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Movie “Limitless” directed by Neil Burger Essay

Film critic entails making a comprehensive analysis on film. Different themes and characters have to be evaluated in order to illustrate the real nature of the film. The movie limitless was produced in the year 2011 and directed by Neil Burger. The movie featured Cooper Bradley, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro.

This movie, which was produced in the month of March 2011, is based on the story behind the novel The Dark Fields. The movie was developed based on the genre of Sci-Fi and it was the technology that was used in manufacturing the pills that was meant to bring out differences between reality and fiction. In addition, there were some aspects of comedy that were introduced as the movie progressed. For this reason, it combined thriller characteristics, humor and some aspects of Sci-Fi.

Director’s Role

The movie was directed by Neil Burger, who took a very big initiative of using focal lengths judiciously to prevent the use of a lot of cameras. While it is common for contemporary films to have lots of cameras, the director decided to use focal lengths for the emphasis of different poses and scenes.

The scene’s transitions were also managed through strategic cuts that linked the various scenes for the benefit of flow. The director was therefore more attached with simplicity and as a result of the flexibility and simplicity of the shoots, the movie eradicated most important aspects like lighting and camera angles.


The movie starts by introducing the main character, Cooper, whose screen name is Eddie. Eddie, who is a writer, is brought out as a careless person, but full of writing aspirations. Although he has just landed a contract with a publishing company, he looks just like a joker to his friends. He is taken as a less serious person by not only his friends, but also his neighbors. He is met however by the brother of his former girlfriend, who offers a solution to Eddie’s problems through a pill that is alleged to trigger the activities of the brain.


From scientific studies, human brain is active to about 15 % in a lifetime. The pill that was given to Eddie was supposed to activate the entire brain, and thus made a person to be more than a genius. Although Eddie was reluctant to try out the pill, he went ahead and took the pill. Upon swallowing the pill, Eddie felt a unique sensation and started to conceptualize some issues that he hitherto could not comprehend.

The main idea behind the movie was making the pill look as the booster to the activities of the main character. The emphasis on the pill was brought out when the brother to Eddie’s former girlfriend was killed by unknown persons, who were interested in the pills.

The behavior associated with the pill was however not as captivating as expected. This is because the main issue was taken to the domestic scene, after Eddie started getting along well with his off-and-on girlfriend, Lindy. This came after Eddie started using the drugs and finished his book.

Eddie started to overuse the drugs after getting hold of them upon the death of his former girlfriend’s brother. His fame started to rise and his girlfriend renewed the intimacy but it did not last for long since he started to overuse the drugs. The new found energy and brilliance helped Eddie to be popular and started making deals with prosperous persons. The character of Eddie was being affected by his new found wonder of the pills. For this reason, his girlfriend started blaming him for lack of control over the pills.

The argument brings out the real character of Eddie and although the pill was meant to be positive boost for the movie, it turns out to be a negative influence when the audience is left to know about its consequences. It can therefore be seen that the pills, which were supposed to bring out a positive character from Eddie later turned out to be a negative influence.

Eddie was therefore brought out in his darker side after he failed to control the use of pills. The pills therefore helped in establishing a firmer basis for the movie. The pills were used by the movie directors to develop a stronger theme that was based on character change under external influence. The camera set up and the frequent change of scenes makes the movie to pull the audience closer to the flow but changes abruptly into another scene with completely different settings.

The theme of the movie was developed in a manner that was quite confusing to the audience. This is because there were different issues that were supposed to appear as the main issues in the movie. According to the director’s aim in the movie, the pills were supposed to be the main aim of the movie. This is because the movie then turned the focus on the character of the leads. The main character emphasized on the brilliance of the pills and this did not go well with his girlfriend, who insisted that Eddie change his character before it was too late.

The characters that were used had conflicting behaviors. The main character appeared to be a confused character, who took different roles as the movie progressed. Having started as a weak character and a lazy one, the pills amazingly made him active and brilliant. For this reason, the character definition was inclined towards the operation of the pills.

