Inception


Okay so reviewing a movie isn’t an obvious choice for a writing blog but trust me, if you’ve read anything on here before then you’re going to love Inception.  I will do my utmost to avoid spilling any spoilers but I think even if I did they wouldn’t make any sort of sense. This film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen on screen before.

Two things to get out of the way first of all:

1) Inception is incredible.

2) The Vue Cinema in Livingston, West Lothian is not.  Fair enough there was a fire alarm and the shopping centre had to be evacuated but robbing paying customers of the first 15 minutes of a film (especially a head-melter like Inception) just ain’t on.  They pushed back all the screenings but some still managed to start our screening before they’d actually reopened the shutters.  So again – thanks for that Vue, this ain’t the first time you’ve screwed me around.

Back to the film.  Inception is a thing of beauty in that it combines two elements rarely seen together on screen: a very intelligent, complicated plot and very high budget.  Think of Primer.  That’s a very complex but rewarding film but could only have ever been made on a low budget.  Now think of The Matrix, Star Trek, anything else with a huge budget, they’re all great films but not exactly deep and they can’t be because for the studios to justify such huge budgets they need to get as many people in seats as possible.  So what is the cause of this overlapping of the venn diagrams?  Christopher Nolan.  Riding on the back of The Dark Knight I’m pretty sure he could have waltzed into any studio and told them he was going to make a film about paint drying and been given a green light.  Thankfully this genius of man saw the potential of the situation and levered it.

Plot: The story revolves around a technology that allows people to enter and take part in others’ dreams.  This is widely used for Extraction, stealing ideas from people’s minds but DiCaprio and his team have been laid to challenge of Inception – to plant a new idea into someone’s mind without them realising it.  There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that though.  It’s very easy to point out similarities to The Matrix but these really are unfair and quickly vanish – the story me a lot of the work of Iain M Banks and William Gibson.

Acting: Once again Nolan has gathered a truly sterling cast.  Tom Hardy in particular stood out and I’m almost certain we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him soon.

Effects: The effects are just amazing both because I couldn’t see where the real stuff ended and the CG began and because every single SFX shot tied in with the story, there was nothing there simply for eye candy.  The Escher-like stairways and slow-motion falling are great examples of this.

Cinematography and score: Just beautifully done, excellent locations, rich deep colours and plenty of shaky camera in the right places.  The score was very similar to The Dark Knight – long, surging notes which really kept the pulse of the thing beating.

Low points: Not many.  It did feel there were a few ideas that didn’t end up going anywhere (like the totems), perhaps these will turn up on the DVD as deleted scenes.  I did think Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was uncannily similar to his role in Shutter Island but that’s about it.

So to summarise: you want to go and see this film.  At the cinema.  You will need to go and see it more than once though to fully understand everything.  I ended up writing this review in the middle of the night because I just couldn’t sleep with all the different ideas and questions tumbling over and over in my mind.

Also, if you’ve seen and enjoyed either Inception or The Dark Knight but haven’t seen The Prestige then seriously, go watch it – another one by Nolan, it’s actually better than the book and the book is pretty damn good.

Title image courtesy Warner Brothers

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Published in: on July 17, 2010 at 3:08 PM  Leave a Comment  
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