A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Don’t Be Afraid To Dream Big | INCEPTION

In action, sci-fi on July 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

INCEPTION stands out from Christopher Nolan’s other movies, mainly because it offers us something that is not as essentially one of a kind as the previous movies he’s made have been. There are shades of THE MATRIX, THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR, THE NINES, THE BOURNE trilogy and even the OCEAN’S ELEVEN movies. Despite he does it in a way all his own; the same just can’t really be said of THE DARK KNIGHT – which took us to new depths of what it means to be a hero and literally larger scenes (in the guise of filming scenes in IMAX); THE PRESTIGE, which was about magicians, but really was a magic trick in itself; MEMENTO, which told the story in such a non-linear fashion that nearly put us in the same shoes as the lead character.

INCEPTION plays like the above influences with shades of the book Neuromancer by William Gibson, most of the oeuvre of Philip K. Dick, and with the lead character played by Leonardo DiCaprio, there’s also a seeming common thread with Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND. Suffice it to say, that despite it not becoming my new “favoritest movie ever made”, it still far-outshines most all of the other Summer fare that’s been released this season.

The story is kind of difficult to go into, but broken down to it’s simplest “idea”; it’s about breaking into people’s dreams and subconscious-mind, to learn their secrets. Cobb (DiCaprio) is the master of this certain profession, and is assisted by Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a number of other characters, all with regular “con-men” titles, such as “architect” (played by Ellen Page), “forger” (Tom Hardy, BRONSON), and another character that was a chemist, whose title I forgot. Sorry. (But he’s played by Dileep Rao, DRAG ME TO HELL and AVATAR.)

We are given some rules on dream-logic; never use reality as a basis for your created dream world; never tell people they’re in a dream; and never tell someone you’ll be right back, because you won’t….wait, wrong rules. Anyway, as happens when we’re given rules in a movie like this, all of those are broken and there is hell to pay.

My biggest issue with the movie, I think, is that we’re not really given something concrete to grab on to with the characters to actually make us care. We start in the dream-world, they wake up and go back into another dream-world. There’s some character development – Cobb’s wife invades his dreams, and we learn that she’s no longer around, and he’s having issues dealing with it. We don’t learn much about the other characters, other than the fantastic chemistry that everyone has on-screen. Gordon-Levitt and Hardy steal the movie every time either are seen; but are brilliant in their interactions together. There’s a great moment between Page and Gordon-Levitt, where in a classic evasion of being discovered moment, he tells her to kiss him. But the heart of the movie is supposed to come from Cobb and the “relationship” he has with his wife, played by Marion Cotillard, who is mainly seen as a sort of ghost in the machine. Randomly showing up in the dream-worlds to muck things up for Cobb and his team.

The movie itself, though, is fairly brilliant. They filmed in six countries, ranging from Canada to China and Morocco. It looks spectacular – also assisted by Nolan’s once again use of the IMAX camera lending it’s large lenses to give the scenes scope and the great Director of Photography, Wally Pfister. The action is marvelous, with only a few moments of unclarity (a scene in a cab and some snow-covered scenes, where everything just goes white a couple of times.), but overall lives up to the expectations set by THE DARK KNIGHT. Included here though are some moments of fantastic un-reality; such as the unsteady gravity fight through a hallway; an excellent chase through snow-covered mountains. No, the action, direction and the magnificent score by Hans Zimmer aren’t the issue with the movie.

It’s also not the actors. As mentioned the supporting cast, which also offers small moments with Michael Caine, Pete Postlethwaite, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Tom Berenger (doing his best to look like Rutger Hauer in BATMAN BEGINS). DiCaprio is perfectly believable as Cobb, a man who is exiled from his homeland and used to be at the top of the dream-extraction game. Page, making her first real appearance – outside of an X-MEN movie – in a Summer blockbuster, stands up well, beside all these other men. She’s believable as the person responsible for creating the dream-puzzles that the team need to work through.

No, the issue, once again is that this movie had too many things that had me thinking about other movies. It spent too much effort putting up a wall between the characters and the audience. Though there is a final wink in the movie’s closing moments that perhaps is meant to show us all just what reality is or isn’t. I do feel the desire to see it again, and maybe it’ll grow on me. It just wasn’t the instant smash on the head, brilliant movie feeling that I left the theater with after THE PRESTIGE or THE DARK KNIGHT – which I also HAD to see a number of times in the theater. But, considering those are the standards that I held INCEPTION to, it doesn’t fall to far below it.

  1. […] 突然触动,记得当时看《盗梦》最有感触的一句话是Tom Hardy说:“Don’t Be Afraid To Dream Big”。人生如梦嘛,这跟我的人生观非常契合。从小骨子里就想把这辈子过值了,人生就是个没法存档的RPG,不经历点别人没经历过的,尝遍世间酸甜苦辣,否则多亏本啊! […]

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