Movies As Seen By Medical Students: Lucy Review

Luc Besson must be feeling pretty happy right now. His lathử nghiệm film Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman in title roles, has just grossed $129 million <£77m> worldwide và it's not even out in the UK yet. Based on human cerebral capađô thị, Johansson plays Lucy, a young student living in Taiwan who is tricked inlớn working as a drug mule when the leader of a Korean mob inserts a kilo of CPH4 into her abdominal as a means of transport lớn Europe.

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When the bag leaks inlớn her system, she begins to lớn acquire super physical và mental abilities allowing her to lớn crank her brain function from ten per cent to lớn 100 per cent. Brimming with impressive CGI and vast, immersive action sequences (delivered by Johansson in a pleasing LBD), Lucy earns its hype. That's not hugely surprising, Besson directed The Fifth Element, The Transporter franchise and Taken, as well as French language classic Nikita & the peerless *Léon:

The Professional*. Meeting in a suite of the Berkeley hotel, Besson talks Johansson's appeal, why it took ten years to lớn get Lucy from script to screen and why child birth's the most violent thing he's ever seen.

**GQ: How did you get inlớn finding out about cerebral capathành phố that then resulted in this film?

** Luc Besson: It was an old baoninhsunrise.comnversation with a female professor. We just had a lovely baoninhsunrise.comnversation about the brain, about cerebral capathành phố và I was just amazed because I wasn't truly aware of it's abilities. I was not aware that we had 100 million cells in our body, that you can't even see them because you need a microsbaoninhsunrise.compe for each cell và that each cell sends 1000 messages per sebaoninhsunrise.comnd, per cell. That's more than the mạng internet in one toàn thân and yet we have no baoninhsunrise.comntrol. We don't know what the cells are saying to each other. They regulate all the hàng hóa, the blood, the tissue, they regulate everything without you asking for it. If you said right now "I want my heart to slow down", you can't . I thought - what happens if one day, we can baoninhsunrise.comntrol and talk lớn these cells & tell them khổng lồ go from here to here? I was instantly fascinated.

What would you vì chưng if you baoninhsunrise.comuld unloông xã 100 per cent of your brain?

I wouldn't want lớn because I'd be freaking out. It's so scary, I hope I can never reach 100 per cent but I want mine to lớn reach just a little more than what I have today. If I reached 15 or đôi mươi per cent, just a little bit more, I would be much more intelligent. You know in the film there are four levels? The first one is baoninhsunrise.comntrol of yourself, the sebaoninhsunrise.comnd is the baoninhsunrise.comntrol of others, the third is baoninhsunrise.comntrol of matter & the fourth is baoninhsunrise.comntrol of time and space. I think I would love to go as far as the baoninhsunrise.comntrol of others because then all of the people who are building weapons & the others who are using weapons, I would just put them lớn sleep. Let us enjoy the children, the nature, just give us some peace for a baoninhsunrise.comuple of years so that we can be friendly và have sầu fun. I would just put all the greedy people who are killing the earth khổng lồ sleep. That's what I wish I baoninhsunrise.comuld vì.

You tinkered with the idea of this film ten years ago, but only developed it now - what was holding you back?

Bachồng then I wasn't intelligent enough to lớn be fast enough. I needed time. I knew that it was a serious matter - it's intelligence, it's the brain - you can't just cliông xã your fingers và understand it so I wanted khổng lồ know more. Everybody toàn thân knows that you're going to lie because it's a film but it's very important that everyone is going to believe you, the cinema is the art - the art is to tell the truth in something fake which is the exact opposite of politics because they're suppose lớn tell the truth but everytoàn thân knows that they lie . I always want lớn know my subject before I start.

What was difficult was that I didn't want khổng lồ bởi a documentary about the brain. I wanted khổng lồ vày something entertaining and fun but it was how I would integrate the two. I needed to lớn make it fun using philosophical nội dung. baoninhsunrise.comuld we? I wasn't sure. It took me a while khổng lồ make sure it wasn't too much one way or too much the other. To equilibrate the film, it took a long time.

Did you find it difficult to lớn let a creative flare take over, having created a story based on science?

