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>> Monday, August 2, 2010

Let’s hope they don’t make a sequel...

Christopher Nolan has made some of the best movies in the past ten years. I first noticed him with Memento (2000), and more recently he made the more than awesome The Dark Knight (2008). In that ten years he’s made five other movies, and somehow found the time to slowly chip away at a masterpiece about the invasion of dreams and the inner workings of the human psyche.

When I first saw the trailer for Inception I wasn’t sure what to think. It had some interesting visuals, to say the least, but you were left feeling both intrigued and … whatever. I knew I wanted to see it but I also wanted more details first. Even when I did finally go to the theatre to see the film I really had no idea what to expect.

In a nutshell (and I promise I’m not ruining anything) Inception is about a man named Dom Cobb (Leo DiCaprio) who is the best at one thing – stealing secret information from the mind of someone who is sleeping. He enters your dreams and gets information you would never be willing to discuss with yourself, all without you knowing. He does this with the help of his associate Arthur (the always amazing Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his dream-designing architect Ariadne (Ellen Page). After being hired by Saito (Ken Watanabe) the team goes after a rich playboy named Robert Fischer (Cilian Murphy). They don’t just want to get information though, their job is to put an idea in Fischer’s mind and make it think it’s his idea. This technique is called ‘inception’, and is rumoured to be impossible. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, because that’s all you need to know.

What I found most amazing about Inception is the fact that no matter how hard I think – it seems to be a relatively flawless movie. After ten years of writing I would hope Nolan would have fixed any bugs or donut holes in what is seemingly his defining film. But the fact I find Inception flawless is only the tip of the iceberg of why this is a great film.

Some people will run out and tell you this movie is as confusing as Donnie Darko and way too long. Personally, I had no problems following the storyline and keeping up, nor did I mind the length. In films like this, as I usually do, I was constantly thinking of theories to explain things, doing math in my head and continually trying to skip ahead and predict any possible surprises and twist endings that might show up. I was doing all that and still kept pace with Mr. Nolan’s creation so it’s beyond me why people leave Inception not knowing what the hell happened – aside from the ending, which I will get to right away.

One of the top Googled searches this past week was “Inception theories”. Now, I know what you’re thinking. The answer is NO, I am not going to theorize about what exactly happened in this movie. I, like most people, take the story at face value and don’t believe Nolan has created something that requires hours of online searching to know exactly what happened (I’m looking at you Mulholland Dr.). Until he comes out and says “this is what happened”, I will stick by my own beliefs as most people who enjoy any movie should.

As for the performances, I think Inception was really well cast, and there may be a couple of Oscar nominations here. Leondardo DiCaprio will definitely be a front runner for Best Actor this year, if not for this film, than for Shutter Island (or maybe both?). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is quickly becoming one of my new favourite actors. He’s a likeable guy, does really well in this film and has a certain old school Hollywood feeling to him. If you haven’t seen 500 Days of Summer, please do. It’s really well done.

Now for the most talked about ending since The Sixth Sense. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you that haven’t seen it, so I can’t go into too much detail. As aforementioned, I take the movie at face value which means I take the ending for what it is. Now, I’m talking about the ending scene, not the last shot. The last shot could mean something, or it means nothing (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it). I heard one guy in the theatre when we were leaving say “Why did they have to ruin the movie by doing that?”; another said “So what the hell happened then?”. I laughed at the ending as I would with someone who just made an extremely clever joke – because the ending is nothing more than Nolan winking at the audience and telling us you either get what the movie is about or you don’t. If you don’t, you’ll hate the ending and want to punch something. If you do, you will laugh like I did because you know exactly what Nolan is doing.

In the end, I obviously give Inception a wide open door and believe it will be a long time before I see anything that I ultimately loved as much as this movie. It’s like reading a great book and finishing and you’re left saying “Now what?”. This is without a doubt the best movie of the year, and maybe the best movie you're likely to see in a while.

*Stills courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


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