Saturday, August 14, 2010

Inception (2010)

Aside from films I saw at this year's Fantasia Film Festival, Hollywood and Canada didn't have interesting films galore in store for this summer. However, Christopher Nolan's Inception is the only summer film that is worth waiting for and lives up to its hype.

In an unspecified future, shared dreaming is a possibility and a technology exists to enter the human's mind. Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who's specialized in entering people's dream. By designing a dream for a given victim, Cobb expects that person to fill this dream with his/her subconscious. Afterwards, Cobb expects to retrieve that victim's secret (i.e. a safe's code or the location of confidential documents) in order to perform a theft in real life. In the first minutes of the film, Cobb, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Nash (Lukas Haas) fail to extract information from the subconscious of a wealthy man named Saito (Ken Watanabe). Nevertheless, because he's impressed by Cobb's skills, Saito proposes to Cobb a mission.

Maurice Ficsher (Pete Postlethwaite), a tycoon, is on his deathbed and his son Robert (Cillian Murphy) is about to inherit his father's empire. In order to have the Fischer empire out of his way, Saito wants Cobb to venture into Robert Fischer's subconscious and plant the idea of selling off pieces of his father's business. Besides, Cobb accepts the mission, because Saito can arrange behind the curtains Cobb's legal return to the USA, where Cobb is a wanted man. Besides Arthur, Cobb hires Eames (Tom Hardy), an expert in assuming other people's identity in dreams, and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect who will design the dreams. Afterwards, Cobb hires Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who will allow the team to into dreams within dreams within dreams because the process of inception is harder than that of extraction.

Obviously, unlike The Dark Knight, another film by Christopher Nolan, Inception might look like a less complete film. Indeed, the film looks pretty much centred on the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard. Therefore, the supporting characters seem to be only there to play second fiddle to DiCaprio and Cotillard. Moreover, these supporting characters are also there to react to any problems created by the characters of DiCaprio and Cotillard. However, such a minor flaw can be forgiven. This means that Inception is a damn good blockbuster in which all the actors work as a team and deliver the kind of impeccable performance you'd expect from a good action film.

Furthermore, although it doesn't use its supporting characters a lot, Inception's storyline will keep your attention. Although the ending is very predictable, Christopher Nolan came up with a script that knows how to keep us pinned to our seat. In fact, given the fragility of Leonardo DiCaprio's character, the film will make you wonder whether his mission will succeed or not. This means that as the characters go deeper and deeper into Robert Fischer's subconsciousness, they risk being trapped in the unconscious indefinitely or that they'll no longer be able to tell reality from the dream state.

With that said, Inception is a beautifully challenging film that can be understood quite easily provided that you do some efforts. Despite the scores of criticisms the film has received, Inception is one of the few films that actually knows how to use the beautiful complexity (and even ambiguity) of its script to turn attention away from the film's minor flaws.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:USA (2010)
Length:148 minutes
Screenplay:Christopher Nolan
Director:Christopher Nolan
Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page

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