The movie Gattaca, based on the ideas of Aldous Huxley’s novel, A Brave New World, follows the life of a man named Vincent, who is born of natural birth that dreams of travelling into space. The only problem is that genetic engineering has increased to a point where only the most well designed people are given a chance to become astronauts. His only chance to see space is by borrowing the identity of Jerome Morrow, a man born to be perfect that has found himself crippled due to a car accident. Together they trick the system to get Vincent into space.
Though the movie sets out to show a world with discrimination against people with imperfect genes, it does not make sense that they had Vincent want to become an astronaut. Even as we live today, genetically unmodified, not everyone has a chance to become an astronaut. Vincent is told he cannot because of a risk of heart disease or failure. This is something that keeps people from being astronauts today and for good reason.
Every person on a crew has a job and when that job involves a multi-million dollar spacecraft, every person needs to be reliable. Even in other jobs, some discrimination is required. An obese person is not going to be as effective as a soldier as someone that is fit. A person that cannot swim will more than likely not become a lifeguard.
When you start to think about it, this movie’s main argument is not really much of one at all. The only difference in this movie compared to real life is how people are discriminated. Today it is race, sex, body shape, heritage, intelligence, etc. instead of genetic dispositions. If anything, one could interpret that the world portrayed is actually more desirable. No point is made about if it is expensive to alter a child before birth, so it must be available to everyone. This being said, it would be crappy to be natural born, but what happens when everyone is born with selected traits? At some point each baby born is going to be born perfect and free of flaws which could end discrimination completely. You cannot discriminate when there is no difference to be had or they are too difficult to determine.
Any child familiar with Dr. Seuss’s The Sneeches can tell you that.