What is undoubtedly one of the top 3 films of the year, Inception is a visual and production achievement infused with entertaining CGI and action sequences all while engaging you intellectually… characteristics that I wish every movie would set out to do. The premise is not a simple one to follow and it demands more focused attention from you than 90% of the films out there, but the payoff will be one of the great cinematic experiences of 2010 and perhaps the past decade.
Inception, in dictionary terms, means the beginning of something. In Christopher Nolan’s new film it is defined as the implanting of an idea through the dreams of a subject. That is what Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) sets out to do for the very first time in this story. He is a skilled thief, the best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible–inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one.
You’d have to go back to the The Matrix movies to even remotely experience anything like ‘Inception’. Director Christopher Nolan has perfected the craft of the cavernously dark, cerebral, tension filled films which have now become his stylistic stamp. His films such as The Following, Memento, The Prestige, amongst others, all carry the singularities and traits that have build up to ‘Inception’.
The assembled cast (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Posthethwaite, Michael Caine), many from The Dark Knight project, is top notch. Dicaprio, the star of the film, is intense, affecting, and captivating. I do think though, his best performance was captured by Martin Scorsese in this year’s Shutter Island. In regards to the CGI, it functions as a compliment to the plotline instead of overwhelming it. Make sure you await with anticipation the hallway fight scene which seemed extremely hard to shoot and produce. That scene alone is worth the price of admission.
If you are looking for an action/adventure film that is layered with puzzles and mysteries, then you are going to love Inception, but remember, in order to fully enjoy it, your trip to the concession stand or the bathroom will have to wait. Don’t look at that text or that guy that’s gasping too loud in amazement. Just focus, just enjoy.