downwards is the only way forwards "Inception" review

Editor; Australia (@Kwenton)
downwards is the only way forwards "Inception" review
Last night I had a dream. I dreamt that I dreamt about writing a review for a movie that I dreamt about. This sort of thinking, accompanied with some of the most entertaining and thought provoking techno babble and jargon you will ever hear, masterfully approached with dynamic story, excellent casting and a near flawless experience that leads to your own personal catharsis as your senses become fully engaged, is what Inception is.

Christopher Nolan's age-old script has finally been realised, his own personal pet project projected onto the screen in vivid high-definition. Of course Nolan's works are no stranger to the dangers of the brain. Warped past films include categorically speaking, extreme short-term memory less, identity crisis, insanity and now, we literally delve into the mind itself. this is the signature source of most of his works.

Perception and a whole list of philosophically and theoretically based words come thick and heavy, fast. Time is analysed, probed, questioned and re-imagined. The structure, the ebb and flow, follow a science fiction grounding, progression and insertion into the story is explained, and like a Matrix-esque scenario, the protagonists are inserted into another world. 

The aforementioned world is the subconscious, and it is sensory overload with the realization that anything is possible. Life and death are given new meaning and definition, as dreams collapse, it is dependent on the state of the extractor what will happen to them. It is entirely possible to fill an encyclopedia with the facts and details of the world on the movie Inception.

Leonardo DiCaprio is Dom Cobb; an extraction specialist in corporate espionage, that is, probing the minds of others and stealing information. This is very much a heist movie and the first quarter sets up the biggest job of them all; Inception, to do this he finds a team of masters, each with their own abilities, knowledge and skills. Akin to Ocean's 11 and the recruitment process, and equally as entertaining. In the 'real' world his team is being pursued by the rival company, in the mind, they also face an adversary, the hosts own subconscious and something deep, dark and personal that is introduced from the worst enemy of all, the memory of another. All of this is handled with each extractor's personal own triggers and trinkets, that is music begins playing or they feel a shift when it is time to do something, and they carry personal objects no one has felt or realized except for them just to prove to themselves whether they are in reality or not as the external and internal chaos is managed. It is at this point, the film should be complex and frustrating, but the pacing and sequences are layered and subtly explained so well. Indeed for a true cinematic experience, forget 3D and consider 4L (four layers) which is accompanied by the absolutely stunning soundtrack from Hans zimmer. Without spoiling anything, the film goes places that is just not expected, and juggles those places effortlessly, as they work in tandem.

The casting is incredible, Dicaprio as Cobb plays the conflicted main so well, and fights with his own self sabotages. Jospeh Gordon-Levitt plays his partner Arthur, Tom Hardy I cannot praise enough for his excellent role as Eames and provides some wholly unforced comic relief. Cillian Murphey as the target who struggles with metaphysical daddy issues, Ken Watanabe as the Tourist and Ellen Page playing Ariadne the architect, whose performance brilliantly compliments Cobb's as she helps him overcome his detrimental problems one of which is Marion Cotillard's Mal. All these characters and more combine to create so many uncertainties and serious problems for the initially well thought out inception plan, but do it in such a way that it is more than a plot point, it is naturally accepted as something that has changed and shifted and now they must readjust to.

Nolan's city as character is a concept that was developed during Batman Begins and took precedence in The Dark Knight, and it is no different here, the stunning detail of each city, as Dom and team travel is so stunning, and the inner constructed locales of the mind as they shift and morph also were a visual treat, and admittedly I dropped my pen whilst noting down some key scenes, as I was struck with new found awe.

As mentioned the jargon is a major point of the film, each character speaks so technically, like it is commonplace, and exposition runs rampant, normally a part of the film I intensely dislike is given a whole new philosophy here as they use it to explain all of the elements of the job they do, and it is done so very organically and flows equally as smoothly.

I cannot recommend Inception highly enough and believe it is a serious contender for film of the decade. I have barely touched upon the elements of this masterwork for fear of spoiling, as it is wholly incredible experience that needs to be considered before viewing, felt during and then realized after.


  • Christopher Nolan
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Ellen Page
  • Tom Hardy
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Christopher NolanLeonardo DiCaprioJoseph Gordon-LevittEllen PageTom HardyActionAdventureSci-Fi

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