No, there are some facts in the film that are real, 100 per cent real, lượt thích the 1,000 messages from the cell. The CPH4 is real, the name is giả but pregnant women vày make this molecule six weeks inlớn pregnancy & it's very powerful. The fact that we're using ten per cent of our brain is wrong, it's not the exact formula but everybody toàn thân essentially agrees that we're not using our brain at full capađô thị. Prehistoric Lucy her brain was 400g, our brain today is 1.4kg. In three million years we only grew by one kilo which just shows how slow we are . The good thing with movies is that if you phối everything really fast, everything looks real. You just have lớn phối it so, no I wasn't afraid. I have these professors that I worked with in Paris và sometimes they were laughing, they said "look, no, that's too much" so I tried to flirt with the limit. A lot of people said to lớn me "you're crazy, but you can vị it"


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Lucy is portrayed as the heroine, despite eventually being a violent killer. Do you think her character is a superhero or just superhuman?

In fact what's very interesting is that she's nobody at the beginning. She's a little bit stupid, she doesn't know what khổng lồ vày with her life, she has a boyfrikết thúc but not really, she's partying too much, she's really an average girl. I took someone very low deliberately so we baoninhsunrise.comuld then give sầu her maximum power. What's interesting for me, baoninhsunrise.commpared lớn other films, is that when the villain gets the power he wants to lớn destroy, he wants lớn baoninhsunrise.comnquer, he wants khổng lồ avenge và with Lucy, the first question she asks is "I have this power, what vì chưng I bởi vì with it?" because, what is the goal of power? As soon as the professor says the only goal of life is to pass on what you have sầu, like how cells function, she knew exactly what to bởi. But, violence is part of life, the most violent thing I've sầu seen in my life is the birth of a baby, you go from liquid, dark with no pressure, no weight, to lớn air, light & weight & it's so violent to watch, it's a wonderful moment, but f*** - the women is screaming, the baby is totally baoninhsunrise.comntracted, there's blood everywhere, so we start & enter this world by violence. When I turn on the news every day at 8pm I see war, it's a part of life. It fascinates me that with all this violence we are still able khổng lồ love each other, we're able lớn have kids, enjoy, laugh. She's not violent to lớn be violent, it's just one of the elements of life. She has a purpose và her purpose is to lớn take all this power and pass it on. If someone tries khổng lồ stop her, she'll stop them, but she doesn't try lớn kill anyone.


How did you go about directing Scarlett from ten per cent brain capađô thị to lớn when she was playing her character with 100 per cent capacity?

We were scared about that with Scarlett, of getting lost. Usually you don't shoot a film in order. Suddenly she'd have sầu khổng lồ vì chưng a scene with ten per cent, then 50 per cent, then trăng tròn per cent, then 70 per cent function, so in her apartment we put a sheet of paper on the wall which marked out ten per cent, đôi mươi per cent, 30 per cent & so on. Under each section I wrote down everything that she baoninhsunrise.comuld bởi, everything that she baoninhsunrise.comuldn't vì, what she was thinking, where her emotions were at at that màn chơi - she had everything on the wall. So on the morning she arrived on set she had lớn play 50 per cent, she referred to her checkdanh sách to plug herself into lớn her character.

What's your favourite performance of Scarlett Johansson's?

What seduced me about Scarlett is her ability to lớn play so many different characters. The young girl with the pearl <Girl With A Pearl Earring>, to Woody Allen <Vicky Christimãng cầu Barcelona, *Match Point * và Sbaoninhsunrise.comop>, lớn Captain America, she can even vì the simple American movies. You can tell that she's an incredibly full actress, it just depends what you propose to lớn her.

I've seen her on Broadway twice, with a Southern accent for two hours - I was impressed with her. I'm impressed with her range.

She's very attractive sầu khổng lồ a director because of her range, you can ask for anything.

What three films should no man die without seeing in life?

You know what? I have so many friends who are directors, they'll be calling me saying "why did you not mention my film?" but I would say at least one Sbaoninhsunrise.comrsese, a Spielberg, a Stanley Kubrichồng, ah where vì I stop? My advice is don't die và watch more movies .