Mama of two goes to the movies – the Big Scream – to watch Luc Besson’s, Lucy

Do you think going to the cinema with a baby is a good idea? I am sure you don’t, you have in mind noise, crying, other people tutting at you, stress. That is how it would be, going to a normal cinema screening, with your baby.

Imagine for a second, going to the cinema with your baby and it all going well: the baby feeds, sleeps, is a little unsettled but nothing too inconvenient and guess what, there are other people in the same situation as you. You are not alone and no one is going to tut at you or say shshsh. Wouldn’t this be incredible or indeed possible at all? Yes, it would and luckily (for those parents near a Picture House cinema) it is a real-life, scenario, not one just imagined. The cinema with babies is real.

It is called the Big Scream and it is a stroke of genius. They have customers who otherwise they would miss out on and the mamas and papas of young children, have the chance to go to the movies and enjoy a moment of normality with a sense that life with babies, is still quite, errr, similar to before. “See we even go to the cinema, it is not that bad”, I can hear myself tell childless colleagues at work.

Ok it is not the same, as going to the cinema in the evening, the sessions run at 10.30 am and you don’t usually have a beer or a glass of wine before or after. Instead you have a cappuccino or a late (offered by the cinema). And it is something you can only do, if you are on maternity or paternity leave. “Yes there are some dads with their babies, yes on their own, at these screenings, I have seen one or two”, for those that are asking the inevitable question, are there men at these fabulous events?

So mama of two is back, with 7 weeks old baby nr. 2 at the Clapham Picture House. The movie I watched this week is Lucy, Luc Besson’s latest. I was excited to go back to these sessions, 3 years after going there with baby nr.1.

There are aplenty official reviews of the movie that gave me a feel of what to expect: “the blockbuster of the summer”, “silly but eccentric”, “an interesting idea with a questionable execution” (the one I agree the most with).

Apparently, Besson himself, has said Lucy is a film in three acts: “The beginning is Leon The Professional, the middle is Inception, the end is 2001: A Space Odyssey.”. Quite ambitious I thought (as did the official reviewers) and intriguing enough, to make me leave the house without my morning nap, finishing the house chores, getting the dinner ready, speaking on Skype, watching the last “Live at the Apollo episode”, etc etc (life is busy for a mama). I just got ready and left (with baby still in his pyjamas…).

I am not going to give a full review of the movie, as the point is to talk about, mama’s outing. Nor I want to give the plot away. Just a few thoughts:

– Lucy was thought provoking, a good attempt at imagining how would the human brain function at 100% capacity (now we are at about 10% according to the movie, something considered more widely as a bit of a myth)
– Informative, the 10% (as a theory) but also other aspects of our evolution. I will be able to remember that life appeared 1 billion years ago thanks to the movie (I remember better visual information, and I hope Luc has got the facts right). I will also remember, the first ancient human ancestor we know of, was called Lucy
– The plot was satisfying from a woman’s point of view with all the action and the killing of the bad guys performed by a woman (not a muscled man)
– And also satisfying for giving the role of having the full brain capacity to a woman and seeing what she does with it. What concerns her, it turns out, is knowledge and the philosophical questioning of human life and what are humans doing with it. “We are too concerned with having rather than being”, says Doctor Norman (Morgan Freeman), a neuroscientist who has conducted research into the evolution of the human brain and its growing from 1% capacity to 10%. This kind of a concern, knowledge and the human brain do echo with me and i believe with many other people around the world. And it is good to see they are shared by Luc Besson too.

Some more thoughts. What would I do if I had 100% brain capacity? I asked myself that question and my immediate answer was, I would explore the universe, find other planets for humans to live in “peacefully” without the need to fight over resources. And at the end I would surely get used to it and would lead a normal human life with a 100% brain capacity.

What does Lucy do with her 100% brain capacity?

– She transfers all her newly gained knowledge about how the brain works into a USB memory stick (yes, hilarious) and gives it (after having disaperead from her human form into a form of being everywhere) to the doctor.
– She travels in times, backward only… I would have loved her to travel in e future… And sees, New York’s Time Square as it was back in the early 20th century; when Indian populations lived in that piece of land, riding their horses and looking baffled by the view of a woman sitting in a desk chair; when dinosaurs were roaming around and finally when Lucy was alive. Our Lucy obviously had to meet her.

Some parts of the movie that are difficult to believe:
– The drug that allows Lucy to gain the full brain capacity. Where is it, can we all have some please?
– Her nearly fully dissolving in the toilet cabin of an airplane only to regain her full figure, after having some more of the blue drug. And also why blue, has Luc been watching too much Breaking Bad?
– All the killing which doesn’t seem justifiable and not believable either, does it really happen?
– When Lucy first realises she is gaining new supernatural abilities, she calls her mother and starts by saying “mum, I feel everything, I feel the planets, I feel gravity (it all sounded a bit far fetched for a real-life type of conversation), I can remember everything, the taste of your milk in my mouth (quite sweet), the room and the 1000 kisses you gave me (definitely sweet but not enough to make the whole story believable).

So to conclude, Mama of Two, enjoyed Lucy, it poses good questions about the meaning of life, our knowledge of human brain and human evolution. It is entertaining and it is a good attempt at trying to imagine the full brain capacity. I would have wanted more scientific information around that, more than philosophical meandering. But as we, humans don’t have the answers yet, Luc does not either. He is not able to see into te future, as he hasn’t yet reached 100% brain capacity, himself. The quest continues although Luc has ruled out, a Lucy 2.

Now it is time for us to leave, go and have some lunch and back to the joys of breastfeeding and being the mama to a lovely, sweet little baby, who is part of my answer to the question of the meaning of life. As it is for many other people, I am sure.

See you next week for another Big Scream movie.

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