Inception


Over the last month or so, one movie has been the center of buzz among various different groups of people: the jocks, the preps, the nerds, the normies, and us geeks, and they’re all saying one of two things (or one after the other): “I want to see Inception,” or, “Inception was amazing! Go see it!” And it’s pretty much the same everywhere; hardly anybody I know has seriously disliked this movie. Plenty of people have given criticisms to the plot, the acting, and etc, but I’ve yet to see a single person who actually thought it was a bad movie. As much as I would like to be the black sheep of the crowd, I must say that I agree with everyone who loved this movie (eg, everybody). Here’s why:


The movie starts off delivering to us the concept of shared dreams, and dream theft, a crime in which somebody steals thoughts or ideas from the victim’s self-conscious. We meet Dominic Cobbs, an extractor portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the middle of a dream heist when a women by the name of Mallorie enters the dream and ruins Cobb’s charade. ‘Mal’ is soon revealed to be Cobb’s deceased wife that exists as a projection of his subconscious, one that is continually interfering with his work. Though it seemed that Mal had ruined the job, Cobb’s appears to have much more up his sleeves as he is able to finish the job as successfully as he could. Much later, he is offered a new job, a job that, if completed, would earn him his freedom to return to the United States, and able to see his children. The catch: this job isn’t a simple dream theft of extraction; it’s one of inception, an act thought to be impossible. Inception is the concept of entering an others subconscious and implanting a new idea, instead of stealing one, deep enough in the mind in the hopes that the idea will influence that person’s future actions. Desperate, Cobb’s takes the job, stating that inception was possible, and that he had done it before. Now it is up to him to set up a team capable of pulling off such a feat, and accomplishing it. Will Cobb’s being able to succeed in his impossible task and make it home to his children? Or will he become lost in the fantasy world forever? Watch it and find out!

One of the coolest things about this movie is all the neat concepts it throws around, such as the different layers of the subconscious (eg, dreams within dreams), impossible designs made possible in dreams such as the Penrose Stairs, the difference in time within dreams, and of course inception, among many more. However, many people seem to think that such ideas that make you think a little bit within a movie suddenly makes it “deep”. What about this movie makes it deep in any way? Sure, there are basic symbols and puns made during the movie; Mal’s nickname is obviously a pun on the latin root meaning “bad” (hm… I wonder if she’s not the antagonist of the movie). Dominic Cobbs is also often called Dom, a pun on the latin root meaning “leader or god”. While clever little additions, this does not make the movie deep.

This movie also has layers. No, not layers of depth, and not layers of a cake, but literal layers. Within the movie, our heist team explores several different dream layers within one dream; in other words, they go into a dream, within a dream, within a dream. A majority of people seem to equate their difficulty following the movie (as it does jump back and forth between layers often) with the movie being intellectually deep. Yes, it can be a little challenging to follow, but I swear to you that if you just pay attention to the movie you paid $10 for, you’ll be able to keep up.

Other minuscule symbols also exists, seemingly adding to the charade of depth, such as the personal totems, small objects that each person carries on them; these items are unique, and only the owner is familiar with the weight and balance of the object. The totems are used as a way of keeping their owner aware that they’re dreaming, or telling if they’re awake. It’s quite obvious what they symbolize.

All these misconceptions of depth within the movie are likely not the fault of the movie makers, and simply a reflection of the audience watching the film. Many of us can agree that people are generally morons, so lets move on.

Now that I’m done screaming about that, lets move on to the acting. Oh yes, when you have an odd leading pair consisting of Leonardo DiCaprio, best known for the Titanic, although lately he has been taking on epic action/drama roles, and Ellen Page, the spunky young actress best known as Juno, people are bound to be on different levels. Don’t get me wrong; they’re both good actors, however one seems highly overrated, and the other a bit inexperienced to be taking on a role like she did. However, I suppose she needs to fit into her upper-tier Hollywood shoes at some point, and this is a good launching pad. Overall, I only really had problems with DiCaprio (almost typed DiCrapio; Freudian slip?). In certain emotional scenes, he seems to overact, or completely miss the feelings he’s supposed to bring about in the audience. His phone scene with his children seem totally fake, and convinced me that I’m a critic and that I’m watching a bad performance. Everybody else, though, seems to portray their parts according to what was probably intended. Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a visually-captivating, and overall extraordinary fight scene in the dream world, and it actually convinced me that he was fighting in zero-gravity. For more on this, watch the movie.

Next, there’s Christoper Nolan; the man has been doing just great lately. This director really seems to know what he’s doing when it comes to action thrillers, and Inception seems to be his magnum opus. Usually when somebody plans something their entire life, constantly polishing it up, editing it, it ends up being groveled up by Hollywood and made into complete shit. However, this time it seems to have really worked out for this now-recognizable name in directing. Big kudos to him.

Now I’ll attack the plot. Usually when you’re risking your life, your freedom, and your sanity, along with all of the above for a handful of other people, you need a pretty darn good reason. No, not Cobb. The build of the plot seemed highly unrealistic to me. Okay, here it is: in order to implant an idea in some entrepreneur’s son urging him to shut down his father’s business, you need to go through several months of stalking, planning, preparing, and risk just about everything you have, including your name; one of the very likely consequences of this job is spending the rest of your life in a comatose state and existing in mental limbo. Yes, a competing business wants to shut down their largest market threat, so these people are risking an eternity in limbo (because time goes much, much more quickly when sleeping). Of course, being that Cobb’s is desperate, I suppose he’d take any job in order to see his children. But seriously? It seems like a lame way to grasp at plot straws to me. However, from then on the rest of the plot builds off of that, works with the crap situations, and actually makes it epic and highly enjoyable story. However, after all of that, if you stop to think about what they’re really doing, the risks seem to offset the rewards.

So, that’s about it. Other than these few minor upsets I had with the movie, which I have just exploded upon, Inception was a really great movie. Definitely worth a watch while still in theaters, and if you miss it, don’t fret; just check it when it comes out on DVD! While The Dark Knight was pretty much the Summer action movie of 2008, Christopher Nolan’s latest work will certainly hold the spot for 2010. Overally, I’m going to rate this movie at a solid 8/10 for very neat, compelling concepts, a captivating plot (despite having a few shit motives), some strong performances by a great cast, and action! Action! Action! This movie certainly captures all the ideas it tries to present, and is likely an indicator as to the future of Nolan’s films. Whether you’re into fun action films, captivating psychological films, or just wanting to see a good movie, Inception is perfect for you. Until next time, this has been another review by none other than Sachi, the Geek with Taste!

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