I haven't done a 'movie review' in a while, basically because we've had quite a lot of rubbish recently. Well, either rubbish, or cliches. Gone are the day's of the 90's, with great movies that were actually intelligent, like Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Sixth Sense, and so on. Now all we seem to get is more of the same dumbed down movies, over and over again, and so on for the past decade (sure, there have been a few good movies here and there, but that's all they are, a 'few').
This year seems to have made a comeback, though; is this decade going to be a good one for movies? Shutter's Island at the beginning of the year with it's crazy multiple psychological twist, trailers for Salt showing a clever WTF plotline, and just yesterday, Inception.
Wow. It's not often I sit and watch a movie in the cinema gripping the edge of my seat, dreadfully anticipating the next few seconds. Not often that a movie ends and everyone in the cinema starts clapping.
So what is this Inception business? Well, to actually review the movie without spoilers is kinda tough, and even though it's kind of immune to spoilers (telling you the ending would not take away from the story, as it's the point of 'how they got there', and even if I tell you 'how they got there' it would probably make you more confused) so if you haven't watched it yet, read until the ---Spoilers--- tag below. The movie has a cast that basically drove it to perfection; Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Marion Cotillard, and stars the lovely Leonardo DiCaprio, who got famous from the cheesy "I'm the King of the World" scene in Titanic (well, that and getting it on with Kate Winslet in the back of a steamy car). Let's just say back then he was a little, what's the word, soft (Arabic word would be فرخ).
But over the years, he's gone from some young and pansy romantic actor into my top 10 list (along with Al Pacino, De Niro, Brad Pitt, etc), and again that's partly through his mind blowing performances in movies that again, blow your mind; from Gangs of New York, to The Departed, to the recent Shutter's Island, and now this? I must say, we're far off from that little kid back in Titanic.
Inception is basically about dreams, how you can actually enter someone's dreams (through a physical connection while you both sleep), and from there steal hidden ideas and thoughts from their subconscious. DiCaprio plays an expert thief at that game, and along the way is forced to take a pretty tough mission (details of which I can't discuss, see spoiler part below).
The acting was high quality, graphics amazing without making it seem over-done, and the plot-line way above anything you've seen in theatres over the past few years. This being said, it's not a movie most people won't get, but if you are a dumb viewer who can't grasp more than your typical straightforward storyline, don't bother watching this. I counted at least 8 people leaving the cinema half way through the movie. Many others would probably want to watch this a second time due to the complexity and number of levels this movie hits.
I've always had a fascination with dreams, and how the dream world works in comparison to the real world; dreams within dreams, the time aspect of it, controlling your own dreams, or even being aware that you're actually in a dream - I wrote about this a while back, read it here.
It does raise multiple questions about your life, dreams, what is real and what isn't. I would go as far as say that it brings about that same feeling you get when you first watched 'The Matrix'. Everything in the real world seems kind of blurry for a while. And this movie makes you think, oh yes it makes you think. I couldn't find much to fault with it, except that even though the whole thing lasts about two and a half hours, I felt a few parts were rushed, and probably needed a little more development, while others dragged on a little. Overall, this didn't deter much from the enjoyment, I give this a 9/10, a definite must watch and so far the best movie of the year!
Okay, now let's get down to the real business! The whole thing was genius; dreams within dreams are concepts that have been explored in movies and cartoons, but the technicalities of getting there, and getting out, such as the kick (feeling of falling) to wake you up, and actually getting someone to sleep in a dream to go into a deeper level of dream, are amazing details thrown in by Nolan. And then the concept of time; i'm sure most of us have realized that a period of time sleeping equals a longer period while dreaming, but the fact that it gets multiplied to years as you go down into a deeper level of dream alone just stopped me there in awe. Wow. The details about dreams in the movie, that Nolan took to a whole new level, were unbelievable.
The details of the scenes was beyond magnificent. Everything to put you in a dream state, from checkered floors (think Alice in Wonderland?), to the Chinese fortress scene, Serbian winter-storm, to the final crumbling city on the beach scene and so on, were perfect to build that whole dream feel.
The architecture of the dreams was unreal. To actually know you can do anything with dreams is one thing, but to go ahead put ideas and labels on that; the hotel scene without gravity, because the higher level of dream was in a falling car, that was genius (I keep using this word, but I have to say, it's the perfect word for this), and then how the music (pre-kick) goes through all the dream levels, and then finally how it goes back and forth between the dream levels, showing you how much time has passed between one, and then between the next. And after going down three dream levels and the shock of saying, let's go down another level? And then another? I really can keep going on and on.
Oh, and on another level (pun?) I loved the quote: "We need to buy all the first class seats" "Oh, okay, I bought the whole airline". Hilarious stuff.
Nolan has created a masterpiece here. Let's just say this is probably the smartest movie to come out of Hollywood for a while now, and with all it's complexities, let's hope to see more of the same. Can this decade bring a new fresh wave of movies back into the cinema? I sure hope so.