by Cherszy (@cherszy)
“An idea is like a virus. It can grow to define you or destroy you.”
And Christopher Nolan’s idea of an innovative blockbuster masterpiece as an intellectual maze coupled with gravity-defying scenes clearly defined him as one of the best in the cinematic world.
This man has brought us from the head spinning world of memories in ‘Memento’ to the dark and chaotic streets of Gotham in ‘The Dark Knight’. Now, he’s back with another psychological adventure that guarantees a mind-bending roller coaster as he takes us to the complex and twisted realities of our dreams in his latest work, ‘Inception’.
After watching the movie twice – yes, I got so fascinated by it that I just have to watch it again – all I can say is Christopher Nolan’s a film genius. He blows me away with his every piece of work. And I must say, ‘Inception’ is his best one yet. Like, really amazing. Stunning! Such a fantastic movie!
What makes ‘Inception’ magnificently beautiful is not exactly its plot. It may seem like the most intricately designed story that sent our brains bursting, but what the movie is about can be summarized in this one phrase: idea manipulation through one’s dreams. It’s just a simple concept upon which the main story revolves. What is so brilliant about it is how such a simple concept was twisted into a mind-boggling 2.5-hour creation. Not every film can keep audience engaged for that long without probably losing their attention as it progresses. But, with ‘Inception’, you wouldn’t want to bat an eyelash.
There is just so much going on in this movie that blinking an eye would probably seem like a crime. And trust me, you wouldn’t want to skip a scene because you’ll be more lost than ever.
Aside from its ability to captivate its audience, one of the many things that makes ‘Inception’ a very interesting watch is its use of unconventional action scenes. Think people fighting and shooting in snowsuits while skiing down a snowy slope. And if that’s not cool enough for you, think people punching while being afloat in the air with the orientation of the setting constantly changing from upright to side view to total upside down. (And I’m still wondering why they don’t look dizzy at any point during the fight. Seriously, tumbling for five times consecutively is enough to make anyone puke; how can a hallway spinning a person round and round not make him dizzy?) Those were super cool! Like wow, can we replay that scene? It was defying gravity… literally!
‘Inception’ does not only owe its explosive success to Nolan but also to its incredible cast. They all did a good job in portraying their respective characters to give rise to such a phenomenal film. Great casting, really. For one, we don’t need to question Leonardo DiCaprio’s (Shutter Island) acting. He has always managed to deliver a superb performance no matter how complicated the role of his character is. The way he acts, as well as his facial expressions, is always very convincing and seems to spur from him naturally. He really knows how to play around the art of acting, and that’s what makes him such a great talent.
The other notable, if not the most notable, actor in the film, aside from DiCaprio (who plays Cobb), is 500 Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who plays Arthur). His part may seem to be quite insignificant to the overall story, but Arthur is the coolest character. In fact, he’s my favorite (sorry Leo, but this guy really caught my eye this time). And Gordon-Levitt gives Arthur the added spice that makes the latter so lovable! I can’t imagine any other actor who can play Arthur better than Gordon-Levitt. He is just perfect. He has really grown and improved in his skills as an actor with each and every new project. Who knows? He might be the next Leonardo. And may I just add, Joseph is incredibly dashing in this film! His hair, his outfit, his attitude, and his moves – everything just blended together in a way that makes him a mysterious prince charming.
As interesting as some of the characters are, it somehow feels like a shame that they seem to be quite underdeveloped. The story centered itself too much on Cobb (and Fischer) that the others who are with them in their journey seemed just like anonymous soldiers in a battle scene. It would have been more interesting to see these characters’ own struggles with their dreams or something that will strongly establish their personalities. Arthur’s role in the team, for one, is a little vague. On one hand, he’s like the researcher, but on another, he’s like Cobb’s right-hand man who knows the ins and outs of a dream, so like an architect and an extractor too. He’s called ‘The Point Man’, but who is he exactly? How did he join the team? How come his dream is filled with projections who fight him back when he’s the dreamer?
However, we were able to at least take a glimpse of what role each character plays. At least, an overview of who they are. It’s just that it would have been”more complete” if the background of their characters were given more details.
Aside from what I feel to be underdevelopment of characters, one other thing that I particularly disliked in this movie is the way it began and ended. The beginning scenes were more weighted than the rest of the movie that it feels like even before the climax kicked in, it was already exhausting. And the ending! Seriously, how was an abrupt ending supposed to give justice to the action-packed, brain-wrecking story? I know it was intentional, but really, I would have wanted to witness a more dramatic ending. I mean, such a lengthy movie that tossed you into a whirlpool of questions and mazes that seems to have come from a half-remembered dream, then without warning or whatsoever, it comes to a sudden end, like somebody accidentally cut off the reel of film, leaving your popcorn halfway through your half-opened mouth. Like, what just happened? That’s it? I haven’t even finished my bucket of popcorn yet! Just imagine having that weird feeling of getting mad and curious at the same time over a cliffhanger that leaves you more puzzled than ever in your movie experience. It feels like somebody threw a rock at you while you were asleep, and you wake up wondering what will happen next in your dream. Or, if I were to speak in ‘Inception’ terms, it’s like somebody gave you a ‘kick’.
However, as much as the final scene got me upset and frustrated as to why it was written and designed to be like that, every single bit in between is thrilling. The suspense and the excitement that ‘Inception’ brings to the screen is striking and beautifully executed by the actors. In addition to that, the film possesses a beautiful fusion of genres which is rare to find, especially in today’s movies. And that makes this film exceptional and superb! To be able to integrate all of the elements perfectly is just amazing. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for because it seems like ‘Inception’ has everything, whether you’re in search of action, drama, mystery, suspense, romance, sci-fi, or even comedy. There is always something in this movie that will tickle you.
A labyrinthine tale concocted from a creative mind; a film filled with scenes that keep audience ceaselessly engaged and amazed, ‘Inception’ is truly a masterpiece that is bound to be legendary.
Well, sweet dreams everyone… make sure when you wake up, your dreams aren’t tampered.