I didn’t manage to see Limitless in theatres and so I was looking forward to renting it. The premise intrigued me – a writer discovers a pill that increases his intellectual capability and his life changes for the better almost instantly. The film puts forward the old myth that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity and the pill, NZT, allows them to access 100%, thereby giving them limitless potential.
The movie was only OK. Bradley Cooper’s performance was by far the best thing about it. I usually find him unbearably smug but in this film it worked to his advantage and he can hold his own admirably in the scenes with Robert De Niro. However, there were many elements of the plot that were utterly cliched such as Russian gangsters and corrupt Wall Street executives and it would be all too easy to say that the film only uses 10% of its brain.
More interestingly Limitless is based on the book The Dark Fields written by Irishman Alan Glynn. In this interview Glynn talks about the torturous process of getting the book to the big screen. It was optioned shortly after it was published but it only made it to the screen ten years later.
He also discusses the fact that he has written six novels but only had two published. You do the math! It begs the question at what point does one give up on a writing career? Some people get discouraged after only one novel and others, like Glynn, keep going against all the odds. It has been said by many writers that the difference between those who are published and those who aren’t is merely persistence. But then again, despite all his persistence, Kafka was mostly published posthumously and only because his friend Max Brod took up his cause.
For me the answer is simple: I will continue to write because it’s what I love and the only thing I think I have even a small amount of talent for! Hopefully I’ll get published sooner rather than later.