Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There's Inception and Then...There's Everything Else

Directed by CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
Starring LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ELLEN PAGE, 
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, KEN WATANABE, CILLIAN MURPHY, 
TOM HARDY, DILEEP RAO,  and MARION COTILLARD

Inception: This is by far the most amazing film I have seen this year and in many years.  It's on it's own level.  Wholly unique, fresh, stunning, with fantastic performances.  For me, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stole the show in every scene he was in.  '3rd Rock' who???
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66TuSJo4dZM

Plot:  Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) have a rather interesting business, you dream it they can steal it.  Think, Dreamscape meets Ocean's Eleven, with a twist of  corporate espionage.  Cobb and Arthur have devised strategies at extracting valuable information from people by entering their subconscious minds with special equipment designed for military training.  Both Cobb and Arthur carry a totem, a unique object only known to them, as to determine whether or not they are still dreaming.  Cobb's totem is a top which perpetually spins while he's in his dream state. 

When their most recent job goes bad, Cobb is recruited by the wealthy Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) to perform inception on Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the son of the ailing corporate mogul, Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlethwaite).  Unlike extraction, inception is the suggestion and implantation of an idea, which is much more difficult, if not impossible.  

Saito makes an offer that Cobb can't refuse so Cobb starts the process of assembling a team:  Eames (Tom Hardy), an identity forger (who turns out to be a real scene stealer); Yusuf (Dileep Rao); a chemist who can create a powerful sedative needed for inception; and Ariadne (Ellen Page), a young architecture student.  Similar to the myth of Ariadne and Theseus, our Aridane is tasked with building a dreamscape labyrinth to aid the hero. 

The main villain of this story is Cobb's own subconscious, which has taken on the form of his dead wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard). Mal manifests within his dreams and frequently sabotages him.  Overall, the varying dreamscapes are a feast for the eyes: Paris folding in on itself, a James Bond-like wintery-ski fight, zero gravity fight scenes.  Those are just a few of the scenes that make this one of the most magnificent films I have ever seen. 

It missed the mark in only one aspect; the love story was stupid.  I think that Christopher Nolan wanted to give more screen time to Marion Cottilard.  Not every movie has to have a love story.  It made no...sense in a movie that was about dreams, that tells you something.  This was a near perfect film.  Now I know why Maggie Gynllenhall said that she wouldn't be in 'The Dark Knight' until Nolan rewrote her character. Sometimes he doesn't do us women folk justice.

Note:  One disturbing thing is that my dad kept calling this movie, "Conception," for which I immediately correct him.  You especially don't want to hear that word come from one of your parents. 

FOUR - 1/2 STARS OUT OF FIVE STARS

1 comment:

  1. I got a good laugh out of your note at the end of the post.

    I had Inception as one of my Top 10 of 2010. The one moderately-sized problem I had with the movie was the ending. This isn't because I have to have everything cut and dried, but because it just seemem so blatant an attempt to generate discussion about the movie. The thing is, he didn't need to do that. The rest of the movie has more than enough in it to generate all kinds of discussion.

    The way it was presented it took me out of the movie world, back into the real world.

    Spoiler Warning for Titanic:

    On a related note, I've saved a picture off to my PC that shows a still from the end of Titanic and the opening of Inception. The point of it is that the last we saw of DiCaprio in Titanic was him slipping beneath the water and the first we see of him in Inception is him waking up on the beach. It's a movie within a movie. I may put this picture up on my blog someday for the humor.

    ReplyDelete

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