Based on Alan Flynn’s The Dark Fields, this 2011 movie stars Bradley Cooper (who is also executive producer) as Eddie Morra, a burnt-out writer, and Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon, a cunning Wall Street power broker. The movie opens with Eddie on the edge of his balcony contemplaying jumping, thinking: Why is it that the moment your life exceeds your wildest dreams the knife appears at your back? Well, I will never let them touch me.

It all started when Eddie met his ex-brother-in-law who gave him a $800-pill (actually unknown, untested and unreliable) which unlocks 100% of his brain’s capacity.

Eddie instantly acquires mind-bending talents and mesmerizing visions that bring him big money, beautiful women and limitless success. For eg, he learns to play the piano in three days (Sergie Rachmaninoff’s Prelude No 2 in C# Minor, a diploma piece), he only has to half-listen to any language and become fluent (he bantered with a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Mandarin). He knows everything about anyone. Everything read, heard or seen is now organised and available.

Eddie makes money in shares. He quadruples his money in four days in a row. However, he soon finds himself entangled with Carl, who thinks that Eddie is a con artist but also a very smart young man. This dream  life soon turns into a living nightmare. The amazing new drug Eddie has been taking has a brutal side effect: and people who have experimented with the same drug are either dead or very sick.

Eddie didn’t want to die because people are instinctive and want to live.

There is a twist to the story and the conclusion is a surprising one. Also, I enjoyed watching the great performances of De Niro and Cooper who is charming and smart.

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