Rummanah Aasi
  I have been interested in seeing Inception ever since I saw its trailer when I saw James Cameron's Avatar. With an incredible director like Christopher Nolan and a very well cast, how could I not see this movie?! Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone to see it with me when it came to the big screens. My brothers, who I thought would be all on board to watch this movie, were simply not interested. Others had already seen it and apparently, had headaches trying to sort the film out. So I had to put the movie on my "get as soon as it's on DVD list" and grudgingly waited while I kept hearing either glowing or disappointing reviews.
  Unlike many movie watchers that I know who think movies are meant for mindless fun, I like to watch movies that make me think. Yes, I can sit back and laugh at a Will Ferrel movie but its not the same feeling as say watching The Matrix and trying to sort out what is reality and was it the illusion. I'm notorious for analyzing movies after I finish watching it. To me, movies are active books i.e. have plots, characters, themes, etc that the director and screenplay writer are trying to convey. Inception is one of those movies that stay with long after I finished watching it. Its been a few weeks since I saw it, yet there is still some parts of it that sticks to my brain and once in a while it still leaves me puzzled.

Description: Dom Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) is an extractor and a con artist who is paid to invade the dreams of various business tycoons and steal their top secret ideas. Cobb robs forcefully the psyche with practiced skill, though he is increasingly haunted by the memory of his late wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who has a nasty habit of showing up in his subconscious and ruining his missions. Cobb had been involved so much in work that he seems to have lost in touch with reality. He is tired of being on the run and only wants to go back to his two little kids. His opportunity to leave the heist behind is to do one last job: A wealthy business man Saito ( Ken Watanabe) wants to destroy his business rival Robert Fischer Jr.'s (Cillian Murphy) empire, but the only way to complete the task is to plant a new idea: 'Inception' into Fischer's mind. Are you lost? I don't blame you, it's quite complicated. Maybe the trailer might help:

Review: On a surface level, there is really nothing exceptional about Inception. Movies based on dreams, subconscious that challenge us to differentiate reality from illusion has been done before such as the philosophical, sci-fi thriller The Matrix. What makes Inception different is its multiple layers of storytelling. While it may look like a mash up between The Matrix and Oceans 11, in my opinion, a brilliant film that held my attention and my head reeling from the moment it began to the seconds where the credits rolled. Really, the less you know about this movie going in, the more you will be entranced by seeing it.
   Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a world class criminal who, with the help of a team of sleep experts, works his way into people's subconscious and steals what people value most: their ideas. You can't help but root for Cobbs yet at the same time question his motives. Is he really ready to leave the heist and face the troubles of reality? What does he think is currently happening to the two children he abandoned? We know that his wife has died and has invaded his dreams and jobs. Does Cobbs have something to do with her death?
   One of the most memorable scene in the movie is where Cobbs and Ariadne (played by Ellen Page) revisits/dreams of his house. He has an elevator that takes them to the different floors. In the elevator, we kept help but feel caged just like them, anxious of what lies ahead once those doors open. With this simple scene and various camera shots, we are physically aware that each level represents Cobb's guilt and shame. The build upon one another until we are firmly in the dark 'basement' that represents his nightmare.
   The power of Inception, for me at least, is the strong emotional connection to the story. Like Cobbs, I wanted to relieve the burden of shame and guilt that he carries on his shoulders. I also wanted to erase the fear of disappoint that plagues Robert Fischer Jr. Yet while I was pulled in different directions, I was completely enamored by the dream world and lost in its comfort. I can completely see how addictive and harmful living in the dream world can be.
   DiCaprio is good in his role, but unlike many of his other films he does not have to carry the movie on his shoulders. The ensemble cast is terrific and makes this movie work, very much in the same fashion that their counter parts in the movie collaborate to create the heist. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy are especially good in their roles and stand out.
   The special effects in this film were also very good and seem simple compared to those used in the Matrix movies. There are plenty of slow-motion shots to indicate dreams, but no impossible kung fu fighting sequences. My favorite part of the special effects are not in the action scenes, bur rather the architecture of certain dreams, and impossible sequences are filmed in a way I that I could never imagine.
  However, the special effects would mean nothing without a good story (don't get me started on Matrix sequels, ugh). The story sucks you in right from the beginning and doesn't leave you until the very end where a something as simple and bland as a spinning top holds your undivided attention. The plot moves at a feverishly pace, leaving the viewer no time to get bored. There plenty of twists and turns in the film, but thankfully, they don't get in the way of the story. Details and rules of the dream world are rapidly given, which may make you want to see the movie again for the second time in order to keep them straight. The layers upon layers of dreams and tracking of who's dreams you are following might cause headaches, but I assure you it's worth it in the long run.
  Many of my friends had asked me about what I thought happened in the end of the movie. There have been large debates about the ending ever since the movie released in July 2010. Nolan refuses to give a conclusive answer. Some believe they 'figured it out' and believe it is 'x' while others have taken a step further in dissecting and analyzing the movie frame by frame looking for a definitive answer and proof to their theories. I certainly do have my ending, but more importantly though, I think Nolan is asking us is to define is the journey that allows us to differentiate the dream world and reality and whether or not we really need reassurance of our answer. That being said, Inception is well worth its praise, hype, and accolades. I just wish I saw it on the big screen as it is meant to be seen. It is an incredibly entertaining movie, but it also makes you think and continues to do so after you leave the theater or in my case turn off your DVD player.

Rating: 5 stars (Must see)

Words of Caution: This movie is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
4 Responses
  1. Daisy Says:

    If you ever find a way, watch it on a big screen. I went to the movies for this one (I almost never do) and it was amazing. It's also amazing on a normal TV, but the big screen just adds that little something extra.
    I love Ellen Page, I hope to see her lots of movies to come.
    Everyone seems to have different theories about the ending, I'll have to watch it again to tell you mine, cause I'm not sure yet :)

  2. BookQuoter Says:

    My daughter e-mailed me an interesting article on this movie soon after it came out. The gist: the younger generation completely understood and really liked this movie more than the older generation. I unfortunately belong to the second group. She had to explain the movie to me:(

    Great review! I am planning to watch it again!

  3. Daisy: I completely agree. I don't think you can truly appreciate the special effects unless you see it on the big screen.

    BookQuoter: I can understand that, however, I think any movie that dare to change the linear way of storytelling will always have that effect. What I love about this movie is that there is no definitive answer, which leads us to great discussions.

  4. Bryon Says:

    Writing a movie about dreams could get pretty weird considering how strange dreams are. I thought sticking to something more realistic in this movie helped me appreciate it as an art form though more than a silly rant about this or that. The workings of the science is something to appreciate too. I’m looking forward to watching “Inception” on HBO this Saturday at 8 PM when it airs. I’ll be out of town for a convention, but I can catch it on my iPhone because of my free DISH Network Sling adapter that I got with a rebate. It’s sweet because I don’t’ miss my shows and if I set a DVR recording I can still watch it later anywhere I am.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails