There are many films about drugs and drug effects, but none quite like Limitless. When unknown writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) discovers a pill that allows him to access the full potential of his mind, he does some pretty incredible things.
These clear pills–known as NZT–allow Morra to finish writing his novel in four days, become fluent in several languages, master the piano and understand the dynamics of the stock market in no time at all. In other words, Eddie is now limitless in what he can accomplish, all thanks to one magic pill per day.
With a plethora of fractal zoom shots, flashbacks and an topped off with an interesting ending, Limitless may just be my favorite film of the year thus far. At its base it is a film about a drug and someone desperate enough to risk their life taking it, but this street drug is much different than the type seen in so many other movies.
As Eddie puts it, the effects of NZT are not that of a typical drug-induced high and the goal is not to escape. The opposite is true; NZT allows Eddie to become more involved, more focused and more productive than ever before in his entire life. As he puts it, “I was blind but now I see.”
This makes us reevaluate the ethics of medicine and where to draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not. Just as many argue that steroids give athletes and unfair advantage, imagine a substance like NZT that can let anyone break through their own mental limitations. What would that do to the value of education? Would knowledge hold any weight at all if everyone had such limitless potential in abundance?
Regardless of your stance on such philosophical issues, this film gets you thinking about the topics in a fun and engaging way, while at the same time showing us that there is no easy way to success. As you’ll see, NZT is not a straight shot to the top of the food chain for Eddie. He couldn’t have it that easy, nor would that make a good story.
Early on, Eddie asks, “How many of us ever know what it is to become the perfect version of ourselves?” The real question however, is not what one would do become limitless or what it would be like, but rather what one would be willing to give up in return for such a life. In the end, was it all worth it?