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Inception is definitely one of the best films of the year, without a doubt. Dreams and the mind have not always been the easiest topic to cover in movies, by their very nature anything can happen in them, so they can be quite expensive to make. Christopher Nolan has however made a film all about dreaming, that somehow manages to (most of the time) ground itself in some form of reality, stick to a moderate budget and also has the pleasure of not sending you to sleep.
Leonardo Dicpario heads an amazing cast, playing Cobb, a man who specialises in a very specific form of security "subconscious security". Cobb is a guy that goes in to peoples dreams, with his backup team, and steals information from them. The film starts with him attempting to do just that, and it is a very thrilling (and wet) opening. The film also does not waste time in making you question what is a dream, and what is real. Ken Wantabe plays Saito, the character at the beginning of the movie who is having information stolen from him, and it is he who challenges Leo and his team to achieve the hardest thing of all, inception. Saito wishes a rival head of a corporation, Robert Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy, to dissolve his business so that he can have the monolopy in his particular industry. Inception is the idea of planting an idea in someones head through dreams, and making them think they came up with the idea themselves.
The first hour or so of the film lets us know the rules of the dreamscape, through a new recruit played by Ellen Paige being trained by Cobb in how to create landscapes in dreams, how to deal with the people populating dreams (which represent a persons counsciousness) turning nasty and so on. This leads to some amazing visuals where entire cities fold in on themselves, stairways spontaneously pop up, and many other wonderous effects. The second hour turns in to more of a James Bond movie crossed with a hesit attempt, with some Matrix influence thrown in for good measure.
The film is clever in how it represents different levels of dreaming, and how the more dreams within dreams you enter, the longer the dream seems to last, to the extent where at the very deepest level, you may only be dreaming for a few hours in reality, but in the dream it feels like you have actually been there many decades. As the film gets deeper and deeper within dreams, things become more extravagent, and in some ways, unsettling.
If there is one weakness with the movie, it is that you can't necessarily feel any actual threat towards the characters as if they die in a dream, then this prompts to wake up to reality, or at least what they perceive as reality anyway. Therefore despite some amazing action scenes, one in particular featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt's character walking on sides of walls and ceilings, the sense of threat to any of them is limited.
The script however has some interesting dialogue, and all the characters get their moment to shine. Despite having a few dark moments, the film also has a few moments of humour, such as when the characters enter a dream where it is constantly raining because the person who's dream it is wants to go to the toilet in reality. Although Leo is the main star, and also the main person involved in a subplot with his deceased wife, the film makes very good use of it's ensemble cast, and you really do develop connections with most of them.
The score of the movie is also brilliant. Anyone who saw the early trailers will remember the somewhat imposing theme that was playing over the top of them, and the films score is pretty much of this tone all the way through. It is definitely one of the best scores I have heard in recent years.
Overall, I enjoyed Inception a lot, it may not be in 3-D or feature some huge environmental message (not sure which film I possibly could be comparing it to here), but it does the most important thing of all, and that is entertain and make you think.
Leonardo Dicaprio and a great supporting cast have created a movie that gets you hooked from the action packed start, to the oh so in some ways infuriating but very good ending.
As for the ending, all I can say is if Nolan was thinking about it the way I'm thinking about it, then I feel really, really sorry for Cobb!
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