Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moofies - Inception (2010)

EXPECTATIONS: Nolan's films to date have either been really strong mystery stories with a twist (Memento, The Prestige) or dark comic book films that balance high comic book drama ridiculousness with grounded character reality (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight). From the trailer Inception appears to promise a mix of both, so I'm pretty keen.

REALITY: Nolan has blown my mind again.

Inception tells the story of Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a thief who specialises in stealing ideas and information from the mind. It's a simple idea with zero basis in reality, but this simple idea becomes increasingly more intricate and complicated as the film progresses.

I have to admit that I worship the ground Nolan walks on, and here is why:

With all of his films to date, but especially The Dark Knight and Inception, Nolan has taken the enormous comic book drama style, mixed it with interesting and current themes, given it an old-school dark look with minimal computer effects, and created some of the most iconic and amazing big action scenes to date within films that can be read at multiple levels.

The last film to mix heady wanky ideas of reality and philosophy with amazing action visuals was The Matrix, and seeing as Inception is another film that messes with perception and has amazing visuals comparisons are inevitable; but I think Inception stands on its own as a strong, original film. It also has what is possibly the best fight scene in any film ever. Honestly, watch that fight scene in the hallway and tell me you weren't completely blown away? It was clever and unlike anything I've seen on screen before.

I normally loathe films that delve into the mind and try to represent dreams and thoughts with visuals. The Cell comes to mind, a visually amazing film with a silly and disappointingly simple plot. Inception, however, creates a tangible world within the mind that, despite being amazing and otherworldly, looks familiar and real.

There are a bazillion clues that warrant multiple viewings to understand. My wife and I disagree about what exactly happened in the finale, which is great. I think that film should provoke discussion and investigation. One nice touch was the choice of song to 'wake up' the dreamers. They wake up to Edith Piaf's Non, je ne regrette rien. Marion Cotillard plays Cobb's "dead" wife in the film. She also won an academy award for playing Edith Piaf. The intertextual link adds another level to the realities in which the film takes place.

I could blab on for a long time about this film, but it is probably best done with people who have seen it. Friends and reviewers have said that it was a little too stupid and beyond belief, but I think even on that level it is original and something worth seeing. I, on the other hand, think this is amazing and I got sucked right in to the mega drama of the whole thing.


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