Inception, intimidates me. It’s also one of the few recent movies that I’ve had a dire need to see immediately. Not just to avoid spoilers, it called me to the cinema with the promise of something new. I avoided as much media as possible in anticipation. What I saw was something familiar, but in a way that is dizzying to describe. Christopher Nolan’s gives his audience implicit trust as he thrusts you into his movie, immediately disorienting the viewer and then taking time to carefully layout the important rules as well as the plan.
I liked all the performance. Michael Cain rules. Ellen Page is cute. BLAH BLAH ! Spoilers AHOY!
This plan, like any good plan, goes horribly wrong. You see, Inception is at its heart, a classic heist film. What’s different is the landscape and the goal. Inception is about stealing ideas through the navigation of a target’s subconscious as they dream. There are rules at play that stop things from becoming out of hand. After all, you would think being in a dream lends you infinite possibilities and solutions to your success. The thief’s imagination does have to be kept in check as to not openly announce their presence to the dreaming victim. Enough about the rules though.
Inception plays heavily upon the potency of ideas. The ideas at play are at times difficult grasp. For instance, the simultaneous separate time lines that flow at relatively different speeds can be jarring and run the risk of leaving the audience stumbling in the dark. Nolan really shows his prowess here, in handling the threat of information overload so deftly. He walks a tight rope between the over expository and the natural development and discovery of circumstance with the expertise of a Man on Wire. While Nolan walks his wire, I felt like I had my own balancing act of keeping track of when/who’s dream was I watching. The movie runs levels deep, as the labyrinth is not only for the heroes in the dreamworld but for the audience as well.
Here in lies my initial question and the motivation to see Inception again. I enjoyed the movie, and despite its few emotional beats, found that the majority of my time spent watching it was spent keeping up with the dream logic. I liked the story Nolan had to tell, but I wasn’t sure where it left me after. Surely, there had to be more to this than what was at the surface. My friend, confronted with a similar emptiness after hoped that the movie wasn’t just a “an artsy Total Recall.”
I highly recommend Inception. Even at its most simple, it is unique, original, and respectful of its audience.
After you see Inception, check this article out on CHUD which is a very satisfying read. I wonder if I might have come to any of these conclusions had I followed the production of Inception as much as Devin Faraci? I’d like to think so, one can always dream right?
On another side note, Kotaku featured an article about the similarities to Inception and video games that made me smile. I arrived at a similar notion, but I doubt I could express it as well as Stephen Totilo.