Review: Inception

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Published:  August 19, 2010
Review: Inception

“I had the strangest dream last night…” Usually, when someone tells me this, I inwardly shudder and prepare myself for the numbingly boring, 10 minute self-indulgent anecdote that will follow. And then that night I’ll have a dream about a girl from my grade three class giving me a flu vaccine, and find myself dying to tell someone the next day.

Yes, we are indeed very interested in dreams. Inception revolves around dreams, and is in parts set within a dream, and even a dream within a dream, and a dream within that – confused yet?

The premise is intriguing: in the future, technology enables one to enter into the dream and mind of another. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a modern-day thief; an expert ‘Extractor’ who is hired to enter into people’s dreams and extract valuable information. He’s also a bit of a complex guy with a mysterious past that tends to interfere with his work. Cobb takes on a particularly difficult job that involves going even deeper into dreams and the subconscious – not just extracting information and ideas, but planting them too.

Cobb recruits a team to help him out, including his usual sidekick Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – AKA the dude from 3rd Rock who has not aged a day since the nineties), Ariadne (Ellen Page), and Eames (Tom Hardy). Hardy is definitely one to watch – he brings a distinguished toughness to his role that is reminiscent of James Bond. Plus he’s hot.

Inception

Leo as usual is fantastic, showing an underlying sensitivity in the complex and hardened Cobb. My only problem with the casting was Ellen Page. I love the girl, but found her too child-like to play with the big guys on this one; some of the impressive action scenes swallowed her up.

One thing I love about Inception is that Director Christopher Nolan has depicted the dream scenes are depicted in a very realistic way. Many features in several scenes reminded me of my own dreams; not like some of the over-the-top sequences favoured by the likes of some directors (Peter Jackson, I’m looking at you).

Inception tends to shuffle over several key explanations about dream-entering technology, and I noticed a few minor details that didn’t make much sense. Although amazingly enough, the 148 minute run time wouldn’t have been enough to get into all of the complexities. My advice – don’t think about it too much. Instead, lose yourself in the fanciful adventure taking place on screen, and focus on the other messages that the movie brings up. Imagine if you could knowingly dream: would you stay in a dream state for longer than your waking life, even though you know it’s not real? If that dream state involves a big vat of peanut butter that I could simultaneously swim in and eat, I’m there.

Images copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

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