Christopher Nolan’s Inception is a rare breed. The film features great acting, stunning visual effects, a unique storyline, and fantastic direction. Nolan seems to walk a line with Inception which should please everyone from the film geek to the grandparent. Nolan repeats a cycle throughout the film of giving you hints, then giving you the answers. The hints are comprised of short beautiful shots which are puzzling and often haunting. And the answers will eventually follow to help grandpa catch back up to the plot. Don’t get me wrong. This is a smart, thought provoking film, but if you pay attention you will not be lost.
Nolan introduces us to a fascinating universe with a creative well-constructed technology complete with its own interesting laws and guidelines. Much like our introduction a decade ago to the world of The Matrix, this introduction was smooth and captivating. Inception actually bears several resemblances to the Wachowski brothers’ film. The agents of The Matrix are very similar to the ‘defensive subconscious projections’ of Inception (and not just because both are terrible marksmen).
The primary resemblance is the alternative realities that both films explore. Not until multiple viewings will I know which film I prefer, but Inception has the advantage of not casting Keanu Reeves. And I will be floored if Inception doesn’t receive more acclaim and awards than The Matrix. I expect that this spring, Inception will be a front-runner for either Best Picture or Best Director.
Nolan introduces a new and imaginative technology, but takes things a step further. This isn’t a story of a group of extractors using a new technology to obtain information from a mark. Nolan goes deeper into this world and fashions a guilt ridden man who is using this technology with new intentions. Nolan’s ability to create this film without making it cumbersome exemplifies his talent as a filmmaker. I was enthralled as the layers of the protagonist’s dark past were slowly revealed. DeCaprio made the most of this opportunity and I am continually amazed by his talent.
The film has it all, and even if I am in a minority, I loved the ending. For a discussion of the end of the film see our other post: http://havingsaidthat.net/2010/07/19/will-it-fall-the-final-shot-of-inception-spoilers/
This is the best movie I’ve seen in a while, likely going back to The Dark Knight. I wonder if there is some kind of connection between the two films…
Anyway, Nolan’s eye for cinema is again on display, it wasn’t just the special effects that were so visually captivating. And Nolan’s ability to intertwine the different levels of narratives reminded me of his mastery of the narrative in Memento.
My enjoyment of the film was aided by my viewing experience. There is something special about watching a film in a packed theater where everyone is completely captivated. Walking out of the theater I was almost in a daze. While sleeping that night I had no less than three dreams about extraction. The film had quite the influence on me, now I just hope that my enjoyment of the film is not tied to the spectacle of my experience. I look forward to future viewings and I expect that my appreciation will only grow as I discover all the film’s complexities.
Criticism of this film isn’t completely unfounded. Yes, there could have been more open ended questions, and it is true that not everyone from the talented cast was utilized. But these are small complaints which are overshadowed by the great cinematic achievement of Inception.