As the regular readers of my blog must have noticed, I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan. My previous posts reflect how much I adore this guy and his movies. Post Dark Knight, I knew Inception was under way. But Phew, never thought he would better himself this well! Firstly, the bare basics for the unlearned reader. Inception stars Leonardo Dicaprio [Dom Cobb], Ellen Page [Ariadne] , Joseph-Gordon [Arthur] and Marion Cotillard [Mal] in prime roles. Simply put Inception is a roller-coaster ride, an intelligent thriller which sets you thinking. But, the simplicity ends there. With Inception, Nolan has created something with his unbelievably incredible and god- gifted mind which is sure to blow the minds of the audience away!
Chris Nolan is known to etch his characters perfectly and at the same time interleave complexity in them. Be it the aimless guy in “Following”, the protagonist who suffers from anterograde amnesia in “Memento”, the psychopathic killer in “Insomnia”, the ambitious and competing magicians in “The Prestige”, the vulnerable Batman who overcomes his fears in “Batman begins” or the maniacal joker who literally made “The Dark Knight” the classic it is today – Nolan always crafts characters that wow you with their inherent uniqueness and subtle intricacies. In my opinion, Nolan has the talent and capacity, and is set to scale the heights of stalwarts like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. With Inception, Nolan pulls off a perfect blend of a crowd-winning blockbuster and a artistic, theme based film.
Leonardo Di Caprio is one of my favourite actors of this generation, together with Jonny Depp and Christian Bale. It is pretty obvious that he has come a long way from the boy-next-door Jack Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic to the repenting, redemption seeking Dom Cobb in Inception with an amazing track record of roles in classics – The skillful forger in Speilberg’s “Catch-me-if-you-can”, the Airplane Baron Howard Hughes suffering from Obsessive compulsive disorder in “Aviator”, the good-hearted opportunistic smuggler in “Blood diamond”, the US Marshal who is prone to Migraine in “Shutter Island”. With him having carried off all these roles with elan, Nolan takes DiCaprio to another level with Inception [or vice versa!]
Inception has a multi-layered plot; quite literally!
It is the story of Dom Cobb, the best extractor in business, who finds his way into people’s minds to steal deeply ideas rooted in their subconscious, without them knowing it. With assistance from an expert team consisting of a Researcher [the one who gathers details about the victim], a forger [the one who impersonates others in dreams], an architect [the one responsible for creating the locations in a dream] and a chemist [the person who sedates all the dreamers]l Cobb sets out on a mission, his last one, to clear his name and lead a normal life with his kids. The mission is one of a corporate espionage proposed by Saito [Ken Watanabe] wherein Cobb is not required to steal an idea from a mind, but plant it instead! What follows is 150 minutes of sheer brilliance in all aspects of filmmaking.
As always, Nolan scores full marks on detailing. Some scenes in the movie are sure to stay with me for years to come: the concept of a rotating totem, the inverting of a complete half of the city of Paris, the scene where a café is blown up while Cobb explains shared dreaming to Ariadne, Ariadne’s perception and construction of a city to house a dream; the chase scene in Mombasa; the scene in which the Merc SUV falls off a bridge in slow motion; the zero gravity fight sequence; the fight sequence of Arthur with gravity shifting by 90 degrees every few seconds are all rushes of Nolan’s genius! Never had I thought that a simple spinning top would arrest my attention! I don’t want to quote more specifics as it would spoil your movie watching experience. The last one hour of the movie is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat with so many unforeseen events happening in his venture. Inception culminates in a powerful climax, which leaves some questioning the ending, and the rest extremely satisfied.
Di Caprio is top notch as the glum, fragile Cobb who seems to be in control but Is unable to get a hold on himself and manage his demons of the past. Hans Zimmer is in top form, as usual, having given very good soundtracks like Dark Knight and Batman Begins with Nolan. The cinematography is one of the major strengths and captures every frame immaculately. Ellen Page throws in a good performance. A special mention to the English accent sporting “Forger” Eames [Tom Hardy], who brings in many laughs with his witty dialogue exchanges and rivalry with Arthur. Joseph Gordon of “500 days of Summer” fame puts up a good show as Arthur. Nolan’s favourite yesteryear Michael Caine is apt in his miniscule role. The chemist Yusuf, Ken Watanabe, Cobb’s projection of his wife Mal [Marion Cotillard] all fit in precisely.
There are hardly any errors. Even if considered errors, they are almost invisible. The concept about the how the dreams are shared isn’t explained explicitly. But this is overshadowed by the swift screenplay and the ingenious concept which makes inception what it is.
Inception needs multiple viewings to comprehend its intricacies, mostly due to the fact that you tend to discover something new every time you watch it. To conclude, Inception is not just a movie. It is an experience that Nolan takes you through. It is a puzzle which he guides you through to solve. It is a maze which he unravels before your eyes. It is a dream which he wants you to live! Go to sleep to live your dream!
PS : IMAX viewing is strongly recommended. The huge screen, digital transmission and 12000W sound make a world of difference.