Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Inception
Christopher Nolan follows up his blockbuster The Dark Knight with a film that goes back to his Memento or even The Prestige ways with a true puzzler of a film called Inception. Trying to tap those roots, Nolan tries to please the mind more than the eyes. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of action to be had, especially in the second half of the film.
Leonardo DiCaprio channels his character Teddy Daniels from last years Shutter Island for the most part here as Dom Cobb. Along with his right-hand man Arthur, Cobb navigates others dreams while they are asleep and secure information for clients. Bottom line, a way of corporate espionage.
When a job goes wrong, Cobb finds himself in that movie mentality, one last job to get me home and I’m done. A common trait seen in many action movies that depict the hero agreeing to do a job that otherwise wouldn’t do but will because of the promised outcome. Providing this opportunity is Ken Watanbe’s Saito.
Enough about plot, I want to talk about the acting and the film itself. DiCaprio did a fine job but as mentioned before, I felt it was a very similar character as Shutter Island’s right down to the mysterious wife and two children involved. The characters were so alike it was eerie, and the fact it was back to back movies made me not appreciate the work that DiCaprio did here as I felt I should.
Ellen Page is also in this film but comes across as more of a narrator to the audience to explain things when we may not understand. To me, Nolan, while in Memento the audience has to connect the pieces, has characters such as Page’s Adiadne sort of takes a time-out and explain things for us to understand. One such instance is why Cobb has the wife issues that manifest in the dreams and while in other scenes character’s explain why it’s possible to go further deeper into dreams with the sudden revelation of just using more sedation. I can go further into detail and explain this but I don’t want to spoil details that one will see when viewing the film. I just feel that everything is wrapped up in neat little packages and all the dream sequences aren’t perplexed as on would think.
The top performances that highlight the film to me were of Marion Cotillard as Cobb’s Wife, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, and of Tom Hardy as Eames. Cotillard gives a great femme fatale, crossed with a psychiatric patient, mixed with the creepiness of Freddy Krueger. Gordon-Levitt does great with Arthur who keeps Cobb balanced. He also is in the most visually appealing scene in the hotel hallway. Hardy plays Eames the same as Arthur but with a more willingness to take risks and chances.
Inception is a movie that would be more appreciated in the theaters than at home for its visual effects. Even with its simplicity at times, it still is an enjoyable film and one of the summer’s better ones. I give it 3 pitchforks, because I was entertained but wasn’t wowed as I felt I was believed to be. That’s my opinion….well my devil’s advocate opinion at least.
In reality I really enjoyed the film, it was no masterpiece or no Memento by any means but was a real nice blend of action mixed into a mind provoking film. Despite underused actors such as Michael Caine and Cillian Murphy, the other main stream actors made up for that and more. With Nolan’s vision of the dream world you can’t but help second guess what’s real or not leaving the theater. This is easily one of the summer’s, scratch that, one of the year’s best films.
And give a listen to our two-part Inception episode:
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