IMDB Link: tt0119177
Category: Sci-Fi Drama
Director/Writer: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law
In a not-so-distant future genetics is what determines your value to society. Discrimination of the genetically inferior is illegal, but in practice it’s everywhere. In this future our main character, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), is born with a heart condition and a life expectancy of about 30 years. All he can ever achieve in life is becoming a cleaner. But Vincent does not accept that fate and makes a deal with a crippled, but genetically near flawless man, Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), and assumes his identity in order to achieve his life-long dream of becoming an astronaut. While imposing as Jerome, he meets the beautiful and also genetically flawed Irene Cassini (Uma Thurman).
The film is primarily about prejudice and the prospect of what our now current technology in genetics could do to put value on human individuals.
– I belong to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the colour of your skin, We now have discrimination down to a science.
The mood of the film is mellow and it has a lot of emotional depth. It is not a sad film, neither is it a happy film with a cliché ending. This is not a film about brave individuals fighting for the weak. It is about one individual fighting to overcome his assigned low status to reach his goals. It is a thought inspiring film most of all.
Unfortunately they did not manage to include more than one female character, aside from a brief introduction to Vincent’s mother in the beginning. So it failed the Bechdel test. Granted, this film is primarily about the interactions between Vincent and Jerome, and between Vincent and his brother Anton, but still …