Mostly known for his work done with the Dark Knight trilogy, Director Christopher Nolan brings another film to the screens for our viewing pleasure. Inception (2010), tells the story of Cobb an extractor who steals things like secrets, memories, thoughts, and ideas from the minds of others through dreams. He has a team in which he is able to complete the various jobs with and eventually adds a young architect who discovers Cobb’s past. Within the continuation of the film, Cobb’s past unravels revealing the death of his wife and his experiences in Limbo. While this is occurring Cobb and his team try to complete a difficult job that might grant him the ability to return home.
In order to communicate this story, Nolan commissions a few heavy hitters some of which have appeared in his previous films. This film revolves around a group of characters giving it a relatively small cast, not including extras. This gave the film a very united, team, intimate feel. Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the role of Cobb, does a very good job communicating the character as a lost, broken, and tactical man. He is the sympathetic protagonist character within this film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Arthur, Cobb’s right hand man, Levitt characterizes him as smart, laid back, and observant. Tom Hardy plays Eames, he is executed to be this cunning and intuitive character. Marion Cotillard’s character Mal was the antagonist, her actions within this film made me not like her at all however Cotillard effectively played the villain while still communicating poise and emotion. Lastly, I’d like to mention Ellen Page, the character of Ariadne, communicated this innocence across the screen that I personally was able to resonate with the most.
The layout of this film is like a linear maze. This film is similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), a film that follows Joel and Clementine through love, heartbreak, memory erasing, and discovery. Both films have a maze formation and are classified as sci-fi. They do a good job of challenging what sci-fi is by not being stereotypical. Despite this, with the lack of things that commonly define sci-fi films like lasers and spaceships, these two films capture the zeitgeist of sci-fi which is how humans experience and react to opposing forces. In both cases the opposing forces being emotions, demonstrating how they can monopolize your life, then how an individual can in someway manipulate those same emotions. In Inception this is done with playing with the ideas of dreaming. Continuously this film asks the question, “Who is really dreaming?” This all adds to redefine dreaming, based on imagination, subconscious, and emotions. Dreaming is a projection of one’s subconscious to display one’s thoughts.
This film was at times very confusing in the way that it never truly establishes what’s real and what’s a dream. Consequently, this is not a film that you can just watch in the middle if you’ve never seen it before. You have to start the maze in order to finish it and somewhat understand it. The use of time in this film is unrealistic, 60 seconds turns out to be half the film but in defense the whole film is unrealistic because it doesn’t seem likely to enter people’s dreams, well not anytime soon at least.
Ultimately, this is a film that uses good actors to communicate an original concept of interaction within and without of dreams. Although it is a maze of a film and can be somewhat confusing, that doesn’t affect the emotions that are portrayed such as love. This film does a good job of discussing ideas of humanity such as how we relate to dreams. It also stands to help in the continual redefining of sci-fi. This is my all time favorite movie and I think you should check it out!