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May 06, 2011 at 04:46pm IST

Masand: 'Limitless' is flawed but enjoyable

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish

Director: Neil Burger

It's an accepted scientific fact that humans use only 20 per cent of their brain. That topper in your class who scored near perfect grades in every subject..? Yes, him too…he's only using 20 per cent! Think how different life would be if one could utilise the other 80 per cent too that's known as the subconscious mind.

Masand: 'Limitless' is flawed but enjoyable

It's the kind of film that asks you to sit back and enjoy the nifty effects and the slick editing.

In 'Limitless', Bradley Cooper's character, a downbeat, struggling novelist named Eddie Morra comes across an illegal, experimental drug that increases his brain power exponentially. He completes the novel successfully, becomes a hotshot Wall Street adviser, women find him irresistible, and he makes enough money to last him three lifetimes.

The flipside however is that the guy who gave him the pills is dead, Eddie's got hooked on to the drug, and his stash is fast running out. Wait it gets worse: he's got a Russian mobster on his trail, he gets embroiled in a murder investigation, and the drug is causing some ugly side-effects like blackouts and hallucinations.

Flawed but immensely enjoyable, this fast-paced thriller works as long as you don't apply too much logic. It's the kind of film that asks you to sit back and enjoy the nifty effects and the slick editing, and not ponder too hard on the implausibility of the premise.

Bradley Cooper makes a compelling leading man who's charming even when he's indulging in morally questionable behavior, and Robert De Niro shows up as an investment bigwig who's trying to understand how Eddie can be such an overall genius. To be fair, the murder subplot is distracting, and the comic possibilities around this premise seem completely overlooked. But if you focus on the urgency of Eddie's situation and submit yourself to the ride, chances are you'll be suitably entertained.

I'm going with three out of five for 'Limitless'; it catches you unaware and continues to surprise you. It's well worth the price of a movie-ticket; just don't expect anything more!

Rating: 3 / 5

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