18 July 2010

Inception - The Immersive Dream!

“It is on the whole probably that we continually dream, but that consciousness makes such a noise that we do not hear it!” – Carl Jung

The best way to judge an act is always ask yourself what you felt in the end.

If you felt exhausted and still deliriously happy, you know it was a memorable love making session. If you felt relieved, content and peaceful, you know your baby is fast asleep. If you felt a heated argument is getting resolved without saying a word, you know you are holding your lover in your arms. If you yell “Damn!” at the last scene with 100 other people and still scratching your head yet happy you managed to hold your feet through two hours and thirty five minutes grasping the concept in last half hour, it just means you have experienced Nolan’s “Inception!”.

To say Nolan is the combination of Cameron, Spielberg and Kubrick, wouldn’t be an understatement after watching “Inception”. Inception is a high stake, ensemble, heist movie of subconscious proportions that takes you through layers of dreams each with its own set of rules defying gravity and time continuum.

At the core of this ensemble is Cobb, played by Leo Dicaprio, who is fighting his own demons due to his wife’s suicide.Marianne Cotillard devlishly plays Mal, Cobb's wife living in his dreams. Ellen Page plays Ariadne, the architect of dream world. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Arthur, Cobb’s right hand man. Tom Hardy plays a charming, witty Eames who can forge his appearance in dreams. Dileep Rao plays the chemist Yusuf whose potion induces heavy dream state while Ken Wattanabe plays Saito, an industrialist who is planning to plant an idea in Robert Fischer Jr’s mind(Cillian Murphy), the son of dying Energy company giant, that will lead to dissolving his competitor’s company.

Cobb and his team are experts at stealing ideas from someone’s mind but here, the job is to “plant” an idea that will germinate and dominate that person who will feel so strongly about it as he feels it is “his” idea. He feels it is his “Inception” of that idea. Leo convinces that he can do it and gets his team on this dream adventure.

One of the most quotable quotes from this movie is going be,
What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.”- Cobb

Nolan doesn’t give you a moment to get used to his world. The movie starts with a meeting in dream world with characters you have no idea about. It moves at a breath neck pace and you are left wondering what the hell is going on. You are not quite sure if you are seeing events in dream world or real one but the slick cinematography, strong acting and urgency of the characters pulls you into those events and you go along with the ride. You realize Cobb is separated from his two kids in America and he is desperate to see them. Saito is making a proposal that’s hard to refuse but it’s dangerous. Michael Caine does his usual “I am the Master and you are my best spoilt student” routine and gives Cobb, Ariadne ,who is supposed to be even smarter than Cobb. You get to see some of the best natural, seamless, breathtaking effects as Ellen Page and Leo walk up the folded streets of Paris in their dream world training.

Unlike Matrix, where Lawrence Fishbourne takes you in to a training program and explains exactly what is happening with Agents and “real world”, Nolan, purposely doesn’t explain. He wants you to scratch your head, drop your jaw and stay confused. He teases your intellect and wants you to figure out his puzzle and maze. This is a huge risk and it will either make or break his movie but then, as the movie progresses, you get more information like you pull a person in his dream state into a constructed dream world by the architect of the team and you make the person believe it is “his” dream. Now, you can take this person below another level of dream where the two minutes in level one becomes 2 years and 20 years in level 3 and 40 years in Level 4.

YES! Dream within a dream within a dream within a dream!

The genius of Nolan is in making this an action adventure, showcasing events in each dream level where the slightest disturbance in one level, causes ripple effect in others causing the characters to levitate, fill with rain, fill with antibodies pushing the “artificial dream world ” out as mercenary armed fighters.

The charming characters, the inner demons of Cobb, the seamless effects that brings all the rules onto the screen will make the movie goers watch it again and again, decoding it, deciphering it and make it a classic!

Since the Matrix series, there hasn’t been an intelligent, complicated, high concept, entertaining movie like this. This is what makes Hollywood the “Dream Factory!”.

Watch it! Watch it again! And Close your eyes with caution!