Director : Christopher Nolan
Music Director : Hans Zimmer
Producer : Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Starring : Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine and others…
Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play Dom and Arthur, respectively, a pair of professionals who specialize in securing – and/or stealing – the thoughts of their clients. They access intellectual capital by entering their subjects’ dreams, where they can manipulate or extract information, depending upon the nature of the job. On the run from their corporate employer, the two are hired by their one-time subject, Saito (Ken Watanabe), to perform an “inception” – planting a thought or idea in the mind of another. They accept, and go about assembling a team to design and execute the dream, a multi-layered affair containing dreams-within-dreams. However, Dom’s personal demons – guilt over his relationship with his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and her unwelcome intrusions into his own dream-world – put the entire mission, and the lives of his team, at risk.
A thrilling opening sequence grabs us by the short and curlies, and tosses us headfirst into the film’s roiling, sensory-intensive universe. But shortly thereafter things quickly devolve into a long and long-winded tour of The Rules of Dreamland – how dreams are accessed, how they can be manipulated, how the members of the team should and should not behave while inside a subject’s dream, and so on. Of course, no film that operates in a realm of fantasy can or should try to avoid setting up its own rules – they fundamentally establish narrative credibility and help the film engage with the audience in an honest way. But Inception largely sets aside the ambitions of its own story while taking a full hour to explain its concept in plain terms, and mostly through expository dialogue, which is one of filmdom’s easiest storytelling cheats – and one that is always in danger of losing an audience. Film is a visual medium, and Nolan’s over-dependence on bald-faced exposition flattens his otherwise ingenious concept.
As Dom Cobb, DiCaprio is so effortless at what he does that it’s easy to take his seamless talents for granted. With that said, the role isn’t fleshed out as much as it should have been and he never really gets a chance to do anything other than look morose and conflicted. The other cast members are across the board strong, which makes it all the more painful that they are so undernourished as characters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2009’s “(500) Days of Summer”) is straight-faced and serious as Arthur, whose sole centerpiece is a fight that defies gravity; Ellen Page (2009’s “Whip It”) brings willing curiosity and that’s about it to Ariadne, serving as the voice of the audience as an outsider who asks questions and receives long monologues of exposition in return; and Cillian Murphy (2007’s “Sunshine”), as Robert Fischer Jr., effectively captures the inner struggle of a man who believes his dying father always thought of him as a disappointment.
Another layer to the movie, a more serious, ponderous aspect that Nolan doesn’t handle quite as well. Cobb is haunted by the death of his wife (Marion Cotillard), whose subconscious manifestation keeps popping up at inopportune moments. His yearning for a lost past lacks the emotional sting of the main character’s fate in Nolan’s similarly twisty Memento, and the movie loses steam whenever Cobb rhapsodizes about his marriage. Still, even without a strong emotional hook, Inception remains a remarkable achievement in ingenuity and storytelling, and a movie that will satisfy viewers looking for something more substantial than just explosions and car chases.Only every once in a while do we come across movies that make us doubt reality and life as we know it. Inception did that for me. Surely inception seed will add to your mind stream.