Usually when I do a review of a current film and I think highly of it, I'll discuss it's placement on my list of favorite films of the year. However, when it comes to Christopher Nolan's latest venture into originality, I'll discuss it's placement as one of my favorite films of all time. Yeah, it's that good. Hold on to your seat belts folks, your mind is about to be blown.
No one quite knows what to expect when first going into the film Inception. It's mysterious plot is one that's hard to grasp without the proper medium, such as the film opposed to just the promotional pieces. So it seems as though practically everyone is blown away by it no matter what age. It's ambiguous ending and genius storytelling is unrivaled and one that will be studied for years and years.
Nolan has one of the most creative minds in Hollywood and consistently puts out fantastic pieces of fiction. From Memento up to Inception, Nolan takes originality in storytelling to a whole new level. The idea of going inside people's dreams to reveal their secrets is a superior level of crazy. Then the concept of inserting an idea into the persons subconscious is storytelling at it's finest.
But it's not only storytelling that Inception does best, it's incredible visuals give way to some groundbreaking work by the effects team. Everything is done practically and the film benefits from it. CGI would have ruined it and it wouldn't have worked. The scenes with Zero Gravity are extremely impressive and the best the effect has ever looked on film.
I'm also a huge fan of the overall look of Nolan's films. Watch his filmography and you'll see a very distinct set of colors and angles that he favors. His style is unique and tends to be rather mesmerizing which is good considering the topic at hand. His visual flare lends itself to the aesthetic of feeling like a dream, which is a hard feat to accomplish in and of itself.
One aspect which would have caused the film to fail if not properly executed is the editing and how well it can connect with the audience. Tell too much then you'll lose people in detail, tell too little and you'll lose people from confusion. Inception strikes the right balance and explains everything in a clear and precise fashion. I feel confident in understanding the film in it's entirety.
In order to execute an understandable story even with it's unconventional structure, Nolan needed some great key players and he got that and more. Leonardo DiCaprio is the best he's ever been (which is saying a lot considering his past roles) and brings the audience into the world with just the right amount of charm and intrigue. Ellen Page is great as always and she didn't overstay her welcome. One of my favorite current actors happens to be Joseph Gordon Levitt and his character is involved in one of the coolest scenes of the year, if not of all time: the Hallway Scene. It's a true test of one's physicality and endurance and he pulls it off to perfection.
One person who, while only a side character, is very intriguing and his charisma is palpable. The role of the "James Bond" type character lies in Eames, a part perfected by Tom Hardy. I can't wait to see what else Hardy does in the future because he made one fan from this film. Can't wait to go back and watch him in Bronson. One minor complaint is the casting of Ken Watanabe. I like him as an actor but there were several times where I had difficulty understanding what Watanabe said and I feel like, with a plot like this where every minuscule piece of information is vital, any risk of inaudible speech should be avoided at all cost.
As for the ending, and trust me this will be spoilerific, I am of the belief that the totem wobbles (which is clearly shown in the movie) and that it will fall over. In order to go the more ambiguous route it cuts to black. When watching the movie again, I noticed that the totem never wobbles in the dream. It never even waivers. It is always perfect. And it is in fact, not perfect in the real world. So I believe that Cobb is in reality and has made it back to his kids.
As of this day Inception has been out less than two months and is still only available in the theaters. I have seen it 4 times and hope to see it at least once more before it ends it's theatrical run. I'm not one to see a movie more than once in the theater (unless I like it then I'll likely see it twice) but I just can't get enough of Inception world. Much like those in the movie, where the dreamers just can't get enough and it's truly the only way that they can dream, Inception is my dream and the only way to get more is keep going back for more.