A film that leaves the spectators mind in a state of contemplation hours after its finish can truly be remarked as a success; Christopher Nolan’s action packed thriller Inception produced this exact reaction, a film daring to delve into the complex study of dreams and their infiltration. Nolan’s ‘leap of faith’ not only tested the mentality of the characters but also fabricated our own conception of what was ‘reality’ and what was an induced ‘dream.’ An idea that has been used repeatedly by brave directors turned out to be incredibly original in its presentation and the movie definitely lived up to its universal hype (One of the only ones to do so this summer I feel.)
The plot was mind blowing and any movie fanatic can appreciate its intricacy, working alongside the layered plot were powerful action scenes immersed in a powerful and emotional journey that Cobb Leonardo DiCaprio undertakes in order to free himself from both guilt and political damnation. The wonders (and dangers) of the imagination and the manipulation of memories led to stunning visuals that are otherwise impossible; for example the paradoxical staircase and the converging of social space were both inspirational and phenomenal concepts. The tragic romance story was also very unique rather than your usual predictable love story, DiCaprio embarked on a compelling journey to let go of his deceased wife’s memory which seems to be haunting his dreams putting his team in mortal danger.
The characters were on the whole very well thought out and the interaction between Cobb DiCaprio and Arthur Joseph Gordon-Levitt was both convincing and commendable. DiCaprio is by far the tour de force of this piece, his performance was riveting and he continues to impress and exert himself, I can say with full confidence he is one of the most inspiring actors of this time. Levitt was cast perfectly and it would be great to see him in more of these types of roles rather than the ‘rom com kid’ we are so used to him playing. Levitt and Tom Hardy provided notable moments of much enjoyed comedy, it should also be said that Hardy who plays Eames, a thief of many trades is incredibly competent at playing the ‘bad ass.’ Alongside the brilliant performance from Ken Watanabe who played what I can only describe as an honourable villain. Cobb’s wife Mal played by Marion Cotillard was a truly complex character that kept audience members on the edge of their seats.
However I do not feel like the character Ariadne gave justice to Ellen Page’s acting potential, the character seemed flat and had very little impact as a whole, at times she felt like more of a tool to aid the movie rather than a well rounded character, Page has already proved to audiences that she is a great actress especially her superb performance in Juno, I feel like this particular character let her down, however there was a sweet relationship building between her and Arthur. Cillian Murphy it would seem has provided us with a new insight to his acting abilities showing that he is very much capable of creating an affectionate and vulnerable character, the truly heartfelt deathbed scene was a particular triumph for Murphy.
For anyone who wants to see a fresh, original movie after all the let downs and less than impressive sequels which we have been exposed to in recent months, this is a movie NOT to be missed, Nolan has created an action packed film that requires a great deal of thought and I am not ashamed to say that I will probably have to see the movie again in order to pick up every vital piece of information. It is for this precise reason I highly recommend Inception as a more than worthy watch, I am tired of seeing brainless action films dedicated to providing plot-less scenes of violence, Nolan’s new masterpiece I hope has opened other directors minds up to the conception of well thought out stories that are intertwined with impressive action scenes and great writing. There was a strong essence of the idea of playing god and I personally felt that a new line between right and wrong has been defined.
It would be a tremendous first for me to say I have no criticisms but I have to say after a jaw dropping opening there was a brief period where the movie lost my attention and I began worrying that the strong opening was about to be the only good part of the movie, however just as quickly as I began to lose faith the movie picked up and not once did it drop in standard.
The ending to the movie was a real highlight, leaving us on a clever cliff-hanger; remaining true to the film’s statement it continues to question what is real and what is a vision, the last image of a spinning top was so simple and yet so incredibly powerful it produced much debate of its effectiveness and cohesion with the rest of the movie, a brilliant ending to a brilliant movie.
I have always thought that Nolan’s successful Batman movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) were filmed with great confidence boasting a remarkable script and masterful casting, but this thought was always tainted with the notion that Batman itself is a universal wonder. Inception proves that Nolan can devise his own original material and film it with the same confidence and to the same standard if not to a higher standard, I do personally feel that this is Nolan’s first true masterpiece and I hope longingly that he continues to direct such brilliant and beautiful films.
I cannot stress enough that this is not a sit down and hang your coat up movie, but a powerful exploration into the ideologies of dream infiltration and manipulation. If you are simply going to the cinema for a leisurely experience I wouldn’t suggest this movie; you need to be on top form to appreciate the immensity that is Inception.