Notes On A Film: Inception

I had thought to write about this fabulous film when I first saw it, but the ocean of writing about Inception on the internet put me off – all the theories and beautifully written praise rather overwhelmed me. I won’t be adding to much to that ocean, but I couldn’t help but to add my few drops in agreement with all the positive reviews.

I shall start with the summary: Inception is a fantastic piece of cinema, I absolutely adored it, it’s the best film I’ve seen all year (and beyond), and I shall enjoy watching it on DVD  again and again and again …

I think everyone in the world must know the basic plot: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an infiltrator of dreams for corporations, where he steals secrets, but this time he is asked to do the reverse and place an idea in somebody’s mind. He forms his team for the heist and the film follows the formulation of the plan and then the heist itself.

What follows is a beautifully intricate film, scripted with exquisite precision, filled with dazzling visuals (such as the folding cityscapes and the gravity-free fight scene), good acting (DiCaprio is really good as the central character on which the film hinges, but he is supported in superb form by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and good turns from Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, and the rest of the cast, including familiar faces from previous Nolan films such as Michael Caine and Ken Watanabe) and genuine emotion in an action film. I was completely absorbed for the entire duration of the film, and had a strange sensation while watching the film of being aware of how much I was enjoying it and how good the film was.

Christopher Nolan has written and directed an astounding cinematic spectacle, a truly original and entertaining movie with a heart and a brain, and I’m really happy that it has done so well at the box office (even though these things don’t really matter). One of the things that really impresses me is the way that this film can stimulate such fervent discussion and different hypotheses about it, not because it is full of holes but because it engenders such speculation about what it is about (there are several theories, such as listed here, but I also like the ideas presented here and here), and they don’t detract from my enjoyment of the film but enhance it. That is quite an achievement. I also liked how the film ended: the camera pulling in, the audience waiting for the moment to happen, and then the screen going black – a delicious moment.

Inception is a superb film, excellent in all aspects, and I feel sorry for those people who didn’t enjoy it. I loved it.

Rating: DAVID

[Explanation of my updated film rating system]

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3 Comments

  1. I went to see it twice and have to admit I got much more out of the second viewing. It definitely seemed that Nolan got his chance at an endless budget and managed to make a decent film out of his typically psychological stories.

  2. I believe that a sign of a good film is that improves on repeated viewing and can withstand such scrutiny, so I can understand how you got more out of it the second time. And I'm glad Nolan, when given the chance to do anything after The Dark Knight, decided to make a smart film that forced the audience to pay attention.

  3. Most definitely. I agree. I'm glad he got the chance to do something more like Memento. It makes me look forward to more films from him. There are so few I actually want to see out there.

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