Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.
Gattaca, like all he very best sic-fi, tells a tale yet manages to deal with broader human issues. It is set in a future where discrimination has now become a science, but it is not based on gender or skin colour but on your genetic code, your DNA. Many children in the society portrayed are genetically designed and have any flaws or imperfections designed out by scientists. The world is now divided between those lucky ones whose parents chose or could afford this route, and the rest, who for whatever reason end up being born naturally.