Christopher Nolan is undoubtedly one of the best filmmakers of the last
decade. He has the rare ability of creating original and
thought-provoking films respected by even the harshest of critics while
also striking a chord with the general public – and making a fair amount
of money to boot. After reinventing the super-hero genre with The
Dark Knight, it looks like Nolan’s latest effort Inception is
set to do the same thing with science fiction and it’s the best of his
impressive catalogue of films.
Cobb and Ariadne (Leo and Ellen Page) play in the
exactly what makes this film so amazing is difficult without giving too
much away – but I’ll do my best. I watched the film having read very
little about the plot and am grateful for it. In short, Dom Cobb
(Leonardo DiCaprio) has the ability to infiltrate the subconscious of
sleeping individuals and extract sensitive and often valuable
information. After being ‘auditioned’ by businessman Saito (Ken
Watanabe), Cobb is offered one last job – to commit inception. That is,
rather than stealing a thought, he will need to plant the seed of an
idea in someone’s deeper subconscious and therefore alter the person’s
mind permanently. In return, he will be given safe passage back to his
children in the US. Cobb gathers together a team of experts to help him
pull off his last and most dangerous dream heist.
worked for almost a decade on this script and it certainly shows. One of
the most exciting aspects of this film is just how multi-layered it is
and that none of these layers are lost in translation to the screen. For
much of the movie, numerous plot lines and ‘realities’ run concurrently,
but each is easily distinguishable with a specific – and often striking
– aesthetic. After the brilliance of Memento, this isn’t too
surprising. With so much to explain to the audience about the
subconscious, the concept of extraction and inception, and exactly how
Dobb’s plans to pull off the heist the script thankfully only falls into
unnecessary exposition on the rare occasion.
Leo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the prowl in
opening scene, the film moves at a breakneck speed over the course of
150 minutes and we’re barely given a chance to take a breath. On the
IMAX screen this film looks splendid and the fast-paced chase sequences
employing hand-held aren’t too overwhelming. As expected, the special
effects are as mind-blowing as the concept itself. With The Dark
Knight, Nolan showed the world just how good he is at constructing
tense action set pieces and here he surpasses anything he’s done before.
The hallway scene featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt became a staple part of
the marketing campaign. This is one of the greatest fight scenes I have
ever seen. He’s no Jackie Chan, but you’ll understand what I mean when
you see it, especially when viewed in context.
even more refreshing is the fact that the characters are well-developed
and likeable. Nolan once again finds a perfect balance between the
action and heart of the story, which is driven primarily by the plight
of Cobb. DiCaprio captures his emotional agony well and the audience can
easily empathise with him. Out of all the supporting cast, Tom Hardy
shines the most as the tactless and quick-witted Eames.
See this film without reading too much about it. Nolan toys with us and
forces us to question everything we’re seeing and hearing and leaves it
so open that Inception is sure to be talked about for many years.
This was by far one of the most enjoyable, exhilarating and engaging
cinematic experiences I’ve ever had.