Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine
Country: USA, UK
Inception was, undoubtably, 2010’s most anticipated blockbuster. Everything I typically look for in a film contains the usual: high-quality writing, great direction, credible performances and a good storyline – will it be original or ‘have I seen this a thousand times before’?
Inception certainly delivers. Christopher Nolan has outdone himself and crafted an intelligent blockbuster. Not only do we have a masterpiece of a film but Nolan even has the capability to amplify my criteria for what I look for in a film by about 100. Now, I am a regular cinema goer, but only two or three times in my film-loving life have I ever sat for so long after the credits in complete awe. I have seen it numerous times since and it always manages to achieve the near impossible task of being better every time you watch it. I pick up so many little details that I might have otherwise missed while being able to simply marvel at the genius of this masterpiece of cinema.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb; a criminal who leads a highly skilled team of sleep experts, specializing in stealing secrets from people’s subconscious by entering their dreams. Cobb has the impossible task of performing Inception; planting the seed of an idea. Will he succeed in order to clear his name?
The plot summary only covers the basics of this complicated storyline, but to describe every plot detail would take away the magic of a film you must see to believe. Inception has a multi-layered plot, quite literally in fact. It focuses on the emotional journey of DiCaprio’s lead character but, at the same time, thrusts the audience into multiple levels of action packed story-telling. Director Nolan challenges the audience to keep up, and rewards those who can with a breathtaking spectacle, one that has the ability to leave you mesmerised. The best part about it is that while you may feel you need to watch it again to be able to fully absorb the experience, chances are, you will probably want to.
Nolan brings his unique vision to the screen with the help of a star-studded cast that works together brilliantly, as well as, separately. I did, however, feel that Ellen Page was slightly miscast as the role of Cobb’s appropriately named protégé Ariadne. While Page gives a credible performance, I just didn’t feel that she fit with the rest of the cast. On the other hand, the film is overflowing with brilliant performances from the men. DiCaprio is, once again, fantastic, proving why he is one of the best actors of his generation. Gordon-Levitt is a revelation; if you are familiar with his independent film work, you will not be surprised by the brilliant performance he displays here. You can always rely on Murphy and Cotillard to produce wonderful performances and Inception is no exception. Both are fantastic and Cotillard is haunting and very memorable in her role of Cobb’s wife. The best performance for me, however, belongs to Tom Hardy. While DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt are a close second, I couldn’t help but admire Hardy’s charisma and ease on screen in his role of Eames, a character of which given to a lesser actor could have been perceived as cocky and irritating. Hardy truly looks as if he belongs in the film and spends his screen time overflowing with cool.
Technical brilliance and visual splendour have rarely blended so well together, but leave it to Nolan to do it so beautifully. The emotional depth and explosive action complement each other perfectly, delivering a film that is at the same time both heart-wrenching and heart-pounding. Inception is a film that pulls you in and fails to let go. It absorbs you with its complexities yet comes together seamlessly, and will have you on the edge of your seat, quite literally from start to finish.
“Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realise something was actually strange.”
Image © IMDb