Gattaca (Yahoo! Movies page)
My rating: C (Mediocre)
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal
Released by: Sony Pictures
I saw Gattaca on Set Pix a few days ago…and I was greatly disappointed. I’d come across this movie on many ‘Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time’ sort of lists, and had come to expect a lot from this movie. It must be something to have stayed at the top of so many lists. Sadly, it falls short of expectations. It’s hardly a ‘sci-fi’ movie at all! It’s more of a human drama, a love story maybe with a futuristic setting, but true-blue science fiction it most definitely isn’t.
Plot development is very one-dimensional, because it focuses only on the fact that societies in the future may base a lot of their structure on genetic engineering. Ethan Hawke as the genetically invalid trying to go to a space settlement in Titan (a moon of Saturn) – that’s the end of the story. Oh, and with a love affair thrown in as an afterthought, which only develops in the last few minutes of the movie. I understand low budget, but this movie is pants! Those black-and-white monitors which act as biometric security gates look like they’ve been bought second-hand from the sets of 1984! They should take a few lessons from Kurt Wimmer on how to make a classy looking sci-fi movie on a low budget, like Equilibrium. It would also help to take advice on how to work with pathetic actors like Ethan Hawke.
Ethan Hawke’s portrayal of the character, while not as wooden and expressionless as other actors like Christian Bale, leaves a lot to be desired. I rather thought Jude Law as the crippled but genetically superior guy was exceptional in his role. He was the only person who gave a stellar performance in that movie. You also get to see a young Uma Thurman, who for once looks good; unlike her later movies where her age clearly shows. Uma Thurman’s character hardly gets to play anything, except in the last few minutes; that too seems like an afterthought to give a romantic angle.
Gattaca was a great disappointment for me, specifically because it was pitched as a science fiction movie, which it isn’t. Maybe if I had seen it expecting a drama, I’d have given it a higher rating. Maybe. Because Ethan Hawke isn’t going to win any awards soon.