Inception: Mind Trippingly Satisfying
Christopher Nolan is the not the kind of filmmaker who rushes around from one project to the next. He takes his time, considers his material, and painstakingly puts together worlds and scenarios that twist audience’s minds around in five different directions at the same time before settling on an ending that always leave you wanting more. In fact, Nolan may be the current master of artistically complicated thrillers, and his latest film, Inception, is a master showcase for his abilities.
A dream within a dream within a dream . . .
Inception, due out on DVD December 7th, is a mind-bending thriller that takes audiences deep into a dream world where ideas can be stolen and planted in a high-stakes game of corporate espionage. Dom (Leonardo DiCaprio), is the best in the world at extraction, a process whereby he enters a person’s dreams and steals their ideas, selling them to the highest bidder. But since the death of his wife, he’s been on the run, accused of her murder.
When he fails an extraction audition for wealthy businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe), he is offered a chance to redeem himself and clear the murder charge by planting an idea in the head of the CEO of a rival company. With the help of other masters of dream manipulation (including Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt), Dom builds the most complicated dream scenario he has ever created, involving multiple layers of dreams within dreams, in order to make the executive (Cillian Murphy) feel as if he was the one that came up with the idea.
What ensues is a head-tripping thriller that not only leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat but also forces you to reconcile multiple dream worlds into an overarching philosophical and metaphysical message about the power of ideas and the strength of memory in shaping our lives. Overall, it’s not the type of movie that you can passively sit through; it makes you work, but following Nolan’s complicated dance feels less like homework than it does like finishing the NY Times crossword puzzle—difficult, but immensely satisfying.
The right cast
Although Nolan is at the head of this crazy train, he could not have pulled off the level of storytelling that he does without the fantastic acting work done by DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard (as Dom’s dead wife), Ken Watanabe, and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt who create realistic and engaging characters with their performances. In addition, Nolan’s dream world is made all the more beautiful and frightening by cinematographer, Wally Pfister, who is also known for his fantastic work on other Nolan films like The Dark Knight and Momento.
Inception is a movie that will stay with you a long time as you continue to mull its conundrums around in your head, proving that Nolan is one of the greatest filmmakers working today.
Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and pell grants