Luc Besson delivers a masterpiece whose proportions can only be realized within the sci-fi paradigm. Here we are sent on a sensory journey wherein every neuron in your body shall titillate with orgasmic like impulses. Your eyes shall be opened to the microscopic wonders of being human, of being you.
Scarlett Johanson plays Lucy, a young student in Taipei who unfortunately falls at the mercy of Mr Jang who proceeds to command his associates to insert a revolutionary new drug within a slit in her abdominal cavity. However unbeknownst to Mr Jang the package leaks sending thousands of molecules of this blue crystalline substance into her bloodstream.
Here is where Immanuel Kant’s theory begins to be tested to its limit. Kant philosophised that the human brain cannot grasp the true reality of life due to its complexity and tries to make sense thereof via means of codification, stratification and simplification of life into understandable entities. Now Lucy has access to the furthest reaches of the human mind and her eyes are opened to the world around her. As Lucy says in the film, ‘We’ve codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible, we’ve created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale.’
All the while we are transported back and forth between Lucy and Professor Norman a neuro-scientist played by the commanding Morgan Freeman. However Freeman trades his commandeering spirit for one more curious, like that of a child as he studies Lucy hoping to fathom even one facet of her psyche.
Slowly Lucy becomes less and less human as her mind becomes devoid of all man-man social constructs such as emotion and fear. The transformation that Johansson undergoes from scared student to serious sage is breath-taking. One can almost feel her face grow cold as she endeavours to breach the confines of her ever failing organ. Now before one dares to try compare her deadpan expression to the likes of Kristen Stewart. This is most definitely not that. This is someone who has taken upon themselves the full passion of their persona and become the machine. This is the type of acting that gives me goosebumps because she does not merely play the role, she becomes it.
All the while our every sense it engaged with a breath-taking score by Eric Serra. The music reverberates through you and heightens every sense with pinpoint accuracy. The score ranges from Mozart’s’ Requiem to the electronic palpitations of The Crystal Method. Finally Damon Albarn especially wrote the hypnotic ‘Sister Rust’ which plays to the credits as you exit the theatre somewhat shaken. It’s the ultimate finale to the ultimate sci-fi film.
The symbolism throughout the film is somewhat overwhelming which I feel is purposefully done. We are to walk out of the film, our appetites wetted and our minds yearning for more. Much like the blue crystals Lucy ingests within us to a desire is released; the package is punctured with the shear force that is Luc Besson. Your eyes have been opened, your apetitie has been wet and now I say to you in the words of Professor Norman, ‘If you’re asking me what to do with all this knowledge you’re accumulating, I say, pass it on … just like any simple cell, going through time.’