Like many films, you present a story that has been told many times before: that of a person who wants power. This is what we all want: the power to control life so that we can live effortlessly. We want to sit in an office on the 20th floor and look at the world below as we stand above it. There is nothing wrong with this picture. If you have power, you can make it that high; but your knowledge should tell you that you must start at the very bottom. The difference between the bulky super hero and the skinny average Joe is that the super hero possesses powers to overcome adversity. Joe has the knowledge to do the same, but lacks power because he doesn’t understand how to use his strongest power: his mind.
This is where you present Bradley Cooper as Eddie, a writer who has paper but can’t put words on it. That is your secret ingredient for luring the audience in. Aside from all of the technicalities that went into producing you, you present a character that in many ways can serve as a reflection of the audience that is watching you. One day you don’t how or why you are living the way you are, and the next day you come across a drug that takes away your stress and frustration. It’s amazing how it happens all of a sudden; you present an ex-brother-in-law who had been non-existent up to that point, as the solution to Eddie’s lack of focus and self-esteem. All the frustration from an unsuccessful marriage and the struggle to write a book can be erased by taking an “approved drug.” In other words, if you take this drug, you are a new person and your struggles are over.
We know this is too good to be true, but you unfold in a way that keeps us guessing what is going to happen when Eddie gets this message. You take us along on the journey of a man with no ideas who is suddenly the talk of the town. At this rate, what can go wrong? Well, power is like money: everyone wants some. So you bring in a man who has a lot of money in Carl Van Loon. While he may have a lot of power, he takes any opportunity to gain more. That is the name of the game: if you have power, prepare to fight for it because others want it. While it was predictable that everything about this drug was too good to be true, the message that you deliver sets you apart from other power-seeking stories. We all have what we need to gain power, but we don’t believe it.
As you flash through Eddie’s life, we see the actualization of the ease with which we want to conquer our own hurdles to success. However, when you start to pick up momentum and strength, you start to lose track of the fact that there are obstacles to overcome if you want to reach the top. You present Van Loon as the embodiment of our biggest weakness: pride. Power cannot be measured by how much we possess, but rather how we use it. It is easy to have power when it’s given to you. However, we don’t want to put in hard work when others possess the power we want. Eddie didn’t need the drug to be who he was. The problem is that he never believed he could do it on his own. So in the end, you show why you must work towards gaining power, not asking for it.
Until we met again,