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Published on August 10th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie


Inception Film Review: Dreams, Thoughts And Self-Destruction

Inception Film Review

Director: Christopher Nolan.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cottilard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine.

Here is Yellow Magpie’s Inception film review.

Imagine a world in which you create your own reality. You do this by exploring the creative power of your mind as you live in your creation. Enter a universe in which people have the technology to share dreams together and thieves can hack your mind, exposing your most-hidden thoughts and secrets in doing so. Welcome to Inception.

Inception Film Review Copyright Warner Bros

Set in a world in which people can be mentally attacked as they sleep by skilled operators, Inception is a startlingly unique and brilliant film.

The movie follows Cobb as he embarks on a journey to obtain his freedom that he lost as a consequence of a terrible event in his past. As part of a deal to restore what he once had, Cobb is charged with the task of hacking into the mind of Robert Fischer in order to convince him to split up a powerful company that Fischer has been placed in charge.

‘Namely, his wife has the off-putting habit of sabotaging his missions.’

In order to achieve his goal, Cobb assembles a team of savvy experts who have little idea what they have let themselves in for. Unbeknownst to them, Cobb is waging his own private battle with himself as he tries to contain manifestations of his subconscious guilt in the dreamworlds. Namely, his wife has the off-putting habit of sabotaging his missions.

Inception Film Review Arthur (Joseph Gorden-Hewitt) Copyright Warner Bros

Leonardo DiCaprio shines through in a remarkable performance as the lost soul, Cobb. A complex character, DiCaprio infuses Cobb with multiple layers. What we get is a man whose haunted past and guilt pores out of his calm exterior to the point where he is struggling to regain control.

The rational presence is provided by team member Arthur, coolly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who not only has veins of ice but also suavely appears non-flustered in times of crises. He is the perfect foil to Cobb’s energetic and intense personality.

‘The suspense at times is palpable and continually provides a constant stream of uncertainty throughout’

Fellow-member of the team, Eames, played byTom Hardy, is a loveable and adroit rogue and a welcome nod to the British scoundrels. His playfulness is a welcome escape from the dramatic mood of the film and the scenes of Eames’ banter with Arthur are full of comic fun and boyish devilment.

The acting in Inception is superb. This can be clearly seen by the calibre of the support cast which boasts A-list players. Some of best performances comes from actors that are down the billing order. Cillian Murphy is a case-in-point, his Robert Fischer is the perfect mix of knowing intelligence and child-like naivety.

This unsettling combination continually keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat as one cannot figure out what is going through Fischer’s mind. The suspense at times is palpable and continually provides a constant stream of uncertainty throughout the film. Marion Cotillard’s performance as Cobb’s maniacal wife, Mal is also exemplary.

Inception Film Review Saito (Ken Watanbe) And Mal (Marion Cotillard) Copyright Warner Bros

Christopher Nolan is no stranger when it comes to making engaging blockbuster films. However, this is the first time he has written a screenplay for a big-budget film without his brother, Jonathon, being on-board. In doing so, he has taken on a large risk but fortunately it has reaped dividends.

‘Added to this is the fact that the actress playing Ariadne, Ellen Page, looks too young and precocious for the role. ‘

If there is a bone of contention in Nolan’s film it would be his creation of Ariadne. Despite the mythical origins of the character as a Greek guide, at times the role appears to be little more than a cipher designed to access parts of Cobb’s personality which the viewer wishes to see and to bring to fruition elements of the story that are necessary.

Added to this is the fact that the actress playing Ariadne, Ellen Page, looks too young and precocious for the role. This is distracting at times and we constantly wonder where Ariadne has obtained the life experience necessary to deal with such a difficult and complicated situation as the predicament that Cobb is in. This continuously draws attention to the fact that Page is acting and undoubtedly someone else should have been cast instead

Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack deserves special praise, he may not have the range or talents of an Ennio Morricone but he certainly is no slouch when it comes to the musical department. His music imposes itself subtly in the background. It suggests grandiosity and promise but it is also tinged with menace and unease, a truly inspired choice. Although one criticism is that it seems to borrow elements from Zimmer’s Batman score but nonetheless it is highly satisfying.

Inception Film Review Copyright Warner Bros

A mild criticism of the film is the restrictions it self-imposes on a limitless world. Some of the scenes are truly spectacular however, in a place of pure potentiality, perhaps a little leverage would have been nice especially when Ariadne is introduced to the dreamscape for the first time. This was a missed opportunity when you consider that this could have been the occasion where the viewer was presented with something that has never been seen on film before.

One of the most notable things about Inception is the hermetically sealed creation Nolan has invented. It is a world that seems strong enough to have vigour and its own unique logic seems to have been well-worked out with care and precision. In fact, the only other film that bears comparison is The Matrix. Like The Matrix, Inception is principally concerned about epistemology and the nature of reality.

To those who believe that the film is too fantastical or irrational – answer one simple question. Which is more irrational, to inhabit a dreamworld or to be live on a giant rock with a centre of fire, which revolves around a larger fireball, which in turn spins around other fireballs which in turn move through a mysterious firmament? Inception doesn’t seem so strange now, does it?

Recommended Viewing

You can obtain Inception here from Amazon.
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access: Inception from here.
For Canada: Inception .
For Germany: Inception.
For France: Inception.

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