A complex, intriguing, engaging film with unique and smart characters that takes its time to get to the crux of its story. That is what Inception is, and it’s rare that a film like this is released during the “dumbing down” period of the year, also known as the summer months. Most cineplexes around this time are filled with films that feature special effects galore, explosions bigger than a nuclear blast, sequels, prequels, remakes and animated kids’ fare. Fact is if you want to see a movie where you actually have to think about what’s going on in front of you, you have to wait until all the kids go back to school and the leaves on trees change color.
But every once in a while, Hollywood will roll the dice and actually have the nerve to put out something different. Something that stands out from everything else during the blockbuster months, and this is what’s happened with Inception. There have been rumblings that this movie may be too smart for a lot of the viewers who frequent the theaters during the summer months, that it may go over the head of many who see it. The fact is, the film weaves a complex, labyrinthine story and yes, unlike many movies released around this time, you can’t check your brain at the door, you actually have to pay attention to and listen closely to what’s being said. But you don’t have to be a genius to get the overall story and understand what’s happening, you just have to focus, something that usually isn’t required of viewers during the summer.
Inception revolves around Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his crew who make a living out of going into people’s dreams and trying to find their most valuable secrets. Along the way, they’re hired to actually plant something in someone’s mind, an idea, this is what’s known as Inception. The film takes its time setting up the story, introducing the viewer to its characters and filling us in on the who’s, what’s where’s and why’s. When the team is finally assembled, their training is done and Dicaprio and crew get down to their mission, that’s when the movie fully comes into its own and where the viewer needs to start paying very close attention to what’s going on.
Christopher Nolan has proven that he’s a gifted director and storyteller, and this film proves that he doesn’t need a guy in a batsuit or clown makeup to tell a story that’s visually dynamic, stunning and beautiful. Nolan packs a lot into this movie, and he does it with a seamless blend of real world and cg effects. Unlike most films, the effects don’t overshadow or take over the movie, nor does the action consist of mindless paint by the numbers fare where you know what’s going to happen and when. Indeed, a couple of the sequences are standouts, harkening back to the first Matrix movie while having a style all its own.
With themes of loss, love and just what is reality and dreams, and if you could truly tell the difference between them, Inception is true a gamble for Hollywood and fans of originality in film. If this film does well then perhaps Hollywood will bank on more films that make you think and our original. If it doesn’t, then it’s all the excuse the studios need to bankroll more remakes and more sequels to movies that don’t need them, keeping films like Inception from ever seeing the light of day, and the very idea of that happening is nothing more than a nightmare.