicide for coming second in a swimming race. Introducing perfectionism. The scriptwriter tries to illustrate the effects of trying to engineer a "perfect" human-like Jerome. The ones who would stop at nothing in their quest for perfection end up losing their sense of desire. There is no clean and unclean, and all groups face challenges. The introduction of Vincent into the life of Jerome finally gives Jerome a purpose in life that is far from the feeling of self-pity and detriment. Idea continuation. Their relationship is characterized by two absolute extremes, from a person suffering from desire for greatness to a person wallowing in self-pity. The theme of diversity in the society. Jerome derives a new insight into life one that is far from his initial state. He comments that "I got the better end of the gave me your dreams". Misunderstood variations. Through their association, Jerome finally can accept his life flaws and derive within himself a deep sense of inner peace. Paradox of humanity

Everyone has a chance to realize their dreams whether "valid" or "invalid."

The relationship between the two extremes also remarkably benefits Vincent. Vincent transitions to become Jerome in his entirety. Introducing the concept of Eugenics. Jerome Morrow says that "they're not looking for you. When they look at you, they only see me". Introducing fiction. This phrase is to mean that people will no longer be able to see him as Vincent because he has become Jerome and it has become his identity. Understanding Engineered purity. Jerome decides to provide Vincent with a two-year steady supply of genetic material with a quote attached to it saying "Jerome will always be here when you need him." Vincent owns all of Jerome, from his identity, life, and even body. Advancements in technology and the achievements in gene therapy. Humanity finds answers in technology to gain acceptance. The doctor who attends to Vincent at the end of the film knows about Vincent's identity and even explains how he has a son "is not all he was supposed to be" meaning that the person is not "perfect." A sense of humanity despite the torn relationships. Although he understands that Vincent is among the people the society has considered "In-valid," he also understood that Vincent was barely trying to realize his dream of visiting the space one day. All are equal. The concept of a "perfect" person is very naive. The doctor becomes the agent who allows Vincent to have a taste of his life ambition and dream. In the end, it is the imperfect Vincent who achieves his dreams. Both the "valid" and "In-Valid" dream. (Optimism).


From the film, we understand how the society tries to eliminate imperfections. Gattaca brings out a theme of genetic purification for the unclean to gain acceptance from the society. We cannot imagine a world without imperfections, without disability and sickness a state where everyone is at their "clean" state both physically and mentally. Amid the separation of classes, the world is better with diversity. This film provides a stark reminder of the place of diversity in the society. The themes that emerge in this discussion include melancholy, fiction, optimism, and surprise. A conclusion of the topic. The differences portrayed by people across the world matters. Engineered purification is the underlying theme of the film portraying the extent to which one has to go to gain acceptance if they are "unclean." Understanding diversity.


Tweg, S. (2009). Dir. Andrew Niccol's Gattaca (2nd ed., pp. 1-72). Mentone, Vic.: Insight Publications.

Cite this page

Andrew Niccol's Film Gattaca Essay. (2022, Jul 01). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism