The kind of escapist drug that I love
Some people smoke pot to slip out of the everyday drudgery. I don’t. Aside from that it’s illegal where I live I don’t have any ethical issues about it. I’m fairly liberal in those matters. But I just can’t stand the smell of it. It’s intolerable to me and it makes me nauseous even to be near it.
I have a different drug for escapism and temporary experiences from a place out-of-this-world. Please come closer and I’ll share my secret. Don’t be shy, come over here! [whispering voice in your ear] I go to the movies!
Shocking, isn’t it?
Sometimes I go to movies to be touched, to feel empathy for people that are worse off in this world than I am or to get insights about myself and the human conditions. But sometimes I just want to see crazy ideas evolve in over-the-top ways that make my jaw drop and causes bubbles of joy and amazement in my chest.
Lucy is exactly that kind of movie. The science fiction-vision of the world it offers is by no means based on science and believable. Most people probably know by now – or can figure out – that the tagline “The average person uses 10 percent of their brain capacity” is a myth. The director Luc Besson knows it too, but he chose to use it anyway, he said in an interview I heard. He didn’t want to complicate things too much and I can buy into that. The entire movie is “bonkers” anyway, as many before me have pointed out. (Isn’t “bonkers” a lovely word? You admit that something is nuts but you do it in such a loving way that it’s basically a good thing).
Lucy vs Limitless
It takes a little while before the bonkiness kicks in. Lucy begins as a thriller-kind-of-story with a damsel in distress. Asked to deliver a certain suitcase she ends up in the hands of some gangsters who force her to undertake a surgery. She’s going to be the smuggling vessel for a new type of drugs. But something goes wrong and the brain-usage-improving drug starts to leak into her body with the consequence that Lucy isn’t so much in distress anymore. Things get a little crazy and from there on it spirals on rather quickly.
If you think that the concept of this type of drug feels very familiar, you may be associating to Limitless from few years ago, which was kind of forgettable but good fun to watch.
Funny enough, Lucy is a lot more deserving of the title “Limitless” than Limitless was. Compared to Lucy it was quite down-to-Earth. This is more like Dumbo hallucinating about pink dancing elephants so to say.
I watched it with my mother, who like me is a science fiction fan. After the movie she turned to me and said: “well that was quite some turkey movie!” expecting my wholehearted support. I looked back at her, exclaiming with equal certainness: “No, not at all, it was brilliant and I loved it!” And I knew the instant I said it that we were both right.
If you like it or not is entirely a matter of taste. I hate the smell of cannabis. Some people surely find the plot of Lucy so ridiculous that it gets in the way of the visuals. For me it was a wonderful, thrilling escapist ride of the best kind.
Lucy (Luc Besson, France 2014)
My rating: 4/5