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.
Okay, this movie came out last summer and I only watched last week so I’m very, very late to the party. Spoilers ahead!
Firstly, I have to commend Christopher Nolan for crafting such an amazingly well-paced, tightly plotted and rather creative script. For the past few years I’ve been rather dismayed at the trends going on in Hollywood, where endless sequels seem to take over the box offices and only a handful of creative stories out there. In Nolan’s Inception, there’s this intersect between the sci-fi tech and a heist/corporate espionage plot. What particularly intrigued me to the story was the idea of entering one’s dreams and using the way that the mind works to sort of walk in and either extract information or, in the case of this movie, plant information/ideas. It can border philosophical at times at the inception and blossoming of ideas in the mind but with a sci-fi and physicality that’s easy to grasp. The idea of going into dreams and setting up stages within them was also pretty creative. Not to mention it definitely soothes the sci-fi kick I’ve been under lately.
Visually this movie is easily the best from what was produced in 2010. I would say it’s on the level of what The Matrix did in 1999; the effects were flawless and very creative in the dream sequence (that scene when Ariadne and Cobb were walking around in Paris? Perfect) and worthy of the accolades it received in that department. I also appreciate Nolan and his crew’s passion for filming this, building that corridor that rotates a full three hundred sixty. I would’ve thrown a fit if it did not win Cinematography because that fight sequence in that hallway was just thrilling to watch on screen (not to mention the last twenty minutes of the movie when all the kicks start taking place).
The cast was fantastic. There was not a single individual who was a weak link to the storyline. Everyone had a role and they played it to perfection. I enjoyed the interactions between Arthur and Eames, Arthur and Ariadne, Cobb and Saito, Cobb and Arthur, etc. Arthur and Eames were particularly amusing, kudos to Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for their portrayals (my favourite line has to be when Eames told Arthur “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling”). Marion Cotillard was just divine in her role as Mal; she’s classy with a touch of that detached, dreamy surrealness that magnifies the nature and tragedy of her character. Leonardo DiCaprio was wonderful as the guilt-ridden, mysterious and rather broken character of Cobb was also interesting to see on screen to the point that I surely pegged him as one of those characters who wouldn’t make it in the end.
The soundtrack also added to the mood of the movie. Hans Zimmer, who’s done fantastic work in big movies like Gladiator, doesn’t disappoint and this soundtrack is just further proof that he’s the man to go to when it comes to movies with an epic scope.
Overall, Inception was a thrilling and thought-provoking movie. There wasn’t a single moment that was boring and you certainly feel the stakes when you’re in the dream levels. I was rooting for Inception alongside The King’s Speech for the Oscars and I’m glad it won all of the technical awards that it did. It should’ve won for soundtrack (well, this or The King’s Speech but that’s probably my bias) but regardless of how many awards it has reaped this past award season, it’s well worth the watch.