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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inception - An idea can start it all


In the new film Inception by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, Batman The Dark Knight) moviegoers come face-to-face with the depths of the human subconscious, where a heist like no other happens. What are the stakes you may ask? It’s the simple endeavour of extracting ideas from individual targets whilst they slumber in a dream state. During the course of the film the subconscious becomes the playground of a band of thieves (extractors) led by Cobb (played by Leonardo Di Caprio). But, by the same token we learn that dangers lay dormant in the minds that Cobb’s team invades. Ultimately Cobb finds himself facing a danger so intimately linked to his own heart, that it endangers not only him but his whole team.

Inception transverses the landscape of science fiction in a largely different direction than its brethren, like The Matrix which dealt with similar subject matter within a unique perspective. The Matrix was set within a network of human minds confined to a cyberspace world, constructed by machines trying to oppress the freedom of mankind. Inception shares a likening in approach to the science fiction of William Gibson, notably his novel Neuromancer, which bases itself in a physical reality with the added dimension of the cyberspace world as a backdrop to the action. Inception takes a slightly more toned down view of the future in a setting more recognisable to us in the present. 

With our familiarity established Nolan picks the dream world of the human subconscious as the battlefield for our heroes. Led by Cobb, a widowed husband searching for a way back to his children, we learn that all is not what it seems in the world of the subconscious. When a mysterious Japanese businessman (Ken Watanabe) offers a business proposition to Cobb and his team. Cobb reluctantly agrees not knowing fully the repercussions of his decision. The name of the game is inception (the act of planting a wholly original idea in the mind of a target). However, Cobb and his associates encounter dangers they never dreamed of as they travel deeper and deeper into the vastness of the human mind. Yet, as the film progresses they soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

The supporting cast are no newcomers with the likes of Ellen Page (of Juno fame), Josehp Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer), Dileep Rao (Drag Me to Hell) and Tom Hardy (RocknRolla) who bring to life Nolan’s vivid film spectacular of action and jaw-dropping special effects. The stunts in the film carry the weight of the narrative so effortlessly, increasing the tension of the heist as it progresses. Rooms become weightless with people flying everywhere, buildings collapse at mere whim and the questionability of the reality the characters live in is all part of Nolan’s master plan. It seems that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong, however Inception does so much more. Nolan has always been obsessed with perceptions of reality, fa├žade and the frailty of memory (the prime focus of his film Memento), yet Inception trumps all previous efforts. Inception is a solid classic, and can be considered Christoper Nolan’s best film to date parting with a unique experience. 

2 comments:

Marco said...

You forgot(or purposefully) to mention the soundtrack as i believe the narrative with the support of the soundtrack could only have achieved its amazing level of "attack" on the mind. Hans Zimmer FTW. Give the soundtrack a listen and then see how the movie comes flooding back to you...

Nerd Rage said...

Yeah, Inception did have an amazing sound track, but I still think it is Nolan's overriding vision for the film which gives the greatest impact.

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