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Rediff.com  » Movies » Review: Lucy is a visual treat

Review: Lucy is a visual treat

August 01, 2014 09:16 IST
 
Scarlett Johansson in LucyLucy could have used more action and a better soundtrack, feels Paloma Sharma.
 
Luc Besson's Lucy attempts to explore the purpose of life and the limits of the human mind. While it isn't the most original concept we've seen on screen in recent years, Besson crafts it into a completely different ball game.
 
Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson as the titular character and from the moment that the film opens, you know that this is her show (even Morgan Freeman gets overshadowed).
 
As the film progresses, it becomes impossible to shake off the feeling that this is perhaps a vehicle to propel Johansson's ambitions of being an action star, further.
 
However, you don't really care.
 
Johansson is perfectly cast as Lucy, a blonde, blue-eyed American party girl, who is studying in Taiwan and finds herself turned into a drug mule by her new boyfriend, Richard.
 
A reluctant Lucy is handcuffed to a briefcase which she must deliver to Korean mob boss Mr Jang. However, Mr Jang isn't ready to let her leave just yet and has members of his syndicate cut open her abdomen and push in some packets of a new drug, CPH4, which the gang is trying to smuggle into Europe by hiding them in the bodies of foreigners.
 
Lucy is assaulted by one of her captors, after a failed attempt to rape her, and his kicking her abdomen causes a packet of CPH4 to tear. The drug directly enters her blood stream. Instead of dying due to overdose, Lucy survives and her brain begins to function at a higher capacity.
 
What Lucy will do and what she will become as she unlocks higher levels of her neural capacity remains to be seen.
 
Although Lucy is based on what several neurologists have called an urban legend -- that is, the idea that human beings only use 10 percent of their brain -- it doesn't mean that the film isn't a highly entertaining one. A bit of a reminder of both Limitless and TranscendenceLucy finds itself able to hold its own ground merely due to Besson's perfectly unpredictable imagination.
 
It is impossible not to be in awe of Besson, who serves as both writer and director for the film, for not only is his imagination capable of constructing a visual wonder like Lucy, but he was also able to successfully but it on paper and further, execute his vision to perfection.
 
The science of Lucy is a tad laughable, of course, but if films like Krrish 3 and TV shows like CID can be so popular in our country, I don't see why Lucy won't be enjoyed.
 
A large part of why Lucy works so well is because it is only 80 minutes long and doesn't attempt to say more than it should.
 
Yet, for a film that worries so much about where the human race is heading ('Human are more interested in having than being'), it offers answers that are often childishly simple to a problem that is so complex. However, the smooth editing and the marvelous use of stock footage make it all entirely believable.
 
There are scenes which could have been avoided, or mended at the very least, such as one where Lucy walks into a hospital's front door with a gun or when she changes her hair a la Ultraviolet in full public view while walking through the airport. 
 
Lucy could have used more action and a better soundtrack and although it isn't really a masterpiece, it cannot be dismissed either. Lucy is a visual treat -- like National Geographic in HD. But better.
 
If Hollywood's version of science is anything to go by, Luc Besson was probably using 100 percent of the capacity of his brain when he made Lucy.

Rediff Rating: 

Paloma Sharma/ Rediff.com in Mumbai