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Limitless Film Analysis

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Introduction My name is Joshua Ettridge and I will be analysing the film techniques used in the film Limitless. Limitless is a 2011 science fiction film which is directed by Neil Burger. The scene I have chosen plays a key role in the story because it shows the audience how much of an effect NZT has on the lead character, Eddie Morra. It shows Eddie taking the drug and the transformation it causes immediately after. Setting
This scene is set across many different settings, including his apartment, the gym, various places around New York, the casino and a beach side city. This shows the effect the drug has on Eddie, and how it is changing his life. The many different scenes show that Eddie isn’t staying in one place and that he is constantly changing locations. It shows how quickly the NZT can change his life, and how quickly he goes from being a ‘no-body’ to someone who is partying with supermodels in a beach-side mansion. The beach side mansion and the luxury sports car are symbols which show the audience that Eddie is becoming more successful and wealthy.
Lighting, costumes & characterisation
Neil Burger uses lighting to demonstrate the effects of NZT. As soon as Eddie took the NZT the lighting turned from bleak and dark to a lighter orange and yellow tinge. Neil Burger has used this particular colour to show that his This helps show the audience that NZT is ‘opening up his mind’, and helps the audience differentiate between when Eddie is on the drug and when he isn’t. After taking NZT, Eddie’s appearance also improves. He starts wearing higher end clothing and while on the drug he is seen almost exclusively wearing a suit. He becomes well-groomed and his eye colour changes from brown to crystal clear blue. This is in contrast to how he was before he took the drug, where he presented as unkempt and messy. This helps show the audience the physical changes NZT causes for Eddie, and how the drug causes him to become a better person. The idea that a drug can have such a substantial positive impact is presented to audience within this scene. This challenges the widely perceived notion that all drugs are bad, and that they can’t be beneficial to a user’s quality of life.
Camera shots, angels, movements, editing techniques & special effects.
Throughout the scene many camera angles and shots are used. Before Eddie takes the drug, a high angle shot is used. This makes him look weaker and vulnerable. Immediately after Eddie takes the drug the shot changes to Eddie walking with a low camera angle. This low angle helps make Eddie look more powerful and stronger, by making him look bigger. This helps show the audience the effect the drug. The scene, uses a fishbowl-like shot, in conjunction with a point of view angle. The fishbowl shot has been used specifically to show the audience that Eddie’s mind is now working more powerfully than the average person as he can now see more, and that he can now use it more efficiently. Together, the fishbowl shot and point of view angle conveys to the audience that Eddie’s mind has opened up, and that he can now understand more, and can take in more information about the environment around him. Throughout this scene, many point of view shots are used. This places the audience in the perspective of Eddie, which helps the audience connect to Eddie and allows the viewer to feel like they are experiencing his life themselves.
Sounds:
Many sound techniques have utilised within this scene. The scene begins with non-diegetic music, which is upbeat and fast tempo. This begins when Eddie takes the NZT, which helps show the audience that NZT makes the user more motivated. Other non-diegetic sounds include the voice over from Eddie which describes what he is doing. This helps the audience understand what is happening, and adds to the story without having to show it. Many diegetic sounds were also used in this scene, such as conversations, music at the club and noise of the vehicles. All of these diegetic sounds are high paced and show how quickly Eddie’s life is changing due to NZT.
Conclusion:
I believe that Neil Burger has successfully communicated his ideas and messages throughout this scene. Through the use of lighting, sounds, camera techniques and characterisation he successfully shows the transformation that NZT causes on Eddies’s life. The overall message Neil Burger is trying to communicate within this scene to the audience is that drugs can be beneficial to the user and can improve the quality of life on the user.

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