Inception

(M) Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page

Director Christopher Nolan has done something remarkable — he’s created a cerebral, thought-provoking, audacious and wholly original concept with his new film Inception.

Inception invites comparisons with films like The Matrix and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Themes of unreality versus reality, doubt and leaps of faith, guilt and forgiveness, truth and memory and the subconscious mind affecting the waking state are shot through the script.

If these all seem too highbrow for your average blockbuster, the surprise is that this is also a highly engaging action film with breathtaking special effects.

The plot is about corporate espionage, a journey into the mind of a target carried out by a team of professional “extractors” led by Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). But it’s just as much about Cobb’s subconscious mind, a multilayered reality visually represented in dream architecture by floors accessed via elevator.

This type of clandestine work has made Cobb an international fugitive. When he is approached by a Japanese businessman named Saito (Ken Wantanabe) to do one last job to clear his name, he jumps at the chance.

But Saito wants Cobb to perform an “inception” rather than an extraction. He wants Cobb to plant an idea deep within the subconscious of business rival Fischer (Cillian Murphy) to help him out in exchange for his safe passage back to his family.

Cobb quickly assembles a team who will need to burrow deep within Fischer’s subconscious — to go into a dream within a dream within a dream.

When new recruit Ariadne discovers that Cobb has a secret about his subconscious that could affect the whole team, his Escher-like journey begins to unfold.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as Cobb is as multilayered as the script and will surely see him nominated for an Oscar.

Inception presents us with the fact that ideas can come to define us in our waking lives; that, deep within, our subconscious memories of past transgressions can become realities that we need to seek redemption and forgiveness for.

Images and ideas from this film will not be easily shaken. Like a labyrinth, the film makes us question every decision, catch every detail and traverse every tunnel. Be warned, you will need to see this film more than once.

Adrian Drayton

 

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