A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
The screening of Luc Besson’s latest picture was a unique and interesting experience. Currently living in Germany, the session that my girlfriend and I attended was dubbed in German – something that we are still trying to comprehend.
As a way of learning the rhythm and style of the spoken language, watching a dubbed version of the film proved to be helpful and fascinating, even if we didn’t quite understand minor details in the plot.
Having said that, the film was exciting and relatively easy to follow – particularly with a previously ascertained understanding of the synopsis.
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is what most would call a ‘bimbo’; a relatively dim-whitted, simple minded party girl that is a bit of a lost cause.
After being caught up in some shady shenanigans involving her boyfriend, a mob and some drug trafficking, Lucy finds herself in some sticky situations that see her become a mule of sorts. Being the subject for illegal activity involving an incredible new drug that allows users to access more brain capacity, Lucy (who is transporting the drug in a parcel sewn under her skin) unintentionally consumes an enormous amount – the events that follow are extraordinary.
Becoming increasingly intelligent and unstoppable, Lucy’s brain capacity grows and grows, far beyond the average human’s limit of 10% Increasing by the hour, Lucy reaches a level of power that see her achieve the impossible regularly; it begins to get ridiculous.
After a certain stage of Lucy’s progression, it reaches a point that becomes simply unfathomable and rather alienating, but that is most likely the point.
A film such as this could not be reviewed without making mention of “Limitless”, the 2009 action/drama starring Bradley Cooper with more or less the exact same premise. “Limitless” was different to “Lucy” given that the audience followed Bradley Cooper’s character through his day to day life as he began to reinvent himself and achieve greatness all due to a wonder pill that allowed him to access 100% of his brain.
“Lucy” does sound quite similar, although it is much darker, particularly from the outset. “Limitless” probably turned out to be a better film as far as originality and story went, however “Lucy” was surprisingly bolder, braver and ambitious in it’s structure.
There is a chapter-like structure to “Lucy” which sees her progression in brain capacity laid out into stages.
With big, bold letters, the audience are made aware of her successions in a heavily stylistic manner. There are interlaced snippets of animal footage during a lecture from Morgan Freeman’s character Professor Norman.
It appears to be metaphorical and symbolic of the themes and elements of the film, and to an extent it works quite well; it just seems to be a little bit too obvious.
It is clear that director Luc Besson like a strong feminine role in his films, especially a gun-slinging one. From the “Transporter” franchise to “The Fifth Element” to “Léon: The Professional”, the presence of a dominant, strong female character is more often than not, the nucleus to the story, behind the central protagonist.
“Lucy” in this case is all about the sheer unparalleled dominance of a singular woman and it could not have been better suited for Scarlett Johansson. Johansson has undertaken some rather testing roles as of late, particularly “Under The Skin” from earlier this year.
Her abilities as an actress have improved tenfold in recent years and she once again demonstrates her talents as the ultra-intelligent Lucy.
Surprisingly ambitious and valiant, “Lucy” was more than a 90-minute montage of Scarlett Johansson kicking butt. It proved to have a deep underlying statement about humanity and stood to be different and detached from films that have a similar synopsis.
Expecting to see nothing new, witnessing “Lucy” (in German too) was surprising and vastly entertaining for the most part. If the day comes that we develop a wonders rug that allows us access to 100% of brains, may God have mercy on us all…