“Are you watching closely?”
I might be borrowing a line from Christopher Nolan’s last non-Batman film The Prestige, but that dialogue applies to this film as well. You will watch closely for about two and a half hours, and if you give your imagination up, Nolan and Company will whisk you away on one of the finest cinematic journeys ever brought to the screen.
Every two or three years, Christopher Nolan graces our local cinemas with his latest movie. And every two or three years, Christopher Nolan crafts the best movie of that particular year. He is, without question, the most reliable director working today, and not because he just makes good movies. Plenty of directors make good movies. Some of them even flirt with greatness. But Nolan elevates himself above words like “great” and “amazing”, and instead deserves praise like “Film God” and “Movie Genius”.
With Inception, we have a mind bending summer blockbuster for the ages. Nolan dreams big, and dares his audience to match him step for step. This is a cerebral science fiction action film, one that requires your full attention. It’s a science fiction film with epic set pieces and awe-inspiring action scenes. If you think summer is a time for mindless popcorn action films, think again. Nolan just raised the bar.
Inception is a movie that takes place largely in the recesses of the unconscious mind. The feast of imagery alone is enough to warrant seeing the movie. In addition to the vibrant cinematography, we get a story that twists and turns among layers and layers of the subconscious. As you dive deeper and deeper, you start to question your own reality and your own dreams.
The performances are all fantastic. Leonardo DiCaprio crafts Cobb as a tormented soul with a lot on his mind, literally. Of every member of the “dream” team, Cobb seems to have the most on the line. His freedom is at stake, and the success of the mission will dictate the rest of his life. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the brooding Arthur, and he really bursts off the screen during one of the finest choreographed action sequences ever put to film. Ellen Page is charming, and as Ariadne, Page gives us a member of the “dream” team with a clean slate who is discovering this world along with us.
This is definitely a new step for Page, who goes from indie darling to blockbuster beauty in one fell swoop. I don’t know what it is about Ellen Page, but I find myself entranced by her every word. Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Marion Cottilard are fantastic peripheral characters. I have an entire analogy of the ensemble cast as a sandwich, but I don’t want to divulge too much about their roles before you get a chance to see the movie.
But the star here is Chris Nolan. This is a roller coaster of a film, and you want to stick along and take the ride again as soon as the credits kick. It’s thrilling and cerebral at the same time. It blends genres with ease, and it’s not only the ride of the summer, it’s the ride of a lifetime.
Inception is a once in a lifetime film. It’s thrilling on every level, and it’s a cerebral, mind bending puzzle and a visceral adrenaline rush at the same time. It’s the best of every world, and it will stick with you long after it’s over.
Score: 9.9/10 (Amazing)