Or is it that I simply donot have mind enough to assimilate Inception. At the outset let me declare my unabashed devotion to films like The Matrix and fantasy fiction like The Lord of the Rings series. Dammit. I even taped a poster of Neo surreptiously in my wardrobe to be gawped at. The Fifth Element is my second favourite film ever, Bruce Almighty is right up there, as is the Star Wars series, and Narnia. And my most recent crush du jour, Edward Cullen of the Twilight series. So lets keep imagination and my perceived lack of thereof out of the way.
I went to see Inception because of the buzz, and because of Christopher Nolan. The man had given me The Dark Knight, a movie which had completely blown my mind out with a close range shot gun, and which I still find myself putting into the DVD player once a week to get my fix of, well, The Joker.
I loved the way Nolan had made the Batman series so edgy and gritty and dark. And I expected Inception to be even better, even though I have no high hopes from Leonardo Di Caprio. For me, despite all his efforts, he still remained the pretty boy aboard the Titanic. What surprised me at the end of the movie was the grudging respect I got for Leonardo for carrying this script on his shoulders without looking flaky. And a delightful Tom Hardy who rolled around wonderfully, adding a little levity to a needlessly grim faced action flick. And then I read that Nolan worked on this script for ten years. My knees went out from under me. This was the dialogue worked on for ten years?
A dream within a dream within a dream. Three layers of dreams. People in dreams projections of our subconscious. We can build an architecture prototype of the place we plan to visit in our dreams and populate it with the people we plan to take with us into the dream. And we just sort of lie down together and get taped and fall into simultaneous dreaming into the same dream world. A world where time gets accelerated so that ten minutes in it could be an hour or more in the real world. Which is fascinating. Because I do at times feel I live in a parallel universe in my dreams, and frankly, my life there is much more fascinating than my current calling card of school gate mom.
The movie was fine till this premise of constructing places within dreams. For one. Dreams are never clear. Dreams are fugue states where you cannot manipulate your behaviour. Dreams are where you are chased by the demons of your subconscious where you flee screaming, or in my case, chanting the Hail Mary. Dreams segue into each other with no logic, and you donot carry over characters from one dream to the next. I should know. I have an eidectic memory and suffer from intensely vivid dreams which I am able to recall to painful detail when I wake. And dreams being used as a device to manipulate the subconscious was such a terrific premise which somewhere got lost in all the gunfire in the movie.
The high points of the movie for me were the concepts that we could live in an alternate universe, create it with the architecture we like, the people we wanted with us, build it up to the sky with skyscrapers, demolish it at will. I also liked the idea that maybe someday, I could get into a multimillionaire’s dream and plant the idea that he needed to make out a hefty donation to me and my cause of shopping non stop.
Seriously, though. The premise is brilliant. The concept of tampering with the subconscious is what hypnosis is all about. Which made me wonder. Couldnt the man just be hypnotised, rather than go through the entire guns and meeting with psychotic dead wife in dark basement of mind. Which also brings me to the point of why the wife was brought in as a malevolent figure in a scenario which didnt seem to concern her at all, which was actually the man’s own personal demon he had to grapple with, ah yes, this was something every man would sympathise with, of course. The movie was confusing. I wondered what happened to the other characters in the dream when they segued into the next dream, did they just fall out of the previous layer or did the dream continue with them? When Ariadne asked, Now exactly whose subconscious are we falling into? that was me in the audience. A nice cinematic device to help the audience understand that they are not the only confused creatures out there.
Arrrgggghhh, dammit. There was so much about this movie that I just didnt get. And I pride myself on my ability to ‘get’ movies. Either I’m fast forwarding into an early imbecility, or this movie was really, what I tweeted, namely, the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Plot holes galore. Why in all the dreams, does Arthur’s dream get him into zero gravity. Why the hell was the poor man struggling to plant plastic explosives everywhere.
The only thing that possibly could explain the movie to me is this: The entire movie is Leonardo Di Caprio’s dream.
And I got a right kick when the credits rolled.
Leaving you with the review from The Guardian, UK. The reviewer has said all that I want to, and more. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/jul/20/inception-christopher-nolan-meaning?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
And this one, which picks out the five plot holes that puts the film into perspective for me.