I envy the time before I was born when movies would be shown in theaters on an endless loop, giving audience members the choice to stay and re-watch if they saw so fit. Admittedly, most films today aren’t even worthy of a second thought, but Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” is a movie that, if given the opportunity, I would’ve remained seated and watched again with no hesitation. It’s that good. And it’s also that complicated, and repeat viewings are the only way this highly in-depth creation can be fully enjoyed and understood.
Those wishing to avoid the expansion and provoking of their mind should steer clear of “Inception,” a strikingly genius original screenplay executed with a phenomenally epic structure of captivating characters embodied by a flawless cast, beautifully accomplished visual effects, and a passionate pulse that traps the viewer in suspense, inflaming the mind with ideas that may have never been there before. For nearly two-and-a-half hours, I was mesmerized, through and through.
The plot is not even worth explaining, or at least attempting to fully grasp its complexity in the written form. I still wonder how Nolan simply sat down and banged this sucker out; nearly every second watched I began to appreciate the intellect and innovation of the writer/director even more. I wrote in my review of “The Dark Knight” that Nolan is on his way to having his name among greats like Hitchcock and Scorsese. It is too soon to tell now, but in 10 years, “Inception” may very well be his “Psycho,” his “Goodfellas.”
The film involves dreams, and similar to the many layers of subconscious being traveled within the movie itself, one may find that they are peeling back various thoughts throughout viewing and possibly even lose track of their own understanding. This is ok. Anyone who tells you that they fully comprehended “Inception” after one single viewing is a foolish liar. Nolan seems intent on making the film an enigma, and that is perfectly acceptable. Why should everyone have the same interpretation? Where’s the fun in that?
Can our subconscious be manipulated? How dangerous or powerful is a single idea? Is there really that much of a separation between dreams and reality? Are we even occupying reality as we speak? “Inception” follows the quintessential science fiction design; raise many questions, answer little of them. I absolutely love when a movie causes more of a brainstorm once it is over than while it was being viewed. Besides, how on earth could I think while the movie so effortlessly assaulted me with not only ideas, but also sheer entertainment?
“Inception” is a visual masterpiece. The dream sequences are a wonder to behold; gorgeous shots of structures collapsing and manipulating in shape, fantastic fight sequences in zero gravity and altering angles, creating the perfect illusion of a dream that still seems wholly realistic.
The cast is sublime, from Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Tom Hardy, Ellen Page to Marion Cotillard. Leonardo DiCaprio leads the cast and powers through the film with the mightily fascinating character of Cobb, a man with immense skill in breaking into one’s mind and stealing an idea, or in the case of “Inception,” planting one.
His character is flawed in nature, perfect in execution; a challenged and convoluted soul captured so tightly by the always-fantastic DiCaprio. Cobb and Teddy Daniels, the actor’s other equally damaged character from this year’s “Shutter Island,” should really do lunch some time.
I sincerely cannot wait to view this film again; it had me immediately wanting more. Not more answers, necessarily, just more opportunities for questions, stimulation, and wonder. I doubt I’ll ever fully understand the film completely. I doubt anyone will. Is it even supposed to be understood? Ask me in a decade.
Greg Vellante is a film critic for The Eagle Tribune. For more movie reviews and entertainment stories, visit www.gregvellante.gather.com