I got an intractable headache the moment I stepped out of the cinema. Which is strange because I don’t get headaches while watching the silver screen. Which is not to say that Inception is a painful cinematic effort. Rather, it is a beautiful film . . . okay, not beautiful—that’s for stylized blockbusters—it’s not badass either since it isn’t a straight action flick . . . not awesome, not extreme . . . a thriller, yes but it doesn’t describe it well . . . let’s see . . . it’s intelligent, sophisticated fast-paced, no-nonsense, sexy, and respects its audience . . . ah yes . . . it’s brilliantly inquisitive.
A brilliantly inquisitive masterpiece!
Note: I was supposed to blog about this movie yesterday, but because of my headache, I scheduled it for today.
Very inquisitive in fact, that it made me think myself into a headache. An hour into the film (when “operation inception” begins), and I’m already sorting out the concept of manipulating dreams, figuring out Dom Cobb’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) psychology (survivor’s guilt), and processing the events of the ongoing operation—all at the same time. Add the visual and auditory theatrics and you’ve got yourself a grand overload (Sensory overload. Idea overload. Thinking overload. Whatever.).
You can actually think a lot about the movie’s concepts and actually forget that it’s all just entertainment. You forget reality for some time.
What the Movie Reminded Me Of
It’s true. There were instances when the film did resemble flicks I’ve seen before.
It started with the Hans Zimmer score. It reminded me of War of the Worlds. Remember that “loud and sudden horn sound” whenever the aliens’ spaceships would appear? Ditto. The score was good; actually, kinda appropriate, but I was expecting something new, especially for this hyped film. Of course, we could also consider the sound editors who extensively used that “loud and sudden horn sound.” It’s movies like this when I wish the dialogue was louder and the sound in the cinema was louder. Or, they could have provided headphones for a closer audio experience.
Next up, when Dom was gathering his team, it instantly reminded me of Ocean’s 11/12/13. This is where I see major similarities. It had the same sequences of picking out team members and extensive planning for a major and dangerous mission. In both instances, the movies focused on the bad guys, the anti-heroes. However, unlike in the Ocean’s series, where material wealth was the objective, Inception deals with dreams and ideas.
Of course, you can consider other shows involving group heists with role-playing factors, technologically advanced espionage, and impossible missions. Think Lupin III, an animé, and the TV-series-turned-movies Charlie’s Angels and—you got it!—Mission Impossible!
Finally, we have the concept of what is real and what is not similar to that in The Matrix trilogy. But actually, this premise is just a small art of Inception.
What the Movie is Unique For
It’s premise, which focuses on dreaming, manipulating ideas, and how to move within the complexities of the mind; how an idea can grow and be productive, yet remain stagnant in its literal sense. Back in college, Psychology 101 to be exact, we are told that the mind is vague.
What would probably account for vagueness is that every person has different, unique experiences, education, and overall backgrounds that eventually affect the ways in which we think. This is exemplified throughout the movie—Ariadne’s (Ellen Page) penchant for design and architecture, Robert Fischer’s (Cillian Murphy) military background, Saito’s (Watanabe) oriental scenes, and Mal’s (Marion Cotillard) primitive understanding of “This world is not real.”
I remember seeing the trailer since last year. My initial understanding was that DiCaprio was a detective and Page was a witness to some crime she forgot the details of due to shock. In order to retrieve important information, DiCaprio goes into Page’s mind full of bending cities, rolling buildings, and old structures falling into the sea. As the tagline went, “Your mind is the scene of the crime.” Close, but not exactly.
It’s pointless describing the plot, raving or dissing it, and revealing the end (It’s not a twist anyway.). Actually, the end is not significant anymore; it’s the entirety of the film that matters.
My heart started pounding the moment Ariadne awoke from her first dream manipulation (with Dom). From then on, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t look at my watch, and I couldn’t even change my sitting position. The high point was when Dom and Ariadne went to a fourth dream level. I muttered, “Shyet! That’s four levels! Damn f**k!”
Read: You’ve gotta watch the film on the big screen for the full effect of what it can make you feel!
I can’t stress enough how much this movie has to be seen. Let’s just say that when the DVD comes out, I’ll immediately get it right off the rack.
You might become a fan of Christopher Nolan, the director who also headed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I remember the moment I instantly became a fan: It was a scene in this movie—Arthur’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) fight scenes in the rolling hotel lobby.
Mr. Nolan, if you’re reading this, I HEAR YOU MAN!! Thanks very much for putting out an intelligently entertaining piece of art.
You might also become a fan of Ellen Page. She makes you believe she isn’t acting. It’s like her everyday doings are merely being recorded on film. Her face just exudes the right mask for whatever situation. Perfect casting!
P.S.: I Wonder…
The film made me want to know the actual age of Dom. If he spent 50 years in “limbo,” well . . . he sure doesn’t look like it.
Speaking of “limbo,” which is mental oblivion, I loved how they gave new meaning to “Architect,” “Extractor,” “Kicker,” “Point Man,” “Forger,” “Tourist,” “Chemist,” and “Totem.” I wondered which job/role I would take up. And what would serve as my “totem?” Hmm… I’d like a Forger-Architect fusion. My totem… a bronze dog tag with my name on it.
How about you, reader? What would you and your totem be?
I checked the papers, the Internet, and asked around. No, the film isn’t available in 3D. How come? Isn’t that the trend? This would’ve been wickedly and brilliantly intuitive (!) if it was in 3D!
By the way, the people in the movie are very ideal. It’s amazing that they fall asleep and enter dream world immediately. And their dreams . . . very structured, resembling real life. Their backgrounds may be very solid with realistic perceptions thus, devoid of fantasy. I mean, why weren’t there any extreme absurd elements in their dreams? It’s dreamland yet it didn’t look like fantasy world. Maybe Nolan’s way of deceiving the audience so they wouldn’t easily perceive the movie’s reality and subconsciousness?
Which got me thinking, what if Robert Fischer was Filipino, who had the background of that of the average Pinoy?
Two movies this year that involved being outside the real self: Inception and James Cameron’s Avatar. It is interesting to note that both concepts were written years beforehand. Quality stories take lots of time to be great.
- General source: Inception [http://inceptionmovie.warnerbros.com/]
- Other details: Inception (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inception_film]
- Movie Wallpapers: Inception [http://inceptionmovie.warnerbros.com/]