Inception review by Adam Minor - Cinema Paradiso
2010’s Inception is a mind-bending foray into the land of nod. Director Christopher Nolan helms this unique story about a man who specializes in extracting information from people’s dreams.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, an experienced extractor who, along with his partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are hired by various entities to extract information from certain people. The team, however, is hired by Saito (Ken Watanbe) to do just the opposite, implant an idea in a rival businessman’s (Cillian Murphy).
Though not impossible, inception, as it’s called, is much harder than extraction. For this, Cobb and Arthur assemble a team of other dreamers played by Ellen Paige, Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao to complete the mission. But can Cobb, who still struggles with remorse from his wife’s suicide, keep himself together long enough to complete the mission and keep everyone alive?
What follows is a supremely interesting and confusing story.
Essentially, Inception is a modern day heist film told that boldly distinguishes itself through its originality.
Christopher Nolan has always set himself apart from the pack with his unique point-of-view towards story. He even manages to make a 70-year old character seem new with his Batman films. He gets credit for writing and directing this one.
Where the film loses its steam is throughout its complex plot. There are moments in the film when it seems as though the movie takes its rules for granted. For example, in the opening scene, it is stated that if you die in a dream, you simply wake up. However, later in the plot and deeper into the dream world, they say that if you die while you’re a dream this deep, that you die in real life. Though they give an explanation, it still seems as though they’re changing the rules to fit the plot.
Wally Pfister, the director of photography, won the Oscar for best cinematography, and it was more than deserved. The beautiful landscapes, intricate motion and flawless framing added a sense of pulchritude that’s hard to get in an urban setting. The film also brought home awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing at this year’s Oscars, and again, all of them deserved.
The actors and characters of the film are what ground its complexity. Leo is wonderful as the broken Cobb and Joseph’s Arthur is the perfect compliment for the team. Ariadne, whose name is as complex as the plot serves as little more than the audience’s guide to the dream-world is saved by Ellen Paige. Even Nolan alum Michael Caine makes a guest appearance as Cobb’s father.
Though it struggles with maintaining its structural integrity, the talent with which it was made and its sheer originality gives the modern audience, who’ve grown tired of the consistently hackneyed stories permeating our cinemas, what we’ve been dreaming of.