Sunday, 23 January 2011


Being a massive fan of Christopher Nolan as it is, this film just heightens my love for him and his work. The fact that it manages to be both unmissable and maddening for its release doesn’t kill the immediate buzz, since half the film’s thrills consist of simply keeping up with it. Nolan’s plot is such that the second you overtake it, things start to fray. Also, to try and top a huge hit like The Dark Knight is a very tough job and imagine the pressure too! All I can say is this monster task for Nolan was well worth it, not just to direct it but to write and produce Inception. Wally Pfister's cinematography was just pictographic, went with the whole ambience of the film fantastically.
Where to start with this film? Well has definitely received the well deserved buzz for the most anticipated film of the summer, or the year! The movie’s fiendish; house-of-cards architecture has been a Hollywood state secret from the start. It is hard to review this film without giving too much away for the readers (that is if you haven’t already seen it), or even any minor spoilers and clues; if I do I sincerely apologise already as I won’t particularly ruin it but some parts of the story I have to describe it or none of this will make the slightest bit of sense.
Let’s start off with explaining what “Inception” actually is in the film; it is the process of imbedding a thought in the mind of a subject in such an incredibly subtle manner, that they end up thinking that they came up with it on their own. It is all part of a dream process that they enter into your subconscious; it is much more than a straight forward dream within a dream, it’s all the bits in between and your end thoughts. The beginning can be a minute of “I think I know what is going to happen” will be the minute you lose focus and get left behind, so go to the toilet before hand, save the bother.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the main role of Cobb, a man who works with a team stealing corporate secrets from people’s minds while they sleep. He doesn’t just simply enter their dream and rummage for the secret. He has to create a whole new world, he requires an architect of some sort to create a world which looks real but cannot be real incase of memories of the unconscious coming in and messing up the settings, planned by the team to lead the subject where Cobb and the group want he/she to go. Cobb needs a team just in case something goes wrong so he goes in with Arthur, played by the lovely Joseph Gordon-Levitt who gives an intense and knowledgeable performance.  Another tremendous member of his team is Eames played by Tom Hardy. You always get a fun and reckless character, the one who wrecks the joint but is funny whilst doing it; well he is that character. Plays it excellently too, along with his intelligence to add to the seriousness of the movie.
The basics of Cobb’s character is that he has some ‘reality’ problems that involves him being apart from his 2 children for a long time and is hard for him to go back to the United States to see them; the reasons unravel in the film, but these problems crop up in the film and make it that bit harder to complete this mission set by Saito (Ken Watanabe). Cobb is a man who is found sitting in a hotel room with a gun in his hand watching his totem spin and watching it intently; he is ready to blow his brains out if the totem keeps spinning, proving that he is in someone else’s dream, in order to “wake himself up”. He has developed an obsession of this ‘world’ of dream invasion, as well as paranoia becoming of him. This continues throughout the film as he often spins the top to verify he is in reality.
This whole ‘mission impossible’, if you will, involves planting a thought in the mind of the son of a very powerful business man on his death bed, Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy). To be honest I am still unsure of what the mission is actually for, even after watching it 2 times and concentrating immensely. As I have explained, each dream needs a world to go into involving an architect to generate it; this is where Ellen Page comes in, who plays a girl called Ariadne, found by Miles who, I think is Cobb's father-in-law; as well as acting as a mentor to him he looks after his kids and is also Ariadne's college professor. He is knowledgably portrayed by actor Sir Michael Caine. Being hesitant with the thought of this ‘dream world’ she leaves but has to come back to her intoxication and interest in being able to create a whole new world, an architect’s dream, she joins the team in order to complete this challenging duty.
This is where the concentration of yours really needs to step up a notch, it becomes exceedingly complex with all this layered processing just to make sure it works smoothly, making sure it actually does within the dream is a completely different ball game. The genius of Nolan’s work here begins to place you into these entrancing and mesmeric levels, one after the other, testing your attentiveness and understanding.
Although the rest of the team are oblivious to Cobb’s issues, Ariadne becomes aware of these deep emotional issues; and the fact that they are so deep that they could wriggle their way into the dreams of ‘clients’ may be dangerous in ruining the dream (again, more will be clear when you watch it). Within the film her portrayal of shock and disturbance is absolutely entrancing.
The ending is the big talk of the film; Nolan purposely makes the film go into some sort of ambiguous state to leave the viewer open to their perception and interpretation of that perception; in coincidently the two big themes of the movie. Especially towards the end where it opposes the question of “Is Cobb still dreaming?” to the audience, leaving you to think about every detail of the film, this is what mainly leads you to wanting/needing to watch it again. Genius!
I do like the fact that as Cobb spins the top (his totem) but then walks away from it before he can be completely sure he is in reality. It is almost like he has given up on this obsession of reality and extraction/inception, he couldn’t care as he finally gets to see his kids after a long period of time; gives up in the need to know “What’s real?” and just ultimately ends up accepting where he is as it makes him happy, no matter where he is, he is with his kids. That is his reality.
Being almost 2 and half hours long, I am usually droning out by then but due to its need of concentration the whole time, it keeps you on your toes and still buzzed when it ends. Goes at the perfect pace, not too slow that you catch up so quickly and have time to guess the next section but not too fast that you can’t keep up. Each stage is more fascinating and engaging than the last. The music also fits beautifully to help carry on the story and fit with the pace between each dream. However it is one of those films that requires multiple viewings to let everything sink in and try and figure it all out bit by bit. It will entertain you while at the same time challenge you. And for those of you going to see this based on your love of The Dark Knight: While Inception is a different type of movie. If you’re ravenous for a film that has action, secrecy and respects the audience, I highly recommend you go see Inception.
End result is a 10/10 for me. I found it exciting, enticing, thrilling, heartfelt and astonishing. Nolan did me proud!

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