This is Alex. This is our review.
Alex: Let me start off by saying I have never been so enthralled by a film before. The journey of exploring dreams has never been done this way before or this well for that matter. I left the theatre just dumbfounded and speechless like a child who just discovered candy, as Ryan can vouch for me. It took me a second time to better understand the film. After seeing it a second time, I can now wipe the drool off my mouth and break it down for ya.
This film is Awesome! from the first to last reel I was pulled in and loved every minute of it. First, the movie is ambitious and oozes passion from the direction of Nolan. Those two elements alone I have to give credit to Nolan. Now as to how exactly he pulled off the ambitious project is in the way it’s presented. He took what could have been a wholly confusing and muddled concept and made it accessible to wide audiences. By adding brilliant action sequences and brilliant artistic set pieces combined with stunning visuals he made the concept cool. Which, of course makes a summer blockbuster great: the coolness factor.
Ryan: How lucky are we? Not that we can blog about Inception like this. Just about the movie itself. How lucky, as a generation, are we to have Inception as a movie of our own? It’s not the end-all-be-all movie, but instead it becomes a study. An exam. A comparison of everything we have encountered. Christopher Nolan has handed his class the exam of their life and it’s up to us to pass this with flying colors. The analogy meaning to truly understand the film.
For a movie that is probably the most thought-provoking I’ve seen, Inception is pretty straight forward. We’re fed the plot, the characters, the danger and the tragedy. And how we piece together is our own. And this is where Nolan traps us.
I don’t want to repeat myself, but i touched on how Nolan’s entire career has led up to this on my last blog entry. Yes, in this being his best movie. But mainly in that all of his previous films had key elements that are all used in Inception. And damn, are they used perfectly.
Especially The Dark Knight, Nolan tested audiences to make sure they were ready for a film that was full of action but also had an intense amount of psychoanalysis. The minute audiences bit, Nolan knew what he was doing. The world was now ready for Inception.
But back to the film itself:
Leo plays Dom Cobb, a man torn between his past and his travel home to his children. Since his profession requires to go into his own thoughts and memories, he is repetitively met with depression and heartbreak. After the death of his wife (the haunting Marion Cotillard), he blames himself and cannot stop thinking of her. This act alone causes his own dreams, and even others, to fall apart.
Led by his “dream” team, if you will, Cobb is surrounded by masters of their work. There’s the cold but helpful Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Cobb’s right-hand man. Eames (The excellent Tom Hardy), a forger who can steal the actions of any person thus becoming an exact image of said person in anyone’s dream. His new apprentice and Architect, Ariadne (Ellen Page). Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who can create a sedative capable of knocking a dreamer clean out, allowing multiple levels of dreams to be accessed. And finally, Cobb’s new employer, Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) who travels with them to protect his assets.
Honestly, this is as much plot as I’m comfortable giving out. Mainly, just for the fact that watching the plot unfold for me was half the enjoyment of the movie. The other half being that Inception is just an incredible thing to behold.
Alex: Despite my head over heels praise of this so far I do know that this film will not be unanimous with such praise. This is a type of film that requires your full attention for all 2 hours and 28 minutes of it. This is because part of Nolan’s way of making this accessible to wider audiences is by having lots of exposition about the science of shared dreaming. And though for me and others it worked, I know for a fact it will not work for lots of people as they will get bored by all the explaination. But by doing so, Nolan has made the plot bullet-proof, which is very satisfying for a summer flick.
For people that do enjoy this caliber of a film though, they will be rewarded. It is a puzzle of a film that you slowly unlock as it progresses deeper into the science of dreams and is a very satisfying experiencing, this puzzle.
Now though I loved that aspect of the film, there is still something keeping me for stamping the film a masterpiece. Because this film has such a grandiose concept and requires so much attention to the science of it I felt that all of that began to overshadow the character’s in the film and it lost some emotional gravity and depth. Which for me is a big deal. I cannot say a movie is a masterpiece if I’m not emotionally touched by it. In this film’s case I wasn’t. I was mentally touched, in fact mentally fucked but in an extremely satisfying way, but I wasn’t as emotionally moved as I wanted to be. But I still loved the movie and recommend that everyone to see it just because its such an interpretive one that will spark much discussion over which of coarse is what it set out to do in the first place.
Ryan: I definitely see where Alex is coming from on that. The plot, the dreams, the insanity. It’s all there. It reaches out and holds on to you. However, the characters don’t seem to grasp you as much as you’d like to. But the weird thing is, it kind if works. Don’t get me wrong, character development is huge. Without it, the audience can’t connect. But this is Cobb’s movie. His dream. His loss of sanity. He is surrounded by the best of the best and that’s all they need to be. And even without their backgrounds being absent, I see the characters existing in a real way. All of these characters are comfortable in and out of their dream world. They handle everything perfectly because it’s their world and they can control their minds. It’s Cobb who loses himself. That’s what Nolan is focusing on: the rise and fall of an expert extractor who is losing his own battle of his mind.
The absolute coolest thing about that is that we actually get trapped with him. We lose sight of what’s really going on. We start thinking of his past instead of the mission at hand. Inception draws you in on a whole new level. It doesn’t spell anything out, either. The ideas are easy to understand, but they aren’t handed to us. Not at a low cost, anyways.
Look, I could say more and more about Inception but I’ll refrain. It’s a film. It’s an experience. And it’s the most fun you’ll have losing your sanity.
Score: 9.9 out of 10