Inception

Leonardo DiCaprio has certainly come a long way from his lame ass days of playing a homeless kid on TV’s Growing Pains in the early 90s.   His latest movie, Inception, has him in the lead role as Cobb.

Mr. Cobb is a kind of security expert with a very special talent.  He can let himself into your dreams to extract your thoughts or to plant the seed of a thought without your even knowing about it.  Since his particular skill set doesn’t exactly have an altruistic application, he makes his living working abroad in corporate espionage as a saboteur. Oh and incidentally, Mr. Cobb is also on the lam from American law enforcement for murdering his wife (Marion Cotillard).  But don’t let that bother you because it isn’t real.

Or is it?

Determining whether one’s reality is really real is the central theme of the movie.  Just because your life is populated by familiar people and places does not necessarily mean it is reality.  Maybe your life is just a dream that you have specifically constructed just because you can. And you’ve been there for so long and have grown so accustomed to it that you’ve forgotten that you’ve ever had any other reality.

Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Ariadne (Ellen Page),  Eames (Tom Hardy) and Yusuf (Dileep Rao) are Cobb’s A-team assembled to surreptitiously infiltrate the mind of Robert Fischer, Jr. (Cillian Murphy) in order to convince him to break up his father’s company so that a rival entity, led by Saito (Ken Watanabe), can quite simply stay in business to compete with the Fischer empire instead of being crushed along with the rest of the competition.

But hijacking the mind of a billionaire’s son who is about to inherit his father’s throne in order to plant a specific thought that is diametrically opposed to the son’s own financial self-interest is not child’s play, particularly if the mark’s subconscious mind has been trained by other security specialists to defend against dream infiltration, and, not especially if the team leader is obsessed with keeping his dead wife’s memory alive in his dreams.

Inception is heavy on the cgi, has a fair smattering of Matrix-like cinematography and is complemented by surreal, Escher and Dali-esque imagery throughout the film. All of which factor into a heady combination of major ass kickery in the special effects department.  If only such technology had existed back in the 80s then movies similar to Inception like Brainstorm and Dreamscape probably would have received the acclaim they deserved.

Inception could easily rely on its visuals alone sans plot (much like the prequels to the original Star Wars movies) and probably still rake in millions, but it doesn’t have to.  In addition to the fascinating science-fiction, the movie also briefly explores social psychology and metaphysics with a heaping helping of existentialism. If you’re not sure what the latter two are about, don’t worry, you will still enjoy the film.  But if you’re the thinking type, you will see what I mean when you view the film.

BTW – this film was written & directed by the same guy who did Memento back in 2001.

This flick was worth the price of admission, but I would caution the viewer that it is a very long (2 hrs 28 mins) and very loud movie.  But whether that was by design or just the movie theater pimply-pussed personnel screwing with the EQ, I’m not sure.  The extreme bass interfered with the dialogue in crucial parts to the extent where I wished the film had subtitles so that I could understand what was going on.

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 Responses to Inception

  1. lena says:

    The first 30 mins of the movie my only thought was ‘what the hell is going on’. Bus as the action evolved and things have become slightly (I repeat: slightly) understandable I started liking the movie.
    It is surely one of the best movies I have watched this year. But I am afraid I will have to watch it again just to figure out what really was going on.

  2. doctorcrankenstein says:

    It got William Gibson’s seal of approval so I can’t wait to see it.

    Speaking of sound I really hate that about movies these days. Gunfights are ridiculously loud and monologue is whispered. Because I live in shared housing student accommodation If I want to watch a movie at night I have to do it at my desk with headphones otherwise the explosions wake everyone up and I can’t hear the talking…

    /rant

  3. THREE says:

    At first I thought it’d be another corporate espionage movie with some sci-fi gimmicks (dream-‘hacking’, Matrix-reality issues). Turned out that wasn’t really the main theme. Neither was it about all the action, CGI Matrix-environment design, the awesome futuristic architecture/maze-paradox, zero-gravity settings, military-based mind (though they all did add to the overall ‘cool’ness of the movie). In the end it was actually about the protagonist coming to terms with his subconscious conflicts (Freud much?)…

    For me, it had that eerily ‘nostalgic’ deja-vu feel (again) — and not just because of the ergo-cogito-sum and dream-within-layers-of-dreams concept (which really does happen way too often with me, and makes me question my perceived reality at times — hey, who doesn’t? No, I’m not schizo [I think/believe]) — but the sense of familiarity probably arose because of “Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” (Philip K. Dick) which also deals with questioning perceived reality, dream-within-dream, and issues with the (ex)wife with attempted resolution by memory regression — yeah, all too familiar :p

    Yikes, look like I wrote a whole new review myself! Anyway, it was a kickass movie. One of the best I’ve seen. Nice insightful review too, PF. Had that Matrix feel and philosophy. But the movie didn’t feel that long for me (maybe because I was ‘awake’…?)

  4. Maybe Three’s mini-review will help Lena to better understand what was going on?

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