Nolan’s mindbending thriller is a cinematic masterpiece

With movies such as the mystery-in-reverse Memento and The Dark Knight, writer-director Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the premiere storytellers of his generation with his latest film, Inception.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a professional thief whose job entails of stealing ideas and secrets within the dreams of his target.
This rare ability has made him a must-hire in the seedy world of corporate espionage, but this has caused him to become an international fugitive and preventing him to return to United States to see his children.
Cobb’s new client, Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe), offers him one last job and if it is done successfully, Cobb’s past will be wiped clean and he will be able to go home.
The job involves “inception”, which is the concept of planting an idea in a person’s subconscious with that person being Saito’s corporate rival (Cillian Murphy).
With this last job, Cobb assembles his team which includes his right-hand man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), (Tom Hardy) a man (Tom Hardy) who is “the forger” because he can morph into another person’s identity and an architect (Ellen Page) who literally design and the build the world of the target’s dreams.
While this may not be Nolan’s most accessible film like his last film The Dark Knight, but this is one of his best films that happens to be a visual and intellectual cinematic experience. Inception may require a little bit of brain power to comprehend what is happening, but there are enough entertaining elements to satisfy moviegoers.
Nolan seems to be influenced by Michael Mann and James Bond with a city shootout sequence that is reminiscent of Mann’s Heat and there are shades of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service/The Spy Who Loved Me that features Cobb and his team in a race against time on a snowy mountaintop surrounded by assassins in skis and snowmobiles.
Films like Duplicity involved corporate espionage where rival corporations will do anything to take down their competition. Nolan takes this concept and places it as the base for the film to start on and add the concept of dream sharing and having multiple people inhabit the same dream.
There are terms like “totems” and “kicks” that are riddled in the story that may be confusing for some moviegoers, but there are also useful methods that are practiced in the film and they are explained in a scene where Cobb introduces Ariadne to the team. The film also gets into the idea of having a dream within a dream within a dream is fascinating, especially when this concept is played out in the finale of Inception, where the editing cuts back and forth within three different settings.
Following his tremendous performance in Martin Scorsese’s latest film Shutter Island, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers another great performance as a tortured and tragic character that is haunted by his own subconscious on his latest mission in the form of his ex-wife played by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. Despite having a small role, Cotillard is quite effective as Dom’s wife and the femme fatale of the film. DiCaprio and Cotillard compliment each other with their performances to tell a tale of a doomed love story.
The rest of the ensemble are just as effective as Dom recruits a variety of different personalities to surround himself with in order to complete the mission just like the Ocean films. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page are great in their respective roles, but Tom Hardy really brings humor to this tension-filled and serious film.
Inception employs several fascinating special effects that include Gordon-Levitt walking on walls and ceilings while fighting a bad guy, DiCaprio and Page having a calm conversation with explosions going off around them and the city of Paris folding in on to itself.
Inception is the best movie of the year so far as it takes you inside the world of dreams unlike any movies you have seen before. DiCaprio’s performance, Nolan’s direction and the film’s special effects all deserve Oscar nomination as this film is a contender for next year’s Best Picture category.
INCEPTION: 5 stars out of 5


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