Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Inception

Inception may be the best movie we've seen this year. It's a difficult movie but that's part of what makes it good. It deals with dreams and reality and the difficulty in telling them apart.At it's heart, Inception is a heist movie. Leonardo DeCaprio plays Cobb, a man in possession of technology which allows him to insert a team into another person's dream. Even better, it allows him to script the dream as well. The purpose of this is generally extraction, stealing of information from the subject. In the film, Cobb agrees to take on an assignment to plant an idea in someone's mind, something generally considered impossible.

Here's where it starts to look like a heist movie as Cobb assembles his team of experts. In order to pull this off, the team will have to go deeper into the subject's mind than usual. It will be a dream within a dream within a dream. Once the team is together they have to design the dreams and assemble the tools they will need. This is also where the movie gets harder to follow. For the bulk of the film, the characters are acting in three levels of reality (the separate dream levels) at the same time. Time passes at different rates in each dream. What is minutes in the highest level dream is weeks in the lowest. Director Chris Nolan really messes with our (and the cast's) perception as the story moves forward. The main complication is that the subject has been trained to resist extraction so things happen that the team can't control. The other is that Cobb has unresolved issues surrounding the event of his wife's death which causes his subconscious mind throw up obstacles. If you've seen the trailers, the scene where the freight train is barreling down the middle of a street is one of those obstacles.

I can't tell you how the movie ends except to say that people in the audience actually cried out at the ending. My son saw the movie separately from us and he said the same thing happened where he saw it. I'll also say that there are at least three different ways to interpret the end of the movie and that the three of us who saw it hold two of the interpretations.

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