When was the last time you watched a movie that left you mentally exhausted? That was the question that impeded on my mind after watching the latest Christopher Nolan project, Inception. The cast is led by high-caliber actor and academy award winner, Leonardo Di Caprio and supported by a strong support cast which includes, Ken Watantabe ( The Last Samurai) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun, Ten Things I Hate About You).
The brunt of the story shows a seemingly unlikely future where people can manipulate the subconscious by entering the victim's so-called Dreamscape and plant the most simple of ideas that affect the way a person decides in the real world. In a much more deeper level, if too much ideas are planted on the victims subconscious, this can affect the totality of the person when they wake up form their slumber.
It appears that this sort of activity is considered illegal yet used often in any type of espionage for those that can afford but yet again this has never been shown to be true. Proof that this is accepted as part of the future's business practices have not surfaced either during the movie.
The plot maintains the old anti-hero versus the system feel but in this script it deals with mind manipulation using the subconscious as the medium. If you remember the Wachioksi Brothers the Matrix and Phillip K Dick's Paycheck, you can see the similarities and know that this was inspired work in the realm of science fiction. Depending on how deep one thinks, I do not see that anyone will get the canon of the movie immediately. I can imagine the difficulty of executing complicated situations in a visual form that requires the mental capacity of the above-average to grasp in a few minutes the visual and mental stunning concepts while watching the film.
Just like in the Matrix Trilogy, the concepts are similar but the difference is that the aforementioned shows reality as generated by computers and the current is reality generated by the subconscious. The battlefield in this story is interestingly enough the subconscious of the victim which has a whole plethora of possibilities and limitations.
There is a dark quality to the movie that projects a clean-on-the-outside-but-dark-on-the-inside atmosphere. Leonardo Di Caprio's character, Dominic Cobb and his supporting cast shows this in the simplest way possible. I strongly believe that this is the appeal of the film. There is not much visual grit and violence to see but the mental concept is left to the viewer's imagination.
As the movie progresses along, one will initially think that the plot revolves around Leo's team versus the victim. That plot slowly shifts that implication and draws it's attention slowly to Leo and the complicated past his character endures.
There is a lot of implied ideas on the film where you think you will grasp it but a twist changes the flow of the plot and as I mentioned this is a mental roller coaster and the mind needs to be active at all times.
I feel I do not need to discuss the whole plot as I encourage you to watch it with a clear mind. If I go on about the details of the plot, I'd end up with spoilers and you may soon realize that the little spot on your screen is spittle from your mouth after a moment of cursing at me in the most vicious of tongue.
What I liked about the elements on the film is the use of real-world experience's to explain what we tend to miss. One example is what they called the Kick. This is essentially how to wake up a dreamer in the dreamstate. If you remember dreaming, you always end up in the middle of something but never at the beginning of the dream. Most of the time you either wake up from that dream, falling from a high-altitude or dying. When one thinks about it, these explanations of what happens in real life are true. In the film, they attempt to explain these truths in order to simulate the Kick by waking up the dreamer by either plunging the dreamer's real body in a tub of water or simulating the feeling of falling from a chair or any place where the body itself will feel like its falling which in turn causes the dreamer to wake up.
Here is something to think of when you watch this film which I believe is the best movie this Summer of 2010.
Is Dominic Cobb still dreaming or is he still in what he considers his own reality?
I'd like to hear your own interpretation of the movie and tonight when you dream, I challenge you with a question:
Will you be dreaming tonight and be able to control your subconscious?
Let me know how it ends.