Thursday, July 29, 2010


Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Ken Wantanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine

Rated PG-13 (for sequences of violence and action throughout)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Written by Christopher Nolan

* * * * *

Famous poet Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

“Inception” explores this idea with heart-pounding, mind-blowing vigor, literally turning our idea of reality upside down.

Cobb (DiCaprio) is a master extractor. He implants ideas in people’s minds by reaching them in their dreams. One idea, say placed in the mind of a dictator or business mogul, can set in motion actions that change the whole world. Cobb is a man who can essentially control anyone around him, should he choose to.

But he is unhappy with his work, which keeps him away from his two children. Suddenly a powerful client lays down an offer he can’t refuse: if he completes the mission, he can return home to his family in peace, with no strings attached. This job just happens to be his grandest undertaking yet. Cobb puts together a dream team including architect student-genius Ariadne (Page), “thief” Eames (Hardy), and the guy who holds the whole dream sequence together, Arthur, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. The target is young heir Robert Fisher, Jr. (Murphy).

To plant this idea in Fisher, Cobb and his crew must construct a dream so detailed and complex, that there is quite literally a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. As the team goes deeper into each dream level, the harder it is to get back. The lines between reality and dream blur until one is undistinguishable from the other.

Page is perfect as Ariadne, the newest recruit, quickly drawn to this alternate reality where she can create the scenery. DiCaprio is completely compelling, a man full of inner torment after the death of his wife, Mal, played by the superior Cotillard.

The film will keep you in a leaning-forward-in-your-seat-and-clutching-the-hand rests kind of suspense. Guessing and analyzing until the very last minute, it’s the kind of film you have to see twice just to understand each incredible layer. The final kick will reach out and grab you. A masterpiece, a breathtaking look at the frontier of film to come, and in the midst of so many stale, brainless and boring films, “Inception” gives viewers a fresh take on reality, dreams, and the weight one person’s idea can have on the world.

* Question:* From the final scene, do you think it stops spinning?

1 comment:

  1. I'm on the same wavelength as you! I think I'll skip Salt because of your tough words on it.

    Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt's hallway fight scene(s), while pretty basic in its actual hand-to-hand choreography, blew my mind simply because the terrain changed so rapidly. I'd see the movie a second time just to see this scene again.

    As for the final scene, I don't think it matters! I feel like Nolan blatantly cut before it fell or kept spinning just to leave people wanting more -- The mark of a great storyteller. I don't think anyone feels cheated out of their closure (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man 3) in this movie, because there's plenty of evidence in both camps to support either argument. So, it's just one of those things where you choose the ending you like most!