Sploich Reviews Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan has always been known for his cerebral films. Everything he writes has to do with the mind and the various ways it can be altered and manipulated. In Memento it was the loss of memories, in The Prestige it was what is interpreted by the mind as real and in The Dark Knight it was morality. In his latest film, however, he decided to take a giant leap towards a much more literal interpretation of his own concepts and ideas by setting the film inside character's actual minds.
Inception takes place in an unknown time, presumedly "THE FUTURE!", where people have the technology capable of sending multiple persons into the same dream. The film centers on a group of people who are hired to do just that, more specifically to plant an idea into some one's subconscious without him realizing it was somebody else's idea (thus, inception). As tricky and convoluted as this already is, one of the members of the team makes things much more difficult as his personal life begins to alter the plans.
When I first saw this movie I hated it. I honestly don't even remember why now. I think one complaint I had was that the screenplay was too full of exposition and that a character played by Ellen Page (you know, Juno) was pointless. Having seen the film a second time for this review I feel like slapping myself in the face for ever thinking that. Her character is absolutely integral to the storytelling and the exposition only exists in small bits throughout the film. I think my biggest problem originally was that I focused too much on the science and not enough on the story, which is where the film really shines. The main character, Cobb, the one with the personal issues, is a highly complex character going through some serious problems that in a way he may have brought upon himself. His story is really heartbreaking and it is the main focus of the film, which for some reason I wasn't able to understand on my first run-through.
Another problem I think I had was that the film was sold as a big budget summer action flick, so that's what I went into the film thinking it was. I mean, I knew Nolan's work beforehand so I knew it would be much more intelligent than that but I think I was subconsciously wanting to not like that the film was mixing these cerebral concepts with big dumb action sequences. It works extremely well though and again I just want to punch myself for all the time I've spent venting and fuming over this movie.
I do still have problems with the film however. I hold to my stance that Leonardo DiCaprio has not given a great performance in a movie since What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He'll have little spurts of acting here and there but the closest I've seen him get is in Shutter Island. The plot of the film still kind of bothers me too. Inception isn't exactly a hard thing to do in real life. Hell, the government does it on a daily basis. They do explain in the film the difference between implanting an idea and just giving somebody one but it's not really hard to do either. It just seems like the characters rely too heavily on internal inception without giving external inception any thought.
Inception is a phenomenal film that, while not portraying the way my dreams work in the slightest, sets up an idea and works with it to its fullest extent. The concept of subconscious levels of dreams and memories is fascinating and the visuals are outstanding. The only problem keeping me from saying the film is perfect is the final shot of the film which used to bother me a lot more than it does now but still does bother me. Ultimately though it really doesn't matter. I suppose this review is somewhat of an atonement on my part. If I vented towards anyone about all the things I hated in this film before, I apologize. I'm an idiot.