Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page
Directed by: Christopher Nolan (‘The Dark Knight”)
Written by: Christopher Nolan (‘The Dark Knight”)
Filmmaker Christopher Nolan is known for the complex worlds he creates, but nothing can prepare you for the trippy and surreal adventure he guides us through with “Inception,” the seventh feature film from the London-born director whose narratives sometimes feel like the cinematic equivalent of mathematical proof theories.
Unlike filmmaker David Lynch (“Blue Velvet”) who can become nonsensical at times, Nolan provides us with all the answers. While there is some wiggle room for interpretation, Nolan’s approach is more forthright. Still, if his other films like “Memento” and “The Prestige” required a couple of viewings before everything really added up, it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone if mainstream moviegoers walk out of his latest intricate offering with looks of bewilderment. It might be as frustrating as it is awe-inspiring, but there’s no doubt once you stitch the pieces together it’s remarkable.
In “Inception,” dreams and reality become limitless in the hands of Nolan who introduces some lofty ideas into this espionage mind thriller. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dom Cobb, a man whose job it is to enter the dreams of individuals and steal their ideas and secrets. When a wealthy industrialist Saito (Ken Watanabe) confronts Cobb and asks him to enter the dreams of a business competitor (Cillian Murphy) and plant an idea in his mind (a technique known as inception) Cobb takes the challenge, although his right-hand man Arthur (Joseph Grdon-Levitt) is sure it can’t be done.
Also entering the dreamscape with Dom and Arthur is Ariadne (Ellen Page), an intelligent college student who is brought onto the team as the architect of the dreamy scenarios they will enter. Ariadne is also the only one on the team who knows that despite Cobb’s masterful talent, their work can all be destroyed if he allows the memories of his dead wife (Marion Cotillard) to affect him while he is navigating around in someone’s subconscious.
It would be pointless to explain any more about “Inception” other than these basic points. It’s a film to be experienced not clarified. It’s unfortunate there will probably be plenty of people that will dismiss the narrative as too confusing to fully enjoy, but the originality of “Inception” carries it through to the end even when some of its more emotional aspects end up being a bit underwhelming.