FILM – Limitless
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on April 29, 2011 | 1 Comment
FILM – Limitless
PRODUCER – Leslie Dixon, Ryan Kavanaugh, Scott Kroopf, Adam Fields and Ken Halsband (Co-producers)
DIRECTOR – Neil Burger
WRITER – Leslie Dixon (screenplay), Alan Glynn (novel “The Dark Fields”)
CAST – Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish
MUSIC – Paul Leonard-Morgan
It should have been called timeless. This isn’t really a compliment because the movie doesn’t seem to end. When a one hr 46 min movie seems like that then something is wrong.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is a struggling writer. Literally struggling with a writer’s block. He lives off his supportive girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) but just doesn’t seem to get a word on his word doc. Until he meets his ex-brother-in-law who introduces him to a super-pill that makes him a superman. Literally. We use about 8% of our brains (the movie claims 20% but we will let that be) and this pill brings the rest of the brain alive. Eddie is suddenly accessing every bit of information his brain ever received, is able to fight his fears, find solutions in the most dangerous of situations and interpret data like a master mathematician, master psychologist, master-everything. He becomes invincible. He writes two books in the shortest time possible and as Hollywood movies would want him to, moves straight onto applying his new-found wisdom to earning money by cracking the stock market.
This journey, of course cannot be without him earning a whole lot of enemies as well. Obviously, he fights them too. But the inherent question behind it all, does he really fight his own self to emerge as the super-hero he has become?
The film does not really bother to answer this question and hence remains a simple thriller, brushing all the lovely sub-text it spews, under the carpet. The heroism is swept under scientific mumbo-jumbo in the climax reducing our man to less of a paper tiger than he began with. So why would one want to watch his story?
Because, if one can overlook the cop-outs of identity, survival and growth, then the film is a well-held together thriller. But it meanders a lot while getting to the point, packing in too many twists, too many plot-points while trying to pay attention to its various thematic offshoots as well.
Some stories have brilliant potential to dazzle. This one had. What if the identity you have is no longer yours but you are addicted to the success it brings? What is the alienation the feeling brings along? How long will it last and when it is over then what? The film answers these questions marginally in side characters, others who have been addicted to this drug. But the choices the makers make to bring them under one conclusion limits the film to a one-time watch. Enjoy it while you there as there isn’t much to take home and chew on really.