“Gattaca” – the definition of perfection

“Gattaca” depicts an anti-utopian world in which humans are born with artificially selected genetic material and the naturally born are considered inferior. The film investigates the meaning of “perfection” and how it can take myriad forms as long as you are a real living person.


Vincent is remarkable for how his entire existence depends on him not losing focus at any point for years and years. His every cell, his very DNA, will betray him and make his dreams impossible. He must overcome extremely painful and humiliating procedures just to step into the shoes of Jerome, but this is only the beginning. From then on, he is bound to live among the very people who have created this system that deems him unfit for life. But in addition to doing everything right on a day-to-day basis to achieve his deepest desire, he manages to fall in love, form friendships, and resolve his feud with his brother. For Vincent, there is only one word that best defines him – flawless.


Irene has the peculiar fate of being sort of the least perfect among the perfect. She has all the traits of the other genetically modified people, but her flaw is what has made her more human. When forced to accept a hard and terrible truth, she chooses life. Throughout the story she manages to understand what it means to be perfect and that it is something that cannot be measured in mathematical values.


Jerome is the exact opposite image of Vincent and therefore his equal superhuman. For him, the status quo is that he has been given everything – the genes to be the best among everyone around him. Jerome crumbles when he fails to live up to his potential and wins a silver medal. Except in the plot of the film, he surpasses the potential set for him by society a thousandfold and becomes something no one expected – a living soul. Jerome is a fascinating mix of arrogance, pride, cockiness and stubbornness that is one of the film’s great creative successes. He carries the message that even a genetically modified body can be home to a truly magnificent person.

Can this film be of any use to us in the current reality? To begin with, the film should be seen on its own, out of context, as a work of art only. But any thinking person can very well make the connection and understand the profound truth told in it.

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