Like many people who saw Inception on opening day, I am a Christopher Nolan fan. I have enjoyed his previous six films and expected the same from Inception. I was not dissapointed. With his latest effort Nolan has quite frankly created a masterpiece of modern cinema. Christpher Nolan, like Kubrick, and Orson Wells is a filmaker completley sure and uncompromising of his own vision, and like them, most of the time, he is brilliant.
Inception is the story of Cobb a cognitive thief so to speak, who invades the minds of subjects to extract their deepest secretes; this is called extraction. Cobb is able to create a mental landscape in the minds of people filling it with their subconcience in a process known as dream sharing. Cobb and the rest of his team invade the dreamers mind and steal thier secretes, which as it turns out is often locked inside of mental safes or bank vaults. After a sort of confusing and somewhat unnecessary opening sequence we are introduced to Aurthur, Cobb’s right-hand man, a chief job researcher, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and to Saito, an enormously powerfull and wealthy businessman who askes Cobb to do a job for him in exchange for his ability to return safely to United States to be with his children. Cobb is apparently being chased down by internation bounty hunter types for a crime he has commited. Cobb accepts the job, which requires him to build a team capable of inception, which is to plant an unoriginal idea into the head of a subject causing them to believe that the idea was theirs. Aurthur and others believe this to be imposible. They believe that true inspiration cannot be feigned. Cobb then enlists the assistance of Eames, a Forger played by Tom Hardy, who is an expert at getting to the base of the physici, and also Ariadne, a dream architect palyed by Ellen Page, who is to set up the mental framwork and landscape of their inception job. The team is hired to plant the idea into the head of the son of an energy mogul (Cillian Murphey) to break up his fathers compant upon his death.
The sotryline of the film is its main draw. Nolan has drafted a story that is rich in intellect and layered in complexties which slowly unfold themselves throughout the course of the film. The fact that this story unfolds in the backdrop of a fantastical dreamscape dreamed up by Nolan only adds to the greatness of the achievement. A sense of urgency is implord at every level of the movie and in the final act with the layers of the dream world weighing down on the me I actually began to feel claustorphobic by the ever tightening threads of the story. The visuals are stunning to say the least and are only heightened by fantastic sound mixing and an unbelievable score by Hanz Zimmer. There were a few problems I had with the filmthough. One is that the characters saw little in the way of development. They really serve only to further the storyline and little backstory is given outside of Dicaprio’s Cobb. The second is that the action sequences themselves, especially the final stages of the movie where very turgid and muddled and didn’t have any choreography. Much of this is due to the fact that the main characters don’t really have a defined enemy. The manifestations of the subconcience with which they are battling seem distant and almost non threatening. I believe these sequences would have been better served if they had a little more emotion to them outside of a sense of urgency.
Inception is a nearly perfect movie, and with great performances to boot, should garner serious awards buzz as the end of the year approaches. Easily the best movie of the year so far, Inception should not be missed.