You will find me repeating myself in this review. It’s because I love this film. Sorry A Prophet, I’ve been wooed away by something so imaginative and intelligent, which treats its audience like adults with brains. If you haven’t seen it, do so before reading anything about it. Even this review. You are excused.
The film begins on a beach. Amidst the crashing waves of the surf lies an unconscious thief or ‘extractor’ named Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). He is taken to an aged Japanese man who recognises him from his past. So begins a labyrinthine and elegantly unfolding plot that is a cross between Oceans 11 and Memento. It is an intellectual heist movie crossed with the most exciting of James Bond set-pieces.
I won’t reveal too much but the central idea concerns the world of dreams, the scenes of crimes for specialists who can share and delve into dreams whilst conscious defences are lowered, and extract secrets by mastering dreams and altering them to their agendas. In essence, the mind is the crime scene.
Cobb is an expert thief who is given a chance for redemption by taking one last job. An incredibly insanely complex and risky one last job.
He assembles a team to conduct the perfect crime. With handles like architect, chemist and forger, these characters exercise powers that reflect the name to the utmost of the budget and script and believe me every element of this film screams quality, intelligence and imagination.
Equally, the cast assembled for this film is fantastic, great actors working with interesting characters with complex relationships in the middle of intriguing circumstances supported by increasingly brilliant set pieces – real and CGI.
Leonardo DiCaprio is great at driving the plot but it is the ensemble, the combination of characters, the
relationships that emerge between Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy Ken Watanabe and Ellen Page, the growing camaraderie of the team as the ‘heist’ or Inception goes ahead. Every other performance is brilliant, especially Cillian Murphy as the mark.
The physical comedy and dialogue that is generated is fantastic (especially from Gordon-Levitt, Hardy and Page). The action scenes involving the characters are even more exciting – especially the scene involving everybody in a corridor becoming weightless and fighting each other ranks as one of the best I have ever seen.
I liked The Dark Knight with its insanely charismatic performance by Heath Ledger, the post-9/11 feel, its criminal pathologies and the outrageous stunts but I prefer Inception as it is a much more disciplined, superior beast of a blockbuster.
It is an original, highly intelligent film where every character has increasingly intense moments and every twist brings tension and surprise and it never flags for a single second due to its brilliant pacing and the central premise of different layers of dreams.
With this film it is the ideas that reign, the increasing tension as characters have to maintain a grip over the complex meshing of dreams is exciting. When one character says, “Wait, who’s subconscious are we in?”, it sums up the film well. The audience, like the characters get to explore the labyrinthine concepts through the dreams that are well fleshed and integrated.
Nolan weaves an interesting movie allowing its ideas unfold elegantly. It’s ideas are brought onto the screen and explored brilliantly. I found it delightful to keep track of what’s happening throughout the delicious complexities and urge everybody to see this intelligent thriller and make it a hit.