Warner Bros., 148 min., Dir. Christopher Nolan
There’s not too much you can say that hasn’t been said and said and said and said, so I’m not sure there’s a ton to say that hasn’t been said. That’s my verbal attempt at translating a Penrose staircase. Incidentally, the first time I saw a Mobius strip at the absolutely fascinating Museum of Science Mathmateca exhibit designed by Charles and Ray Eames, I ended up designing one with Nicole and Sarah and Christine and just marveling at the fact that it was possible. This film has a similar, if more subdued effect.
Inception is a psychological thriller that recalls Christopher Nolan’s earlier film Memento (2000), but this is a far better film. It channels some of the energy of Nolan’s last two Batman films and plays like Ocean’s Eleven, but with fewer characters and more emotional payoff. There’s not much need to discuss the plot as you can read Adam’s salon.com article and recap the plot in detail for yourself.
What kind of film is this? A heist film, plain and simple. This film has been compared to The Matrix (1999), and that is essentially a heist film as well (thought the stakes are a bit different). A team is assembled in which each member has a particular skill to contribute. One member, (Cobb in this film) has a hangup, or some kind of personal problem that he/she must overcome before the job can be done satisfactorily. The heist involves multiple layers of concurrent threads of action and at least one twist which causes the audience to question the outcome or reassess the rules of the game.
A comparison to The Matrix is valid in my opinion, in that both films offer a fantasy world parallel to the ‘real’ in which different rules cause spectacular confrontations and contortions of the laws that govern our physical and mental existence. In terms of the outcome of the film, you have to see it to question, then, as Adam’s suggest, determine for yourself whether you care what the final scene represents.
In a word, I will echo most critics by saying that it was refreshing to see a movie that was not a sequel, middle-story film, or reboot of an 80’s television show. Nolan taps into yet another set of fundamental imagery to project a singular vision that captivates the viewer and truly establishes a world to inhabit for the duration of the film.
9/10: As with most Nolan films, a repeat viewing is in order.