Inception – Film Review
2hr 28min – Rated 12A – Action/Adventure/Scifi/Fantasy – English –
Director: Christopher Nolan – Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas
This is one of those films which is surrounded by alot of hype and one of those rare instances where it is justified. Christopher Nolan is widely vaunted for his imagination following The Dark Knight and, if pushed, one of the words you would use to describe Inception would defiantly be ‘imaginative’. Leonardo DiCaprio is Dominic “Dom” Cobb, a man who specializes in extracting and stealing people’s thoughts from within their dreams and can even plant ideas in people’s heads. The film follows Cobb as he is tasked ‘incepting’ an idea into the mind of a powerful corporate heir. Politicos at this point may well wonder what idea they would like to insert in the mind of their given party leader – answers on the back of a postcard or in comments.
Cobb is soon surrounded by a team of unlikely heros and a heroine while being haunted by the shadow of his deceased ex-wife. No real bad guys exist though there are shadowy corporate figures who occasionally make an appearance and that is appropriate because this not meant to be a linear film. It’s meant to operate on many layers and make the viewer actually question their own concept of reality and it works because we are spared the usual black/white plot which is replaced with different shades of grey. A comparable film would be the Matrix trilogy actually because it deconstructed the viewers pre conceptions about reality in a similar way.
Within the film there is a dialogue between the acted out story and the viewing audience which is cleverly invited to involve itself in the narrative tensions and discussions within the film. The ethics of Cobb’s actions and the relation between our inner mental and the outside physical world are examples of such debates. In keeping with its complex nature the film probably requires several watches to be fully understood and the good news the audience is teased at the end with the prospect of a sequel. Hopefully, that is a promise that will be realised because Inception truly is a classic film and worthy of the title ‘blockbuster’.