Film Review

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A dystopia is a fictional society, generally existing in a future time period, in which the condition of life is tremendously bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. In most dystopian fiction, a corrupt government creates or sustains the poor quality of life; often conditioning the masses to think the society is proper and just, even ideal. Most dystopian fiction takes place in the future but frequently intentionally incorporates contemporary social trends taken to horrendous extremes. Dystopias are frequently written as a caution, or as satires, showing existing trends extrapolated to a nightmarish conclusion. Gattaca the movie and Harrison Bergeron the short story by Vonnegut symbolize dystopia in their different ways.

Gattaca is an original piece of science fiction that brings to light the questions concerning genetic engineering and paints a picture of an idealistic society where children are created by the parents keeping in mind the genes, and those who are born normally have no place in the society as they have some defects or weaknesses unacceptable by the society. Every detail in the architecture, fashion, and technology connect to the engrossing vision of this brave, new world. The premise of Gattaca also generates anticipation of intellectual motivation. Do advances in genetics permit a society to hone “discrimination down to a science”? Can raw determination trounce genetic adversity? Is his determination overshadowing the good of the mission? Should a man such as Vincent with a potentially debilitating heart ailment even be trying to apply for a position on a yearlong expedition to a moon of Saturn?  But what one realizes is that in such a society there is no room for either any kind of improvement or tolerance for anyone less than perfect, these people are banished as inferiors or outcasts.

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