The changes in the movie flow from a smooth flow to a combination of fast-forwarded scenes that made no flow. After the pills started working, the character and the filming changed. While the director had embarked on fine filming, the introduction of the pills started to make the speed of scenes to increase.

Although the change in the speed of the transitions was meant to make an illustration of the functioning of the pills, the transitions created some confusion to the audience. The movie should have used different camera angles in order to illustrate the operations of the pills.

Changes in the camera positions and angles could also have influenced the understanding of the pills. In addition, the lighting of the movie was in a way not well illustrated since the movie had areas that required more lighting for emphasis. The director can therefore be said to have acted in less emphasis during the filming process.

As the movie progressed, the emphasis on the changed character of the leads made a complete turn to the flow. This is because there were cases when Eddie seemed to be in less control of the pills. Without the pills, the lead was in less control of his brilliance and for this reason they were developed as the main issues for the movie.

They were therefore boosts for the lead and they altered the flow of the story from the brilliance and pursuit of career. The argument with his wife helped to bring out the issues of lack of control and it established a basis of controversy. The investors who found interest in the brilliance of the lead were at times confused over the change in behavior of the lead.

The movie was however thrilling and filled with humor. While it was based on science fiction, lots of humor was brought out as the character continued to display different humorous behaviors. It can therefore be seen that while the director wanted the movie to be based on scientific fiction, the concept was less based on any scientific fiction.

It was more of a comedy since the character change after the lead took the pills. This means that the director failed in his bid to make the paper to fit within the scientific fiction genre. The soundtracks seemed to be off the track at some instances since they developed different themes and failed to emphasis on the activities of the movie.

There were many issues other than the effects of the pills that were presented by the director. Firstly, there was the case of love that was evident between the leads. As the movie progressed, there was an increase in the love between Eddie and his girlfriend. These different themes created some issues that contradicted with the main issue of making the pill to be a wonder for the movie.

There was also another issue of suspense that was barely presented in the movie. This is because the movie had issues that were not supposed to be presented directly, but rather as a form of suspense. From the scenes developed after taking the pills, there was an opportunity of developing suspense in order to make the movie more appealing and captivating.

The movie can therefore be taken to be a sensation, but failed in certain areas. The color, filming angles and lighting seemed to work well save for some scenes like when the lead had to walk for long distances after meeting with the investors interested in his brilliance. The walk, made the audience to be confused over the real effects of the drugs, taking that the pills were first attached to the brilliance in the brain rather than body power. The walk was therefore confusing since the audience could not believe the real issues of the pills.

The movie was very illustrated with lots of emphasis on the behaviors of the effects of the pills. The soundtracks that were backing up the movie seemed to bring out different scenarios and issues that looked less of a Sci-Fi as it was supposed to be. Irrespective of these changes, the movie was more thrilling and appealing due to the humor that was developed in the movie.

The characters and especially the lead managed to bring out expertise and professionalism. The character change was illustrated by the lead’s girlfriend and it was only after the start of the argument that the audience were pulled to the reality of the darker side of the lead.


In conclusion, the movie managed to bring out the thrill that was expected and although the Sci-Fi attributes were never realized to the fullest, the movie managed to bring out humor and a story that was easy to follow. The filming issues were less involving and for this reason, some of the thrills were covered by the lack of proper filming techniques.

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"Movie "Limitless" directed by Neil Burger." IvyPanda, 25 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/movie-limitless-directed-by-neil-burger/.

1. IvyPanda. "Movie "Limitless" directed by Neil Burger." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/movie-limitless-directed-by-neil-burger/.


IvyPanda. "Movie "Limitless" directed by Neil Burger." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/movie-limitless-directed-by-neil-burger/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Movie "Limitless" directed by Neil Burger." April 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/movie-limitless-directed-by-neil-burger/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Movie "Limitless" directed by Neil Burger'. 25 April.

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