Limitless: Film Review

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Doctors and psychologists alike agree that there is a link between nutrition, a balanced lifestyle and mental health.  In fact, certain foods such as salmon, peanut butter, and even chocolate are deemed “brain foods” because of their nourishing properties.  The brain is definitely the most important organ of the body considering that it regulates all other organs and the power of the subconscious mind.  There has been much debate over the question of how much of the human brain gets used.  In fact, it is believed that Albert Einstein’s genius is credited to his ability to use the majority of his brain opposed to the mere 10% that the average human being is believed to be capable of using.

According to the movie “Limitless”, a young and unsuccessful writer named Eddie Morrah (Bradley Cooper) ingests a pill called NZT that gives him the ability to utilize 100% of his brain, 100% of the time while under its influence.  Needless to say, Morrah’s life takes a series of drastic turns-both expected and unexpected.     

The film does an excellent job of illustrating the perils associated with addiction to anything.  According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 27 million Americans use illicit drugs regularly or are heavy drinkers.   In addition to the drug’s invigorating unleash of intelligence, the two instinctive human emotions of greed and fear drive Morrah to over-indulge in three of his most suppressed desires- women, power, and money.  Although he reaches various levels of success, the film also shows that dependency upon drugs has a crashing effect which has the potential to cripple creativity, rationality, and debilitates health among many other things.  Crashing from NZT proves to bring out the worst in his character as he commits murderous acts that he never thought he was capable of and worst- he doesn’t even remember the details. 

Robert Deniro’s character, Carl Van Loon is a successful investor who acts as Morrah’s mentor and profits from Morrah’s unexplainable predictions.  Loon’s character teaches Morrah to respect the process of naturally exploring life’s strategies for survival such as competition and will power instead of bypassing these struggles by ingesting a “magical” pill.   Without giving away too much of the movie, Morrah learns the hard way that Loon is right, finds ways to tweak the drug’s negative chemical components, and discovers that the real power of the drug ultimately lies in the ability to overcome addiction. 

Overall, “Limitless” is both entertaining and creative.  Director, Neil Burger does a commendable job of showing the journey and evolution of this man’s mind from a shy and struggling novelist with writer’s block to a powerful Senator who eloquently speaks multiple languages.  Limitless gets an 8 out of 10.

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