The world of Gattaca is focused on the genetic perfection, yet it is imperfect Vincent who achieves most. Discuss.
The film Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccole depicts a genetic perfection world where gene is the sole discriminant. Babies were designed in the laboratory before they become embryos. People were categorised as “valids” who were genetically perfect and born as elites and “invalids” who were conceived naturally and were doomed to a life of menial labour. However, those genetic elites were not the best, instead, the protagonist Vincent who met all the external traits of Gattaca achieved most. Vincent’s persistence to his dream helps him to achieve his goals. His questioning attitude of the fate let him explore himself and surpassing his potential. In addition, his sacrificing gave him the way to succeed.
Though there were so many obstacles on Vincent’s way to succeed, he didn’t give up his dream of going into outer space. When Vincent was young, he left home to Gattaca to pursue his dream. At the beginning, he worked as a cleaner and he knew he wouldn’t achieve his dream. There was a voiceover showed that how difficulties “ I never been more certain how far I was away from my dream than when I was standing right beside it.” However, Vincent did not easily give up his dream.
He became a “borrowed ladder” by using the identity of Eugene who had genetic perfection. Compared to invalid Vincent’s perseverant and passionate about his dream, Eugene as a “valid” was not optimistic about his life. After the unsuccessful suicide, Eugene became a degenerate who was alcoholic and apathetic about his life. In the scene before Vincent going into space, there is a close up where Eugene admired Vincent, “I got the better end of the deal, I only lent you my body, you lent me your dream.” Though Vincent was not as good as genetic manipulated Eugene, he eventually succeeded as he was always insisting on his dream while the perfection finally suicided.
Vincent’s experience of defying the restrictions and challenging the destiny helped him finally exceed those perfections. Gattaca was like a small utopia world where workers were all elites. However, the mise-en-scene showed us people there were lack of passionate and challenging. They wore the same
colour and style suits and even their appearance were similar. In the uniformity world and the sole determinant of the society is the gene, “valids” thought they would live exactly as the pace designed by the gene, individual characteristics are discouraged and people didn’t believe their definitions were in their own hands.
For example, when Vincent told Irene that he was “invalid” and he was already “one thousand overdue”, the extreme close up showed that Irene couldn’t believe it as she never questioned there was nothing could challenge the fate. Her DNA profile showed that she had a heart condition and “all [she] can see” was her flaw. Conversely, Vincent always tried to transcend his fate and finally he succeeded. As a “faith birth” with a lot of imperfections, Vincent eventually achieved his dream while some the “made man” who had genetic advantages did not.
Also, his sacrificing for his dream explored the way to succeed. As a “valid”, Vincent needed to sacrifice a lot so that he could get into Gattaca. When Vincent and his brother Anton were young, the overhead shots describing their places in the chicken games showed Vincent were the one who always lost as Anton was “by far the strongest swimmer and he had no excuse to lose.” Anton was genetic mapped in the laboratory and was born with perfection while Vincent was conceived naturally as a “faith birth”. However, Anton did have a goal when he was young but Vincent was dreaming to go into the space as he was a child: “Don’t eat that, that’s Pluto.”
Finally, perfect Anton ends up as a detective who worked with “invalids” while Vincent became “the first class navigator in Gattaca”. As Vincent told Anton, “You know how I did it, Anton, This is how I did it. I never save anything for swim back.” Vincent sacrificed a lot like dropping his true identity and living under the lies. Anton didn’t pay as that effort. As a result, “invalid” defeats “valid” as Vincent achieved much more than Anton. Sacrificing made Vincent finally exceed his potential and stand in front of valids. Overall, in the world of Utopia, the winner was not the “valids” who were born as elites. It was Vincent who finally succeeded. His persistence to his dream let him kept going to the way to succeed. His challenging towards the authority made him not restricted by his potential but exceed it. Also, his sacrificing gave him a chance to get closer to his dream. Compared to the unconfident and lacking of passionate “valids”, Vincent eventually became the best of them though he was not belonged to this group at the beginning.