I saw Inception this week. I’m assuming most of you know that this is a movie written and directed by Chris Nolan. Nolan is the same guy who wrote and directed Memento, The Prestige (with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale), Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. So, he can both mind screw you (Memento and Prestige) and wow you with effects and spectacle (Batman movies).
I though the film great and here’s why. It was truly original. Sure, there have been dream movies before. But in a world where most of the films are sequels and remakes, this movie was a plot that nobody had come close to. Mental espionage is not a common genre. You could argue this was the classic heist movie where one last job is all they need to accomplish but when you’re not stealing anything but instead placing a thought inside someone’s head – it’s a bit different. So i guess the context was the original bit. I loved the introduction of the plot and explanation of the concept. Similar to how the best part of Batman Begins is when we see how Batman came to be and who is responsible, the best part of Inception is learning how this dream hijacking occurs and who is required within it. Even as hit the third act of the movie, you’re learning the details of being inside dreams.
Also similar to Batman Begins and Dark Knight, the end of the movie is disappointing compared to the beginning and middle. Thousands of people shooting and missing the good guys while they lay people out with one punch is not a clever way to end a movie that relies on thoughtfulness and intricate details. Memento probably has the best ending of a movie of the past 10 years and thus i hold Nolan to a higher standard here. He’s gotten lazy with Batman.
The women in the movie were also great. Ellen Page was a great student and has never looked more girl-like, especially when you place her next to Marion Cotillard (the woman from La Vie en Rose). The scene where the two are next to each other is like a class in the difference between what a girl is compared to a woman. Marion Cotillard was also a phenomenal femme fatal. One last woman that drags the man down, literally.
I could see this film winning a slew of Oscars, but because the idea and execution was the show not the characters, the awards are for Writing, Director and potentially Picture not for actor or actress
Some other notes:
- Great to see Tom Berenger in there. Haven’t seen him in quite a while. Loved it
- Note from JT: when cillian murphy opens the safe and there’s a paper windmill in there isn’t that a symbol for green since his father seemed to be an oil tycoon? Interesting nuance.
- I’m not the biggest Joseph Gordon-Levitt especially since he overacted his SNL show but i thought he pulled it off. I would have preferred James Franco who was originally cast for that role
- I think they could have done without the entire third level (snow level) madness. It was just too much and the movie still would have been sweet if it was a more tame level or just make level 2 more detailed.