Since I don’t know him personally, I can’t say what goes on in the mind of Christopher Nolan. All I can do is guess and speculate based upon his work. The writer/director has brought us gems like The Prestige, Batman Begins and one of my personal favorites of all time, The Dark Knight. The screenplays that he has developed are original, creative, sometimes complex, but the best of all, they grab your attention and hold it in their clutches way after the film has ended. They make you think; make you consider and then re-consider any options or possibilities about the plot that you may have been wondering about. Furthermore, since he has had the luxury of having some very good actors in his projects, it makes his films even that much better. His latest work, Inception, follows the same signature blueprint.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is what you would call an Extractor, but what he extracts is contained in people’s dreams. With the help of his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), they enter an individual’s dream and steal, or extract, something of dire importance to that person and relinquish it to whomever they were hired to do it by. For example, if I wanted to get your ATM pin number, they could go in and get you to give it to them or just retrieve it from somewhere in your dream. A businessman, Saito (Ken Watanabe), hires the two to do just the opposite, however. He would like them to create a new idea and implant it into someone’s dream. That act is called, you guessed it, inception. But this procedure is far more difficult than merely taking something out of someone’s head. They would have to get it to stick and seem so real that it would manifest in the persons subconscious and cause them to make real life choices because of it.
They enlist the help of a graduate student, Ariadne (Ellen Page), to be the architect, or the person who will create the world of the dream that they will be using. After rounding out their team with two more people, a chemist, Yusuf (Dileep Rao) to keep them sedated while asleep, and a forger named Eames (Tom Hardy) who is able to change his appearance within their dreams, they are now ready to attempt their job. Their target is the heir to a wealthy business rival of Saito’s, who is currently on his death bed. Saito wants this son, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) whose relationship with his father is shaky, to not try to live up to his father’s reputation and instead dismantle the corporation that he built. To do this, the team must travel dangerously deep into Fischer’s subconscious to put this emotion in place. In addition, Cobb must also deal with his own demons concerning his wife, Mallorie (Marion Cotillard), which have been festering and rapidly progressing out of control within his own mind of dreams.
Before the anticipated release of this film, it drew many comparisons to that of The Matrix trilogy being that it incorporated a world within one’s mind in which almost anything was possible (Ala Morpheus: “Free…your…mind”). But I would disagree. Although, yes, a similar concept, it goes slightly farther in its plight. Whatever happens in the real world while one is asleep has an effect on their dream world. More than simply pulling a cable out of the back of Keanu Reeves’ head and killing him. But any distractions such as noises, movements, etc. in the real world have a sort of cause and effect routine in the dream. Such as hearing music in real life while you are asleep will cause you to hear it throughout your dream world. Other aspects just like that add to this films innovation and uniqueness.
Of course, no complaints about DiCaprio’s performance. He is as convincing and entertaining as usual conveying his character’s problems and emotions as well as any other role he has played. A surprising performance was that of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He really has grown up since Third Rock from the Sun and 10 Things I Hate About You. The essence of his supporting role is featured in some of the films more mesmerizing scenes. Speaking of that, the special effects in this movie are massive. They are some of the best and original that I’ve have seen in a while. Just imagine some of the craziness and random occurrences that happen in your actual dreams and then imagine seeing them on screen. It has some of the closest real dream adaptations without getting too out of control with weirdness to be included in a movie.
Even though it may seem like it will be difficult to follow, the story actual eases you into it at a very steady pace as to not confuse the hell out of you like other films have. You stay with the story and whenever you might begin to feel like you’re losing it, it answers your questions and you’re right back in it. I did expect it to be rather long, running about 2 hours and 20 minutes but it doesn’t get boring. But I don’t suggest going to see it if you are on the brink of unconsciousness after a long hard day of work. It will need your fullest of attentions in order to do what movies are created to do, entertain. I give Inception “4 new meanings to the phrase ‘sweet dreams’ out of 5”.
“Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange”
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