There are so many times in my life when I just wished I had superpowers or at least a genius brain to help me get through so many problems. I’m sure you can relate to this as well. If only there were something like a Green Lantern Ring that could give me these abilities in a blink of an eye. In the case of Limitless, all you need is a pill to make you as rich, powerful, and smart as you want. If you haven’t seen this 2011 film starring Bradley Cooper, you have a lot to catch up on. Here are the top reasons why you should watch Limitless.
It’s A Classic
In its own strange and crazy way, Limitless achieved pop culture status, even getting its own TV show in 2015 (which got cancelled after one season). Though the show was a flop, the film remains to be a classic, even getting referenced when it comes to academic scholarly debates on human enhancement. It doesn’t have any real scientific basis of course, but its premise has definitely stuck and inspired a lot of people.
The Intriguing Premise
According to the film, we only use 10% of our brains. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie, your average struggling writer in New York City. He lacks the motivation, ambition, and focus to finish his work. To help him with his writer’s block, he gets the NZT-48 pill from his ex brother-in-law. Having nothing to lose, he takes the pill and discovers that he is able to recall and analyze every minute detail. Imagine being able to tap into your brain’s full potential, so much so that it gives you the power do to everything you set your mind to! It basically makes you, well, limitless. As Cooper puts it, “One tablet a day, and I was limitless.” There’s just one catch. It’s just as addictive and deadly as it is amazing.
The Social Commentary
There are so many themes in the film that are so relevant in today’s society. It tackles everyone’s need to be better than they are, the need for a quick fix, and even the connection between success and addiction. Because aside from drugs, success and power can just be as (if not more) addicting. In fact, this is why Cooper’s character got so addicted to the drug. He craved more and more success, money, and power that the drugs gave him.
Robert De Niro’s Iconic Speech
In the film, De Niro plays Carl Van Loon, a high-powered finance tycoon whom Cooper’s character helps out with his newfound abilities. When they clash, De Niro gives Cooper a taste of his own medicine with a speech *almost* worthy of an Oscar. I mean, it’s Robert freaking De Niro! You can’t ask for a better man suited to play this character. To have him play alongside Cooper in the film is a recipe for success.
Ten years later, Limitless remains to be a cult classic, influencing many of today’s biohackers, self-help gurus, and wanna-be superheroes. Who wouldn’t want to have a pill that could help you reach your full potential, right? It’s every American’s dream to be as happy, productive, intelligent, rich, and powerful as they can be, and Limitless makes that possible. Over the years, no other film has captured that more than this film. Until now, people are searching for that drug that can give them the same abilities as NZT-48.
The Moral of the Story
At the end of the film, we see Eddie running for the US Senate. He retained his wealth and even published a book. He encounters Carl Van Loon who reveals that he bought the company producing NZT-48. He tries to bribe Eddie with drugs in exchange for favors. Little does Van Loon know that Eddie weaned himself off the drug while still reaping the benefits without any side effects! If there’s anything the film teaches us it’s that the power to be better is inside each of us. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true. Eddie may have needed the drug to realize his potential, but it was ultimately his own non-drug induced abilities that helped him keep his success.
Is There A Real Limitless Drug?
Since this film came out, many were left wondering if there is a real-life pill that could give the same effects as the NZT-48. Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on it, right? Well, with numerous nootropics in the market claiming to improve cognitive function, many believe these could be the Limitless pill they’re all dreaming about. However, don’t think that these will magically turn you into Eddie. These nootropics are only going to work with and enhance what you already have. So sorry, guys. There’s no drug to make limitless.. for now ;)