Sunday, 15 August 2010
Very rarely in this day and age you will come across a film that deals with an interesting concept and a gripping and complex plot but that is not so overwhelmed by these things that casual audiences cant have fun watching it , Inception is such a movie.
Directed by Christopher Nolan who has worked on films such as "Batman Begins" its sequel "The Dark Knight" and "The Prestige" all brilliant and unique films so I was looking forward to his upcoming work on Inception and it doesn't disappoint.
Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominic Cobb a man who is trained in the art of stealing secrets from peoples dreams, but is struggling to prevent himself from jeopardizing the dream by bringing his own personal baggage into the dream world with him.
On the run from the law and unable to ever visit his children Cobb is propositioned by a wealthy businessman who tells Cobb he will make it possible for him to be able to return to his children if he completes one final mission for him but instead of entering the victims mind and extracting secrets instead he will need to plant an idea.
The premise of this film is brilliant and original but at the same brutal in its complexity and depth so you need to follow the plot closely or risk being swept up and lost in the wave of ideas.
But even if you fail to follow the plot, the effects, action scenes and depth of the film alone make it worth a look in, with a fight scene in a topsy turvy world and a great view of a neglected and collapsing L.A. that is slowly being reclaimed by the sea being truly stunning highlights from the film but every aspect and shot of this film is highly stylized and incredibly beautiful surreal leaving the audience constantly questioning their sense of reality throughout the entire film.
The visuals are incredible and backed up by a truly great story line that raises many questions about reality far better than films such as "The Matrix" ever have. But at the end of the day a film falls back on how well the cast is able to drive the story and emotionally attach an audience so lets take a look at the cast of Inception.
Headed by Leonardo DiCaprio who is absolutely brilliant as Dominic Cobb, driving the plot forward and bringing a well rounded performance to his character who is driven by the sole desire to return to America to see his children again but is constantly haunted by the memory of his dead wife. The character is well developed and given a significant character ark that add strength to the both his character and the film as a whole.
Ellen Page co-stars as Ariadne (Ah I see what you did there) a young student who is recruited as the squads architect responsible for constructing the dream world that acts primarily as a maze where the heist will take place, but also serves to develop and allow the audience to better understand both the character of Cobb as well as giving the audience a view into the concept of dream espionage. Page is able to portray her character extremely well giving a sense of realism that is some what lacking in the other characters and helping to balance the cast.
Cillian Murphy plays Robert Michael Fisher the intended victim who the group need to implant the idea of disbanding his father's company, its interesting to note the character isn't portrayed as a villain in any shape or form but instead as normal businessman who has issues with his farther that the team must exploit if they wish to succeed in their goal.
Also Dileep Rao who is one of my favorite actors and who should be a far bigger star, makes a surprise appearance as Yusuf a chemist who is recruited into the team to create a drug that will allow the team to remain in their dream state long enough to achieve their goal and despite only holding a small role in the movie is as enjoyable as ever.
Finally a mention for Tom Hardy and Joesph Gordon-Levitt who are enjoyable as Eames and Arthur who takes on the role of other personality within the dream and the point man who is responsible for researching the target, with these two constantly bickering and teasing one another the film never becomes overly dark or depressing but never loses sight of where the film needs to go or becomes bogged down with attempts at comic relief.
Its interesting that the biggest threat to the mind hacking squad mission isn't the victim's subconscious protection but the emotional baggage that Cobb himself drags with him namely his deceased wife who due to the guilt Cobb feels over her death and desire to preserve her memory through his dreams results in a far darker version of her pursuing him through the dream world and attempting to sabotage the mission, being part of Cobb's subconscious she knows everything he knows making her even more of a threat to the group.
This is where things get complicated as we take a moment to discuss the concept of dreams within dreams.
The idea of impossible objects such as looping stair cases or sharing the same dream may be hard to follow but if anything is going to cause you to lose track of the plot its the dreams within dream idea, although it isn't half as difficult to comprehend as people made it out to be as long as you can wrap you head around the idea of time amplification and how in each dream the time is amplified so that time is drastically slower. If you can grasp this concept then the plot flows naturally and easily.
The implications over implanting an idea into someone else's mind and how that may grow to change the person is handled brilliantly and not under played as I feared it may have been, since the concept that a single idea may grow to irritably change a person forever is dealt with in the perfect manner but perhaps not the manner you might have expect it to be dealt with.
So I was surprised just how much I enjoyed Inception, And I more than recommend it to the rest of you out there since my half mad rambling review can in no way do it the justice it deserves. The acting is brilliant the effects are phenomenal the action spectacular, the plot is one of the most original ones I have seen in years and like all of Christopher Nolan's films each shot is incredibly stylised so go and see it while it is still showing, hell go right now I say turn off the computer and go to you nearest cinema where it is showing!