Lucy is a 2014 film written and directed by Luc Besson. It is a science fiction thriller based on the myth that humans use only 10 percent of their mental capacity. The film tells the story of a woman who intakes an enormous dose of synthetic drug and is able to reach 100 percent of her brainpower. She is able to use different mental capabilities, such as telepathy, time travel, and telekinesis, to take revenge on her abusers. The story is set in three cities: Paris, New York City, and Taipei. Well-known Hollywood actors play the roles of the main characters. Scarlett Johansson embodies Lucy, whereas Morgan Freeman plays the role of Professor Norman.

The story begins when an American college student in Taipei is captivated to become a drug mule. After captivators insert the packet of drugs in her lower abdomen, she is transferred to a temporary cell where she is kept before taking a plane and delivering the drugs. However, things turn in an unexpected direction when one of the kidnappers, dissatisfied with Lucy’s behaviour, hits her in the abdomen, where the drug bag ruptures and the drug spreads across Lucy’s body. A large quantity of drug forces Lucy’s brain capacity to grow rapidly. Not knowing what to do, Lucy contacts Professor Norman, who is a brain capacity scientist. She expects him to help her to control the changes. Her time is ticking as the excessive amount of drug leaves her only 24 to 48 hours to live. However, the dealers are stepping on her toes. They try to catch her and withdraw what belongs to them. The whole plot evolves into two storylines. The first one is where Professor Norman explains the evolution of reaching the maximum cognitive capacity. The second storyline is Lucy’s, where the viewer can follow her fight with villains, as well as the evolution of her mental capacity. This feature helps to track the sequence of the storyline. However, particular elements of the story are inconsistent with logic, as if the author wanted to put that scene into the film without thinking if it makes sense or not, possibly justifying it by the nature of the film.

It would be hard to distinguish what the viewer knows about the characters because it is a bare minimum. The main character, Lucy, is used as the chess piece to convey the story without getting into the deeper details of her life. The entire scope of the viewer’s knowledge of the character consists of her nationality, learning, and relationship status. A similar situation is with the professor. The viewer knows that he is a well-known professor who studies the cognitive capacity of a human. I would state that characters are used as bearers of the story but not as part of it. It could be argued that Scarlett Johansson carried the character through with her performance by allowing the viewer to feel the tension when it was necessary and feels as if numb when she felt it. However, the performance of the main actor was not the only thing carrying this film. The technical elements were well synchronized and edited with the plot, allowing the viewer to enjoy the experience. Additional clips of nature, which were used as a figurative tool to report, have enhanced each element of the plot. Moreover, in some cases, they complimented the story told by the narrator. The music successfully creates tension and relief when necessary.

Overall, I liked the cinematography and the approach to the question that has been debated for many centuries.  It creates suspicions of what would happen if people would use all of their mental capacity. However, the film has a few gaps, which cannot be ignored. While the idea of the film is extremely interesting, the production is very primitive and one-dimensional. Therefore, the film focuses more on special effects than on how the character’s inner world develops during the cognitive evolution. The main character of the film is a woman. Therefore, in some fragments of the film, she is portrayed as an ordinary Hollywood character who gets what she wants through her body. Nevertheless, some elements of the film go beyond the logic. Such examples could be how quickly everyone trusts Lucy and wants to help her without being scared or questioning anything.

Although Lucy’s editing and cinematography are outstanding, gaps in fulfilment of the storyline leave the audience questioning. If you are looking for a simple, fast-evolving, sci-fi action movie with not ordinary cinematography, you should watch Lucy. However, if you like films, which have a deeper meaning, this film is not for you.


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