Inception Review

Write up from Warner Bros Site:

Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute 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. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

Having not been to the O2’s Cineworld cinemas before, we weren’t sure what to expect. It was like going on a first day. But allow me to say: lovely luscious big screens, comfy seats and friendly staff, make for a winning combination.

Ensconced in our seats, a frisson of excitement ran through the theatre as after the adverts finished and the Warner Bros logo came on the screen.

The opening scene is the main character, Dom Cobb, washed up on an anonymous beach. He looks roughed up. A gun barrel lifts his jacket to reveal a pistol nestling in the small of his back. Next we see Cobb being dragged into a room and roughly shoved into a seat. The camera pans, showing us an elderly oriental gentleman, playing with a child’s toy, a small spinning top.

And BAM! we are thrown in the deep end, and the story unfolds under a master storyteller’s meticulous care to detail and concept.

Going in to watch Inception, I wasn’t sure about it. I was unsure if I would get it all, understanding the nuances and concepts. I needn’t have worried. As baffling as the above write up sounds, it all makes sense.

Nolan’s screenwriting and photography goes a long way to keep you anchored. Everything you see and understand is real. There are no hidden things here but it is in no means a simple flick and it demands you to watch every single piece, out of sheer fascination and concern that you may miss one crucial item.

Cobb and Arthur

In a very neat explanatory scene, that follows up from the opening scene, we are shown how extraction works. We see the perils, we understand the risks but also the reward. It is huge, it is thrilling and exceedingly dangerous. When the chap they are trying to (unsuccessful) steal from, Saito (wonderfully played by my Ken Watanabe) tracks them down as they are trying to leave Japan, he offers Cob a chance to go back to the States and to have the slate wiped clean. (We only find out much later what Cobb’s back story is and why he is a wanted man in the States).  Cobb hesitates, but then agrees.  Planting an idea instead of stealing it is tricky, but it may work.  As we follow Cobb on this new quest, to plant an idea, instead of extracting it, we are walked through how the whole shebang goes down as he gets young student, Ariadne (Ellen Page from Juno fame) to act as Architect.  The Architect’s role is to create the dreamscape in which the whole adventure will be taking place.  Ariadne gets to go walk-about in Cobb’s head to get the feel of being an architect.  And it is through Ariadne’s eyes that we come to realise that all is not well with Cobb.  Supremely talented as he is, he is hiding something from all of them, something that can easily wreck the entire show.  But Cobb assured Ariadne that he’s on the level, that things are fine, they would cope. 

Cobb also hires a Eames (Tom Hardy) as a forger who has the unique ability to shift his own identity within a dream, taking on someone else’s personality and character traits.  I liked Eames, he wasn’t a red-shirt or anything of the sort.  He was amusing and played a vital and interesting role within the dreams and in the “real” world.  With Joseph Gordon Levitt as Arthur, their point man, the team assembles and reluctantly allows Saito to be part of the team as he wants to be sure that they manage the inception.

The *con* is to implant an idea within the head of the victim, played by Cillian Murphy as Robert Fischer, the son of one of Saito’s business rivals.  But what the team does not know is that Cillian’s been trained to protect his mind from extractors and soon things go completely and utterly haywire as the team sink through several levels of dream in order to pull off their con.

Wonderfully acted by the entire cast, a nod has to go to Di Caprio, Renner and Gordon-Levitt who do an excellent job in their roles – respectively as broken hero with demons in his past, the new and slightly dangerous dreamcreator and the anchor that makes sure everything (hopefully) goes to plan.

The locations the film is set at, the pace of the adventure and the intricacy of the plot really is just wow.  I apologise if I sound like I’m still reeling.  I am, a bit.  It’s a movie that some people will instantly and irrevocably love.  I would like to see it again as I am sure that the more I watch it, the more I will notice.  At its heart it is a heist caper.  However, it is so much more. It plays with archetypes and with dreams and reality in a way that Matrix started out but never managed to follow through. 

I enjoyed Inception for its fine acting, great characters, blazing action, the cleverness of the script and the skill it took Nolan to produce something so utterly different and versatile for an audience who may feel that they’ve seen everything there is to see and that nothing will surprise them.

I have to add though, that unusually, the final shot of the movie is just what keeps repeating through my mind, since yesterday.  I’ve had several discussions now with people who have seen it and they are also wondering.  There is closure, on all counts, so don’t be worried about that.  And yet, yet…there is that possibility that things aren’t what they seem.

But, do yourself a favour – grab some popcorn and head off to go and watch Inception.  It is unlike anything you may think you’ve ever seen.  And even if it isn’t your thing, give it a try anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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One comment

  1. Great review of the movie Inception. Here’s my Inception Review. Definitely a must watch.

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