Sunday, 18 July 2010


I have been waiting for weeks to see Inception. After Christopher Nolan’s stunning achievement on The Dark Knight and with the trailers looking phenomenal I knew I had to make it to the cinema. Friday night myself and Mr Stone frequented our local picture house. And I wasn't disappointed.

Leonardo Di Caprio plays Cobb, a man with a dark past who has a talent for stealing secrets from other people's dreams. In exile from the U.S.A and away from his young children his late ex-wife haunts his own dreams and compromises his latest job. When it goes wrong he is about to run when the target offers him a job and the opportunity to return home to his children. However, this isn’t any ordinary job. He’s not stealing an idea - but planting one.

Cobb assembles his team, they track their target and set in motion their plan of attack. As they board a long distance flight they slip their target into a deep sleep and enter his dreams. The job becomes instantly more difficult when they realise that their target has been trained and his subconscious is able to protect itself. As they build and navigate the dreams whilst fighting off armed guards they come across some amazing and mind blowing obstacles, but none more dangerous than Cobb's late ex-wife. As she torments Cobb and threatens not only the job, but all of their lives it looks increasingly as though they may not make it out of these dreams.

As they head deeper and deeper into dreams the world around them becomes unstable. Time, space and reality all blur as they try to convince the target that they are on his side and nudge him in the direction he needs to go to believe the idea they need to plant is his own. As they are about to achieve their goal Cobb’s ex-wife sends their target into a state of limbo and all seems lost. Cobb must go himself into limbo and face his ex-wife in order ensure the target makes it out of the dream and the mission is completed. Cobb battles with his guilty conscious after his ex-wife’s suicide and she tries to convince him to stay with her in limbo. He has to convince himself that this world isn’t real and that only by expelling these thoughts can he save himself. As he wrestles with his emotions, his ex-wife and his subconscious he struggles to gather what is real.

When the team all wake from the dream at the other end of the flight it seems the job has been a success. Cobb passes safely through customs and arrives home to see the faces of his beautiful children. However, has Cobb made it home for real? Nolan leaves us to make our own judgement on whether Cobb has made it out or if he has found a compromise in his dream world.
Inception is a complex film with such a clear and simple theme - you cannot overcome your conscious issues until you have conquered your subconscious demons. Cobb cannot get the job done unless he deals with the deepest, darkest secret in his mind - the guilt of the death of his ex-wife. It haunts him from start to finish. Di Caprio puts in another faultless performance as he pushes himself to forefront of Hollywood actors. He seems to thrive in any role he undertakes and Cobb was no different.

Inception is intriguing at it's weakest points and mind blowing at it's strongest. The film twists, turns and the plot thickens as their journey becomes stranger and more difficult, but not at one point does it feel pretentious. Some of the symbolism is fantastic. Cobb having built an elevator in his mind travels down to the deepest part of his subconscious where he has built a prison for his ex-wife as he tries to keep her locked away - just as he does his guilt. It's absolutely stunning.

The first half of the film has a lot of exposition and explains how it all works, but as the film progresses you get sucked further and further into story. At points I could feel myself on the edge of my seat, mouth open and heart beating. I empathised with Cobb has he fought his inner demons and the guilt that was tearing him apart. At times I was almost moved to tears.

An absolutely stunning piece of cinema from Christopher Nolan once again as he pushes and shoves his way to the top of the A-list directors pile. Following on from his phenomenal success of The Dark Knight this is a film that Nolan has been rumoured to have been writing for ten years. His talents seem endless and he is a true inspiration to aspiring filmmakers like myself. The one thought that niggles in the back of my mind though is that if Britain can produce this sort of talent why do filmmakers such as Nolan have to go to Hollywood? I don’t know. But, I’m glad he has as he seems to be raising the bar in an industry where good enough is often not good enough.

Mr Nolan and Mr Di Caprio – I take my hat off to you both.

No comments:

Post a Comment