He Said, She Said: Inception

Here we are with our first "He Said, She Said" column where Fernando and I both review the well-recieved top movie in the country - Inception.

Spoiler warning:  We both really enjoyed it.

He Said

There are few movies that pull off what Christopher Nolan's Inception does.  Inception is a smart, innovative, complex, and amazing movie that was exhilarating to watch and will be exciting to re-watch. Inception is a con movie at its heart - a con movie where the mark is tricked while dreaming. These con artists must infiltrate and deceive the mark into an alternate reality without allowing him to discover that he is dreaming; otherwise the entire con comes crashing down.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the leader of a team who is trying to earn his way back home and is hired to infiltrate the dreams of a soon to be CEO. The high jacking of a dream is not the difficult part; the difficult part is the inception of a dangerous idea.

And that is all I'm giving away because the wonderful thing about watching Inception the first time was the NOT knowing. What I will say is that Inception is filled with tons of creative action sequences, a speedy plot and intelligent characters.

I absolutely invite you to watch this movie with a group of friends then grab a bit to eat.  I then dare you NOT to let the movie dominate the conversation.  After you watch it and the first viewing of the film has digested, I then dare you not to want to watch it again. Inception is the caliber of Hollywood movie that reminds us that amidst the mindless action movies or the run of the mill romcoms, there are intelligent movies that are fun to watch. In case you could not tell I highly recommend seeing Inception, once, twice and in your dreams

She Said

WARNING: There are mild spoilers regarding the basic plot below.  Read at your own risk.

Hearing the hype regarding Inception, I expected to leave the theatre having no idea what had just occurred on the screen for the last two and a half hours.  That wasn’t the case.  Yet it was still a twisty smart story that, if you’re not paying attention, could easily get you turned around by the end.

It’s a movie about dreams and the nonsensical realities we create within our dreams.  A band of thieves come together for “one last job”, but instead of stealing something from within one’s mind, they’ve been hired for an inception, to plant an idea in a way that it seems to be both organic and original so the dreamer believes he came up with it himself.  An unnamed and unexplained system within a suitcase allows for collective dreaming, one person acting as architect of the world while others perform illusions, subterfuge and general persuasion against the target.  All the while one of the thieves (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is having a hard time keeping his memories and own personal dream world from seeping in, as his dead wife randomly appears to make his job more difficult.

There’s no way to do the plot justice without giving the movie away, and the surprises around every corner are what make this movie.  The pacing starts and stops at the beginning, as more exposition is needed to explain the concept to an audience surrogate (played by Ellen Page).  Keeping in mind that, the further you go into one’s psyche by dream level, the slower the pacing of time, it’s easy to keep all the subsequent events in line.  It’s a very linear movie; it just so happens that there are multiple lines.

The acting is well-played across the board.  No one is chewing the scenery and everyone gives  room for the other characters to breathe despite only DiCaprio’s character and the target played by Cillian Murphy being developed enough to become three dimensional.  It doesn’t matter that the rest of the cast remains stock players.  They pull their weight and it doesn’t matter who these other people are.

Somehow Christopher Nolan managed to roll an action movie around a core drama without it seeming incongruent or sloppy.  Nolan has put together one of the most intriguing movies I’ve seen in quite some time, so I’m happy that it did so well it’s opening weekend.  Maybe that will cause more movies to be made that don’t involve turning your brain off to enjoy.