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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review: Inception (12A) ★★★★★
In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception.

Jaw dropping. Utterly brilliant. Astonishing. Breathtaking. These are are words that have been used to describe Inception and I for one agree whole heartedly but let me suggest two others, intelligent and respectful.

I settled down to watch Inception filled with the thrust upon hype of being one of the best films of recent years. That this film will test you, it will challenge you and will take you places that you've never been before. From this precarious standpoint I approached Inception with trepidation, trying to allay my fear of failure. However I needed not do this, the film, as anticipated was indeed a revelation, a spectacle that has to be seen to believed.

The world of dreams can be whatever you want it to be. It is your world, your thoughts, your desires and importantly your fears and the idea of someone hijacking your personal thoughts can be somewhat unnerving. This is the idea of the film, to plant the thought that someone can enter your dreams and steal information about you, which in this world comes at a high price and is a cut-throat business.

The premise promises alot. Dreams, ironically, are a very visual thing. As mentioned they are the dreamers world who can conjur almost anything so the filmmakers needed to be careful about how to display this setting. Films such as What Dream May Come and The Lovely Bones depict the dream world almost like paintings, colourful and very different from the real world. Inception ignores this concept and shows us that dreams are what they are, memories of real, tangible things, the difference being that they can be manipulated to create something altogether different.

This is where our team of, lets call them dream hijackers, come in. Headed up by Leonardo DiCaprio with team members Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao, they are hired to not steal an idea from someone's dream but to plant one. This process is known as Inception. DiCaprio having to find redemption from a previous failed job takes up this opportunity and sets the plans in motion to enter three dream levels in order to complete the job and return home to his family. Of course things aren't as easy as they sound as DiCaprio's troubled past comes back to haunt him and jeopardise the whole operation.

To explain anything further would spoil you, my faithful readers, the enjoyment and thrill of seeing this story unfold so I'm stopping here. I can comment on the performances and visuals however, if I missed those then I could not be forgiven. DiCaprio is magnificent, an actor that has aged and matured into one of the, if not, best performers working in films at the moment. DiCaprio's Cobb shifts between confident Team Leader to insecure, lonely lost father through scenes that capture DiCaprio's talents perfectly. Then there's the supporting characters, each with different personalities and traits that must have been matched to the actors themselves, they fit so well you think the old cliché that they were made for the part. Tom Hardy visibly has the most fun and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed his performance having not really liked anything he's done previously.

Now the visuals. Well where can I start, breathtaking and jaw dropping again come to mind but it would be doing it a disservice. When people tell you "you won't have seen anything like this before" they aren't kidding. Some reviews I read have unfairly compared it to The Matrix and although I can see where they are coming from I feel the texture and look of Inception is far, far different. Is this down to the viewer relating to the characters more? They undoubtedly have more depth and emotional ties to the surroundings they find themselves in. Yes for me this is the reason, characters build the world around a movie and this is a major point in Inceptions case.

So now onto the important piece in this review, the direction. Christopher Nolan is without doubt
the best director working in the business today. He has no equal, he has nobody who can come near to replicating the things he's done in such a beautiful and engrossing way. Mark Kermode indicated that Inception was the film Nolan was allowed to make for doing The Dark Knight, for me I think Nolan can make pretty much any movie he wants and the studio will back him, his track record is just that good. The trick with Nolan is that he treats his audience with respect, he makes films that he would want to watch and be challenged by. There are far to many Michael Bays out there who think that film audiences are mindless idiots who just want to see huge explosions with no plot or story surrounding them. It's also a major fact that Nolan refused to film Inception in 3D stating that it would take away from the story being told. What a guy!

Inception is more than just a great movie, it's a study in summer blockbusters not just being about noise and explosions but of story and characters. Nolan has proved that you can make a smart blockbuster that cost millions and still fill the multiplexes. Take note Michael Bay, you have alot to learn.


phirst said...

Got this out from love film last week, was absolutely great!! The dream within a dream was V cool. The visuals looked great on the new telly :)

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