Saturday, July 17, 2010

Your Mind Is The Scene Of The Crime

In recent years, Hollywood has inundated movie theaters with banal sequels and a seemingly endless stream of mindless remakes. Just when it seems that the studio system can not produce any more original ideas, Christopher Nolan gives us his latest film, Inception. Now, I first found out about Christopher Nolan's work after watching Memento. At the end of that film, I knew Nolan would become one of the greatest directors on Earth. But, even with that insight, I had NO IDEA what this man was and IS capable of in film.

Christopher Nolan's movies are often criticized for being too intelligent, requiring his audiences to actually pay attention in order to understand the plot of the film. And Inception is, by far, Nolan's most intelligent work to date. While the storyline of the movie is very difficult to explain without ruining the story, I can tell you that Inception is about a team of people who have the ability to steal information from the subconscious mind while someone is dreaming. This team, lead by Leonardo DiCaprio's character "Dom Cobb", is hired to pull a dream-heist with the payoff being the one thing Cobb wants most.

Nolan blends all his signature tricks in this film: Massive, almost God-like cityscapes (like in the Batman films) allow for a level of anonymity for the characters, while at the same time the cold, impersonal nature of those cityscapes highlights the individual psychology of those same characters. Nolan uses the dreams to explore that psychology giving Inception the emotional depth and twists necessary to make the story really hit home (like in Memento). And Nolan balances the real world and the dream world with a superior level of writing and storytelling mastery (like in The Prestige). Yet, for all the connections to his previous works, and to movies like The Matrix, by blending all of the elements of his style with the pace of a heist film, Nolan produced an entirely unique creation. Inception is unlike any of his other works, yet reminiscent of them in such a way that makes it almost the next logical step in his career.

I'm telling you right now, dear readers, if you're looking for some mindless entertainment, do not under any circumstances go to watch Inception. This is not that kind of movie. Which kind of brings us to an interesting question: what kind of movie is Inception? And unfortunately, I can't really give a solid answer to that without ruining the story. It's a heist film, but it's not. It's a psychological thriller, but it's not. It's an action movie, but it's not.

All I can say is that for me, this movie was a dream come true. This move was SO GOOD, it has completely wiped Leonardo DiCaprio's slate clean. I no longer have any gripes against DiCaprio's project choices and I look forward to hearing about his next film. As for Inception, I can't wait to go see it again!

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