Lucy
is a 2014 English-language French science fiction thriller film written and
directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Besson-Silla for his
company EuropaCorp. Shot in Taipei, Paris, and New York City, the movie
features Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, and Amr Waked.
Johansson, the protagonist of the film, portrays a woman (Lucy) who gains
psychokinetic abilities when she was exposed to a nootropic drug as the drama
unfolds on the underworld drug trade.

 

Released
on July 25, 2014, the film was a box office success, grossing over $463 million
based on a $40 million budget (Gettell, 2018).
Although the film was positively received for its themes, visuals and
Johansson’s performance, critical elements of the plots, especially the
scientific inaccuracies on the 10% brain utilisation myth and resulting
abilities were criticised (Blackburn, 2018).

 

Johansson’s
excellent acting abilities shapes and effectively portrays Lucy’s drastic
character development during the course of the show, from first being a
terrified, naïve woman who witnesses the cruel and ruthless antics of Mr. Jang
(played by Choi Min-sik), to a fully emotionless warrior channeling a warrior
spirit, Johansson’s intrepid characteristics are central to bringing the issue
of power to the audience when she takes on the very men who tried to kill her.

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In the
film, Lucy’s knowledge of the universe and her powerful psychokinetic abilities
were enhanced after being drugged with CPH4 by Jang as a result of a botched
drug mule operation. The story line is peppered with various captivating
scenes; from the museum showcasing the first ape in the world named Lucy and
the metropolitan cities portraying the hectic lifestyle to the infinite
universe.

 

Despite
the scientific inaccuracies, the narrative of the story challenges the
perception and limitations of women being just another supportive role and how
these impact strong men such as Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), police
captain Del Rio (Amr Waked) and Mr Jang.

 

The
film pushes Lucy in the spotlight, and how her actions revolved on reversing
the long-rooted patriarchal society in science-fiction films. It makes sense to
the audiences that whatever we watch is just fictional. The symbolic
representation of Lucy as the ape denigrates women while the pictorial
evolution of human suggests the supremacy of men.

 

Through
the end of the film, Lucy toys with the futile attempts of men such as Jang to
control her but failing miserably in the end.

 

However,
this begs the question on the direction of the movie is heading towards. Lucy’s
plot started off as an accidental, typical drug mule operation then to seeking
revenge on her captors. But the film never addressed Lucy’s subsequent
motivation on achieving full brain capacity, and how would that overall
contribute to the story.

 

Moviegoers
who place importance on scientific accuracy might be disappointed with the
constant use of brain myth that is integral to the plot, but the movie offers a
fresh perception on protagonists in science-fiction films unlike movies that
are traditionally male. The movie shows that a female character can lead as
well as men, if not possibly better. 

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