Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

"Your Mind Is The Scene Of The Crime..."

That tagline echoed deep within the recesses of my own head whenever I thought of Inception – Christopher Nolan’s next film project after his epic Batman movie sequel that was “The Dark Knight”. In all fairness, I’ll be the first to admit that the ideas that the British director presents to the Hollywood table sound totally wild and daring, but he has a certain kind of air about him that makes you, the viewer, believe that he can make the impossible possible, and since my introduction to his directing style and work with the film “Memento”, I’ve been a big Chris Nolan believer and fan through and through. My faith in the man only increased when he was commissioned by Warner Bros. to do the Batman reboot, and we all know how that turned out. Pretty much the rest was history after his stint there, and Chris has been on a role lately. With Inception officially launching in theaters by the end of this week, there’s no doubt in my mind people are going to be talking about this movie left and right. How do I know this? I’ve seen it of course!

Movie: Inception

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

That’s right. Last night, in the midst of a wild and unpredictable storm, I traveled all the way to my local IMAX theater to catch the hotly anticipated premiere of Inception. It was truly a privilege and an exciting experience to be among the first to get the opportunity to see Chris Nolan’s latest flick, and as I mentioned earlier, you will not be disappointed once you see this in conventional theaters in a few days time as of this posting. This will be a none spoiler review, and I’ll just be talking in a general manner about what you can expect about this film… a film I and many of my peers consider to be a top contender for an Academy Award nomination in the next Oscars.

Inception Movie Trailer #2

For all intents and purposes, Inception plays like your common sci-fi action flick inspired by Japanese Anime themes, only done brilliantly and executed spectacularly into a Western film by the mind of a genius director and his team of equally talented filmmakers. In this tale that deals with professional thieves and the inner workings of the subconscious, you find out that there’s a lot more going on than a simple cat burglar’s game of diving into a person’s mind and stealing his deepest secrets. No, the thing about Inception is that it’s all about how a person is able to grasp the difference between reality and fantasy - the real world and the dream world. Exploring different aspects of the subconscious and its layers alone will leave the viewer mesmerized over what this film has to offer in terms of plot and content. I certainly couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on at first until I saw the whole movie, and Chris Nolan has subtle trademark keys of telling this films in a not so linear direction. Highlighting the cast of this epic masterpiece is none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the main character Dom Cobb. Leo’s character specializes in subconscious security, but he also takes ideas at the same time, therefore becoming “The Extractor” and living the life of a professional thief in the dream world… who has his own personal agenda to pursue. Over the years, I’ve come to respect Mr. DiCaprio’s work and the roles he has chosen for himself, namely in Martin Scorsese films like The Aviator and The Departed. In all honesty, Leonardo DiCaprio has evolved into a finer actor since his “pretty boy” days in movies like Romeo and Juliet and Titanic, and that’s a commendable achievement for his part. I can’t wait to see the next film he does in the future, and like Nolan, this man’s really on a role now in Hollywood.
Besides Mr. DiCaprio, let’s not forget the other talents involved in this mega-blockbuster sci-fi action flick. In Inception, Leo’s character assembles a team to enter the mind of a specific target, and each man in that team specializes in a certain field that is crucial to the mission’s success. There’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Arthur, Cobb’s teammate and Point Man. He’s the guy responsible for looking into the target’s background and researching about them before the hit even takes places. Then you have Ellen Page as Ariadne, a college graduate hired by Cobb to be the Architect – the person responsible for constructing the world of the dream. Next, you have Eames, played by Tom Hardy, a professional “Forger” who can impersonate identities and take on physical appearances in the dream world. Dileep Rao plays the role of Yusuf, The Chemist, who specializes in sedatives the team needs to enter the dream world. Finally, you have Ken Watanabe, who plays Saito, The Tourist, who hires Cobb to do a hit in exchange for something Cobb desperately wants. Their target, Robert Fisher Jr. is “The Mark”, and is played by Cillian Murphy. It’s interesting to note that director Chris Nolan hires many actors he has worked with in his past movies and keeps a healthy working relationship with them, as with the case of Mr. Murphy and Mr. Watanabe, who have worked with Nolan on the Batman films. Even Sir Michael Caine, who played Alfred Pennyworth in those films, plays a role in Inception, as Cobb’s mentor and father-in-law Miles. That being said, Cobb’s personal agenda stems from something that has to do with his wife, Mallorie Cobb, played by actress Marion Cotillard and who assumes the role of “The Shade”, who constantly hounds her husband within the dream world. With that kind of acting roster assembled, it’s no wonder why Inception really fascinated me a great deal. From start to finish, the movie never failed to impress, and it’s one of those great films that deserve the praise and attention that accompanies it.

After seeing it firsthand, I can definitely vouch this as a “must see”. Anyone who finds themselves comparing the concept of the movie to “The Matrix”, rest assured, it’s a bit more than that, and there’s no machines or technology references involved either. This is about the world of the dream, where the subconscious rules and layers of imagination exist simply to lull the dreamer into a sense of security. When Cobb and his team are involved, the dice is rolling and your deepest secrets cannot be guaranteed safe and secure. That is the premise behind Inception, and to discover the true meaning and exact nature of this story by Christopher Nolan, you’ll have to watch it for yourselves. Three words – Mind.Blowingly.Awesome.

Inception opens Internationally on July 15 and in the US on July 16.
Rating - 5/5

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