Movie Review: Christopher Nolan Had a Dream, The Masterpiece ‘Inception’

17 Jul
2010

It is impossible to tell you about Inception by being vague  and ultimately writing a confusingly awkward review, so some details must be given away. Proceed with caution.

By now you must know it is an action/sci-fi thriller with some pretty wild special effects. Ahh, but it’s so much more. It’s about the mind, the subconscious, and the delicacy of decision. Ideas spring forth to life, gaining momentum and manipulate your actions. A thought plants a seed. The seed has no choice but to grow when you water it with determination or doubt. Hence, we are the architects of our destiny.

Sound a bit like the book The Secret or something out of dream. Well, when you walk into the theater and swallow the blue pill, you have no choice but to go down many rabbit holes while watching this film.

Inception, written and directed by Chris Nolan, is a masterpiece. It took him nearly eight years to write this script and you can see why.  The simple synopsis of “In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one’s mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset” is the entire movie in a nutshell but it cannot prepare you for what you experience.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt) are part of team of Extractors. They enter the mind of their subject to extract information…while they sleep. Dream thieves, if you will. It might sound simple enough, but anything can happen in a dream.

This is the beauty of Inception. Your belief in what you see has no choice but to be suspended, because anything is possible. But where does a dream end and reality begin? This intriguing perplexity is a vein that runs through the entire film.

Cobb is trying desperately to get home to see his children stateside, but he cannot. Why is revealed much later in the film. He has the opportunity to do one more ‘job’ which will give him the opportunity to see his children again, however this is not his ordinary undertaking. It’s not an Extraction, it’s an Inception.

With the help of his newly formed team of experts in their field, the Architect, Adriadne, (Ellen Page) who is brilliant at creating mazes, Yusef (Dileep Rao) a master Chemist, Eames (Tom Hardy), a master of deception and Saito (Ken Wantanabe), the man who hired Cobb for the job, must enter the dream landscape of Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy), whose billionaire magnate father (Pete Postlethwaithe) is lying on his death bed. Instead of an Extraction, this time they have to plant an idea in Robert’s mind, called an Inception, to ultimately change a decision he makes after his fathers death, that will effect corporations on a global scale. It must seem as if he thought of this idea himself in order for it to take hold and work.

The landscape in dreams have rules. What affects you in the dream has dire consequences in reality and vice versa. If your subconscious gets in, the landscape suddenly shifts and projections appear that seriously alter the dream state. Enter…the special effects. Buildings closing in on themselves, lack of gravity, the relevance of time, anything goes.

There is one very serious ‘déjà vu’ they must overcome in dreamland; Cobb’s wife, Mal, (played by Marion Cottilard). If you didn’t catch that ‘Matrix’ reference, there…I made it apparent. Mal is definitely a glitch in the dream system.

There are so many psychological aspects involved in this film, your mind has no choice but to churn and whip up questions and contemplation about what you’ve just experienced when you exit the theater. The first simple adjective that came to my lips and when the credits started to roll was “Woah“.

To say the film is enthralling is an understatement. I want to see Inception again. Not on DVD…in the theater. Inception breathes life into Hollywood’s overly saturated world of films that are grossly lackluster and slowly choking the sustenance from it.

For those who write a bad review, I say let your mind go and step out of your constricting box of negativity. If you get bogged down in the films complexity and this causes you to find it too much to handle…you’re probably the same critic who bashes a film for lack of substance or you nitpick on the plausibility and overkill of special effects. To say their interest faltered half way through Inception, they’re probably so hyped up on crack that to experience anything less is like nap time in kindergarten. Don’t believe them.

Leave your expectation at the door. You will be blown away.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 148 minutes

Rating: 9.9/10 stars

Review originally written for Open Book Society.

1 Response to Movie Review: Christopher Nolan Had a Dream, The Masterpiece ‘Inception’

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aplaceforthoughts

July 19th, 2010 at 11:10 am

I’ve definitely got to see this movie now! :)

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