I finally got the chance to watch Lucy, the 2014 release. I was intrigued by some statements made about the movie by a couple of my friends, who knowing me well, insisted that I watch the movie. I did, and enjoyed it too, I was impressed by certain ideas used in the movie and was disappointed with some, so I thought to write a blog article with my views of the movie. SPOILER ALERT!!
As an admirer and avid viewer of Sci-Fi movies, many of my thoughts and critiques would reference my past viewing experiences. Hence, one may see the movie in two modes, one ‘absolute’ and one ‘relative’. Whilst I try to watch every movie without any back story or thoughts in my head (in absolute mode), I can’t help but make connections to my past experiences – we’re humans after all :). Hence, some of my thoughts may be biased.
Scarlett Johansson has definitely acted well – to the directions of the director. At several points in the movie, I felt that the expressions and body work displayed my Scarlett weren’t of her own, but carefully explained to her by someone. However, being the wonderful (and immensely beautiful) actor that she is, she pulled them off quite well. Morgan Freeman was in the movie for the same reason he is in most of the movies – his narrating skills. His role in the movie stops there; that’s all he did in the movie – narrate. While narration is an essential part of most Sci-Fi movies, as someone has to explain all the nerdy stuff to lay men, I would have loved it if he were more involved in the movie script rather than just translating it.
Henceforth ‘Lucy’ refers to ‘Scarlett Johansson’ and not the movie itself.
Lucy begins out with a lot of over-acting amongst the Asian gangsters. Though it is understandable how the mafia would get in on the latest scientific breakthrough, I did not like the fact that the prized CH4 looked just like table sugar. They had some amazing computer effects in the movie, spent thousands of dollars on the effects alone, but couldn’t come up with an impressive physical form of the drug – it’s just blue colored table sugar. I also did not understand why the hobo got high after snorting the drug, as per the description of the drug (as offered in the movie) it increases your use of the neural pathways and promotes regeneration, nothing to cause a ‘high’.
The next fun part was when Lucy is captured by ‘some other’ Asians and is held captive in a cell, she was chained to the wall, with a chain that was at least 10 feet long – long enough for her to just stand up and walk to the door, which couldn’t have been more than 15 feet away. Interestingly, she was also chained on only one hand, which is not usually the case. All these point to the set-up being so that she may seize and roll on the walls and ceilings freely – not very clever now is it? :)
The whole movie is based around the theory that humans use 7 % of our brains. Now there are many such theories out there, I have heard, 3%, 10%, and many other figures. Though I do not question the authenticity or basis of any of these theories, to the best of my knowledge (which is very little), anatomically speaking, humans use 100% of their brain. Each part of the brain has a specific function and works to make us what we are. That is why you might have heard phrases like, ‘Alcohol kills your neurons’, ‘Marijuana kills brain cells’, ‘CSF is collected very sparsely because it does not grow back soon’, ‘ a stroke – which is the death of a small chunk of localized neurons – causes severe consequences’, etc. if we only use less than 15% of our brain, we ought not to worry so much about losing a few neurons, right? Even if we consider the ‘neural pathways’ which are believed to be how we ‘learn’ and ‘remember’ stuff, we do use them all for conduction of the electrical pulses, maybe not completely for their ‘thinking’ purposes. Maybe, I need to read more on this aspect. :)
Another puzzling scene was when Lucy has to go to the hospital to get the packet of drug removed from her intestine (which again is funny, as human intestines alive cannot expand enough to contain that big packet) but she could remove the bullet that hit her in the shoulder with her fingers. As the drug was described, it would have made her body automatically reject (remove) the packet and heal here sutures – which happened in the case of the bullet but not the drug packet.
Lucy displayed too much aggression in killing all that stood in her way when she was capable to control the EM fields and physical objects around her. One would expect a person with higher intelligence to become less violent, especially if one can control objects around one. However, that’s just what I think.
I did not enjoy the ending of the movie at all –
- The drug also dissolved in water as sugar.
- How the scientists in the room managed to get the liquefied drug solution into a cannulated sealed saline bag so quickly to be injected into Lucy.
- Did not understand how the rocket launcher fired into the room where Lucy and the scientists were, did not hurt the room or its occupants at all. I mean not even a scratch.
- When Lucy started turning black and growing tentacles, Morgan Freeman said that she is interfacing with our computers – when he tentacles reached their servers – which were again too many for a lab. But then a few minutes later, Lucy decided to consume the servers instead of ‘interfacing’ with them. :)
- Lucy made a futuristic computer to ‘download’ all her knowledge – which was quite clever – but then at the end decided to put all of it in a Pen Drive – which is hilarious if not stupid.
- There was the clichéd run-through through history when Lucy explores our past. The scene depicting the ‘source’ of the famous Creation of Adam by Michelangelo was funny when Lucy did it with, what I think, was an Australopithecus.
- I did not understand why they choose Lucy to turn black. Why black and not any other color? Also, did not understand its significance.
- I did not understand why they showed cellular fusion (or a reverse of meiosis).
- The fact that Lucy moved to an astral plane after utilization of 100% of her brain is also a long standing idea. It has been depicted and written about extensively. A very interesting idea if you ask me. :)
- This idea is very common in many of the Asian religions, especially in Hinduism. If this location was in India, the lab would be converted to a shrine for Lucy and she would be considered an ‘incarnation’ of one of our gazillion gods. :)
I believe the movie was good in the fact that it was a short one, 1 hour 30 minutes, and it touched some very interesting ideas. I would recommend all to watch it, even with its flaws, it does encourage one to read upon and learn more about several interesting ideas and theories. I would also recommend more reading on matrioshka brains, theories on future human evolution and transformation to an astral plane.
My apologies for not putting up anything new since ages. :)