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Inception Review

A short reiew of Inception shortly after it was relased in cinemas.

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Inception Review

Inception is a funny one; rarely does a blockbuster film deliver such magnificent set pieces and large scale spectacle whilst still managing to deliver some of the most thought invoking narrative available to the Hollywood industry. As you have probably already heard or read from various review sites and radio shows, the film has garnered quite a large helping of praise due to its ability to make you think, something quite rare in big budget blockbusters. Make no mistake however, if you dive head first into the considerable hype generated for the film, you may be disappointed when you come out of the cinema thinking “that’s it? I was expecting a mind blowing twist at the end”.

Needless to say however, the film is that rare gem that thrills with spectacle but at the same time challenges the average moviegoer with a plot that may appear complex on the surface, but is accessible for even the most seasoned action film lover. 

Inceptions basic premise revolved around the concept of ‘dream thieves’ who are hired to enter a targets dream and steal valuable information that the individual assumedly isn’t willing to give up in the real world. Dominic Cobb (DiCaprio) is one of these operatives who, after a failed attempt to steal valuable information from a business man (Ken Watanabe) is tasked with the assumed impossible feat of ‘Inception’ which is, in theory, the placement of an idea into an individual’s mind through entering their dreams. However, the idea must be implanted under the guise that the idea hasn’t been put there by someone else but rather, the individual must be made to think that idea is his or her own.

Cobb’s initial reluctance to undertake the seemingly impossible task is subsided by Saito’s promise that he will be allowed to see his children again. This is where the films main plot is introduced, Cobb has been wrongly convicted (or so we think) of his wife’s murder and therefore if he attempts to re-enter the United States he will be apprehended and charged with the murder. This is the basic premise that the film begins on, and unfortunately, is also where it ends. In other words, what follows after the establishment of the films plot is the visual explanation of what ‘Inception’ really is. Not until the films conclusion is the plot, established in the first hour of the film resolved, and instead the body of film is made up of an admittedly hugely impressive special effects romp.  Cobb must find Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy) and enter his dream to implant the idea that he should become the chairman of his dying father’s multinational oil company and then break it apart and sell it off to individual investors to stop the company from creating a monopoly on the oil business.

It’s here that the plot established at the start of the film is sidelined in favour of this visual representation of ‘Inception’ which really serves as a means to an end and could easily have been replaced with an infinite number of different ways to portray the films titular concept. The film also suffers from a rather large lull in the middle of the film where it’s apparent that the film’s Director (Christopher Nolan) had perhaps become concerned that the films premise was too hard to understand and therefore the film becomes grounded in becoming a lesson in what Inception is all about. 

It’s not all a grind of dialogue however; the film should be praised for using amazing special affects to create set pieces that not only create spectacle, but actually have a reason for being on screen. It’s a credit to the director being able to produce such amazing scenes that visually explain the concept of inception at the same time that Dominic Cobb is reiterating its meaning to a slightly confused university student (Ellen Page). 

Once Cobb has assembled his team of specialist dream thieves, the film becomes an adrenaline fuelled mission into their targets dream, which becomes a dream within a dream within a dream. Still following?

The dream spanning adventure becomes wildly enjoyable as the audience is treated to unending action but with the task of keeping up with the fast paced action whilst still trying to remember just how many dreams Cobb and his team are in. However, the film isn’t purely admirable for its melding of special effects and enigmatic plot, the cast, including DiCaprio and the brilliant supporting actors such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt truly add a level of believability to the films narrative, making us truly believe that what they doing is, on some level, possible. Not to mention that a film based entirely around dreams enables any and every audience member to relate to the film on the level of seeing something in one of the films many dream scenes that they believe to be familiar to a dream they have had in their lifetime.

Overall then, Inception is a fantastic film, perhaps spoilt by its own complex nature and feeling like it has to explain itself to make sure the audience understand just what is going on but at the same time not explaining too much as to let the audience interpret the film and its meaning in their own way. This is especially evident in the films ending, and if you have followed it intently from start to finish you will be discussing the ending with everyone else that has seen it for weeks to come. Inception is that rare blockbuster that sticks in your mind and doesn’t fade from thought as soon as you leave the cinema.

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