The final frame of INCEPTION was to settle any questions that the audience had from the opening frame and about the course of the story… all the questions would be answered……
Then it cut to black and the title appeared. At that moment, roughly 200 people all collectively exclaimed with abated breath,
There were also some “Oh, man!” and “Damn it!” peppered in for seasoning. I’m sitting there asking “What just happened here?”
That told me a few things about this movie.
- This is a movie that demands your attention. Everyone in the theater hung onto every single detail and every tick of the story.
- It was a great blend of cerebral thinking and overall entertainment.
- Another interesting thing about the movie is that if I told how it ended, that would tell you nothing about how we got to that point…but I won’t even spoil that part.
Failure to pay attention will result in WTF syndrome.
“Why is it so important to dream?”
INCEPTION is about a team of skilled in infiltrating your dreams to acquire information because your mental defenses are weakened as you sleep. They do these “extractions” for the highest bidder using military technology and to the benefit of corporations. Their leader, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is trying to go home however is banned from returning stateside, however he gets an offer he can’t refuse from a shady executive (Ken Watanabe). The job is considered impossible by many: planting an idea in someone instead of extracting it, hence the title, “inception.”
The target (Cillian Murphy) is to be planted with the idea to drastically change his late father’s company. Cobb then assembles his team: Arthur, point man; Eames, a forger; and Yusuf, a chemist (Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao, respectively) working the logistical plan to give someone an idea that they must execute by their own free will. Midst the mind-bending chaos that will occur Cobb wrestles with a demon of his past (Marion Cotillard) that can jeopardize the inception job. The new girl, Aridne (Ellen Page), discovers the secret and does her best to keep it under wraps from the rest of the team, whom would not be so forgiving in such a complex and dangerous operation.
That sets up the bare-bones of the story and I fear going any deeper than the surface will spoil this remarkably rich and immersible heist thriller. The story screams heist at the surface. Then you add that a person’s dreams are the location and you can play with the altering of so-called reality to include random spawning of incidents, structures, and people. Add onto that the idea of levels of subconscious and elements therein. Mix in the integral and intense concept of giving someone an idea. Like when you think about it, give someone an idea and make them think it is theirs by self thought and free will…
“Inception. Is it possible?”
But really, the story and the concept of dreams is so intimately detailed and explained that it enticed and demanded my attention, and to my knowledge this is an original story. The film plot line is original in idea execution to me. There are references and motifs I pulled from similarly themed films like HEAT, THE DARK KNIGHT, OCEAN’S ELEVEN, maybe even some bits of the TV show LEVERAGE, JAMES BOND FILMS, TOTAL RECALL and THE MATRIX (the fight scene with Levitt’s character and one of the dream projections, a figment of your imagination.)
There is an extended fight scene with zero gravity, sometimes gravity and some slick martial arts and gun play that is nothing of technical ballet and really whoops the llama’s ass. Actually all of the action scenes thankfully are not like that, keeping that part special and unique, as the rest of the adrenaline feels very intense and real, though its not. The consequences are though a lot deeper than you would expect.
The movie is one of those cinematic gold mines for making you pay attention to the littlest details in an attempt to figure out the universe of everything, not unlike how some people are in their lives. For me, I love a good merger of story and action being organic to each other instead of seeming like there is one without the other.
I had my sister text me and then call me after five seconds to tell me how much she loved the movie. My fraternity brother sent me a tweet encouraging me to see the film. My dad sent me a text message, at the behest of my sister, to see the movie as he also enjoyed it. In fact, my sister is considering seeing it for a second time to dissect the details.
“If we are gonna perform Inception then we need imagination.”
I was a little torn on the movie personally. It was entertaining right to the end, however once I thought about it more and more, I started to get frustrated and my head began to ache. I questioned everything I could about what I just saw and if you see and pay attention, there will be some arguments made about the nature of the film.
The first half of the movie speaks like an encyclopedia on how a person can enter someone’s dream, manipulate that world, and the dos and don’ts. It started being a little clinical about halfway in, however, once you reach the climax it all makes sense and you are not left with wondering if you missed something.
Complex details are simply explained and shown with examples, and then applied in a real-time incident to great effect. Therefore in knowing all you will find out, once the movie ends and you go “Aaaaahhhh man, c’mon,” you got to wonder about the validity. It reminds me of the end of THE DARK KNIGHT when Batman said sometimes truth isn’t enough and people need their faith rewarded. That’s one way to look at the movie.
I’ll keep my preference on the ending to myself, but again even if I told you, you still wouldn’t get it because you need to know how you got there…like a dream, you never know when it begins so how exactly did you get here?
“…this world is not real.”
Before we part, I want to offer kudos to director Christopher Nolan for not being complacent with the success of the Batman series and continuing to challenge himself and his fans. He spent a decade on this film and it shows.
So who should see this movie? Everyone you know, make them bring their relatives. I am going to award INCEPTION the highest grade I have. I reserve this grade sparingly and I really had to think about why I am doing this for credibility’s sake (wherever that may be). This equivalent to the grade I gave AVATAR last year. This movie has me right now thinking back about the film and I’m sure others are thinking about it as well and may even give it a second theater view.
The last time I saw a movie twice was THE HANGOVER and before then, THE DARK KNIGHT. I can’t take anything away from the movie that would tarnish it, and well this is one of the good ones and likely one of the best of the year (although this year has been so-so for movies overall, but still).
out of a possible 10.