Rating: 5 out of 5
Christopher Nolan has a reputation for delving into similar thematic circles in all of his films – and all have led to stories of incredible emotional catharsis and psychological dexterity. None however, come remotely close to the brilliance and ingenuity of Inception.
The subject of mind, memory and the malleable linearity are at the basis of Nolan’s inspirations (as in Memento, The Prestige) and is once more combined with the tale of a man overcome by obsession triggered by tragedy (manifested by all the protagonists in abovementioned movies, and yes, Bruce Wayne too).
Inception doesn’t just play around with chronology, it’s a film structured in an extremely unique way, designed deliberately to tell an extremely unique story. Getting your head around the framework of Inception isn’t too difficult as the internal rules of logic are explained very clearly – you just have to pay attention, which is something audiences may be unprepared for in this season of brainless of action flicks.
Notwithstanding its intellectual elegance, Inception is also harrowing, brutal and heartbreaking. After all, the conceptual complexities of this mind bending universe wouldn’t be half as interesting without heavy emotional grounding.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who specialises in subconscious theft, or what the film calls ‘Extraction’. This time however, instead of stealing secrets from a subject’s dream, he is tasked by powerful Japanese businessman, Saito (Ken Watanabe), to do the opposite - to plant an idea (‘Inception’) into the head of corporate rival Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy).
To do this he enlists his dream team (so to speak) of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Ariadne (Ellen Page), Eames (Tom Hardy), and Yusuf (Dileep Rao), each possessing a unique talent required to penetrate a mind’s defences and break into the target’s dream state. This film is essentially a heist movie, just set in a dream world.
This is about as far as I’m willing to go with a story synopsis because Inception is a film that demands to be experienced with a blank canvas. Indeed, even its marketing is intentionally vague for a reason. As you’re immersed into twisty dreams and surreal sleight of hand, the audience begins to feel as dislocated from time and space as the film’s characters.
It’s a compliment to the confident nature of Nolan’s script and direction that despite a sense of dislocation, you’re never disoriented. The story mechanics may be wonky but the story itself and each character’s motives are assuredly coherent.
Expect some bravura visuals unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Gordon-Levitt’s zero-gravity showpiece fight scene against a dream projection in particular is an obvious highlight in a film overflowing with astounding imagery stunning sequences.
With a movie this creatively rich, it’s easy to overlook the uniformly spectacular work by the whole cast. Inception provides everyone, even the bit players, lots to chew on and credit to all (Watanabe especially) for stepping up with the performances of their lives.
About Hidzir Junaini
Hidzir Junaini, is 23-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for MetroWize Asia.
Hidzir was the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.