Limitless is a film that was released by Relativity Media and Virgin Produced in 2011. The film's primary cast consists of Bradley Cooper, who plays the protagonist, Eddie Morra, Abbie Cornish, who plays Eddie's girlfriend Lindy, and Robert DeNiro, who plays Carl Van Loon, a finance and energy tycoon. The premise of the film is that Eddie, a struggling professional writer, comes across the brother of his ex-wife, Vernon, on the streets of New York City by chance. Vernon, a former drug dealer, and now shady pharmaceutical consultant, offers Eddie a drug that allows him complete access to the full capacity of his brain. Vernon is murdered by criminal rivals and Eddie takes Vernon's remaining cash and stash of the fictional wonder-drug to propel his life in a new, much better direction. The conflicts of the film include the unknown and potentially fatal side effects of the drug that Eddie learns only after having been on a vigorous regimen for a few months, as well as Carl Van Loon's shift from professional mentor to treacherous rival. Once Lindy, the love of Eddie's life, learns of Eddie's addiction to NZT-48, she threatens to leave him because of how different he is while on the drug. She says this after a life-threatening situation puts her in the position to take the drug in order to survive a failed murder attempt in Central Park.
The director of Limitless is Neil Burger. The director of a film has a great deal of responsibility. The director of the film has some of the greatest power on and off the set. The only people that may have more say than and responsibility of a director would be the executive producers, which is why often some of the most powerful, known, and intelligent directors additionally executive produce their films whenever possible. A director is the leader of the cast of actors and the entire production crew. The director creates both a detailed and overall vision for the film and communicates that vision to the crew so that they execute the director's vision. If we consider the film as a body, it is as if the director is the mind and brainstem of the production, while the cast and crew are the various internal systems and appendages. The director is also in charge of the mood, atmosphere, and productivity of the shoot while on-set and on location.
The production designer of Limitless is Patrizia von Brandenstein. The production designer in a film crew is a vital member of the primary crew. The production designer works closely with other crew members such as the director, the director of photography, the costume designer, and the art director. The production designer must work in harmony with these crew members, especially the director and the cinematographer in order to be as effective as possible, which includes the use of the set to support the visual language and themes of the script. The production designer additionally works closely with the location manager and producer. The production designer helps select and design the environment, which include settings, locations, and style, to underscore and enhance the storytelling of the film.
The art director of Limitless is Fredda Slavin. The art director on a film is the next subordinate down from the production designer. The roles of the production designer and art director, at one point in film history, were combined into one role, called art director. Presently, the art director on a film is beneath the production designer, and ahead of every other position in the art department. The art director has administrative responsibilities for the art department. The art director additionally assists in the synergy of the visual elements, settings, and styles. While the production designer has a more design related role, as implied by the nomenclature of the title, the art director helps assign specific tasks, duties, roles, etc. To the members of the art department so as to execute the production designer's and ultimately, the director's visions.
The scene from Limitless that the paper will focus upon comes within the first act of the film about twenty minutes into the film. The scene is the first instance that Eddie Morra takes NZT and experiences the effects initially. The scene before this one is where Eddie bumps into Vern on the street and they have a drink in a bar. This is where Vern explains more about this wonder-drug and offers Eddie a free sample, knowing Eddie will be back for more. That scene concludes with Eddie outside of his apartment building, swallowing the NZT, having no clue as to what it does and how it will change him. The scene following the scene in question is where Eddie, feeling the full effects of the drug and having already seen amazing results, meticulously cleans his home, organizes his life, and composes approximately half of his soon to be best-selling book in a few hours.
The scene of focus opens with Eddie trudging up the stairs to his apartment. As he approaches his apartment, the wife of his landlord confronts him in the hallway regarding his consistently late rent payments and overall mediocre lifestyle. The young, attractive woman rants on about Eddie's failing while Eddie remembers that he has just taken an experimental drug with no idea as to what the effects are and when those effects will come on. As the woman rants on and on about how much of a loser Eddie is, the effects of the drug come on; he has an awakening and a massive epiphany. Eddie notices the infinite, exquisite details of the moment, standing in the hallway, getting berated by a frustrated wife and law student.
In the midst of his awakening and the coming of the drug effects, and among the myriad of details that Eddie comes to notice and savor in the moment, he reads the partially revealed, upside down corner of an obscure book in the woman's bag. This detail helps him diffuse her anger and redirect her energy toward the true object of her frustration, her upcoming paper. Eddie furthermore is able to use this detail to ingratiate himself to her to the point where she invites him in to assist more directly with the paper, an encounter that ends in a sexual encounter between the two. This scene visually demonstrates the power of the drug from within Eddie, as the content includes imagery of the human brain on incredible microscopic levels as well as voiceover from Eddie in the scene. The scene shows what kinds of things happen within Eddie and in Eddie's life as a result of ingesting the drug.
Lighting is a very important aspect to this scene as well as to the film. Before this scene, the lighting of the film is quite drab, intentionally. The drab, boring, and relatively monotone color palette of the lighting up to this point underscores how boring Eddie's life is. The lighting, Eddie's hairstyle, and his costume are key reflectors to Eddie's state. Before the drug, Eddie's life is colorless and dull; his hair is unkempt and shaggy; his clothes look poor and he looks eternally disheveled. In fact, when Vern first encounter Eddie on the street, he asks if Eddie is all right because he looks like he has been living on the streets. He is quite surprised, as is everyone else, that Eddie actually has a book contract with a sizable advance.
As Eddie feels the effects of the NZT, the light changes drastically. The lighting becomes instantly much warmer. There is a greater range and deeper quality to the scene, his disposition, and from this point on, his life. Eddie, and by proxy the viewer, sees the many differentiations of color in the scene, even in a most innocuous setting has the hallway/stairway of an apartment building in Chinatown, New York City. Eddie observes all the meticulous gradations of light, color saturation, and sounds of the hallway. This is demonstrated and reinforced by the lighting. Though still quite precise, the light is more diffuse, there are less shadows, the light is less hard, and the contrast as well as the fall off are much lower. The scene becomes a great deal more inviting. While this author found the film engaging from the first moment, for other viewers, this moment the lighting draws him any audience members who were reluctant to engage with the film visually. It is quite visually harsh up until this moment. The lighting change when the effects come on serve as both a literal and metaphorical light bulb going off in Eddie's head.
The setting of the film is New York City, right now. Eddie Morra lives in Chinatown, which is in lower Manhattan, one of the five boroughs that constitute the New York City metropolitan area. The specific setting of this scene is on one of the floors in Eddie's building. The building has black and white checkered floors, indicating some kind of chess board, mental strategy,…