Film review: Inception

First published 17th July 2010

At the beginning of Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting career I would have assumed his stereotypical all-American high school kid looks would have landed him in endless romantic comedy roles, but then his talent would have been wasted. Inception is possibly DiCaprio’s best film to date, and certainly gives rise to a few lesser-known actors too.

The release of Inception came eagerly anticipated after the film industry had run low on blockbusters for several months. Nothing had quite built excitement and expectation quite like it for some time. This, combined with its feature length trailer showing off some impressive graphic creativity gave audiences waiting to see Inception high expectations long before its release. Could it live up to the hype? No. It exceeded it beyond anyone’s imagination as the best film of its genre to come out of Hollywood in countless months, perhaps years.

Inception is set in multiple realities, with the basis being a world which has the technology to access the human mind via manufactured dreams,with participants attached to a mechanical devise tying them into the same subconscious location. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, the father who is desperate to get back to his children but must undertake a mission of inception to do so, planting an idea in an individual’s mind so deep that the individual believes it to be their own thought process.

Cobb’s hired architect, Ariadne follows Cobb into his own subconscious, to discover how he knows the process is possible, uncovering a further addition to the ever-evolving story and giving the film its love story without conforming to any typical romance plot, and instead giving the angle a dramatic and important part to play in the overall story. Fully expecting Ariadne to be Cobb’s new, younger, love interest, it was refreshing to find that her gender role played no part in this expected plot development. A brief moment of romance was seen in her involvement with another character, but even this was slight and inserted for subtle humour over romance.

Inception literally gave its graphic designers an endless world to play with, and what could have been glazed over as a few fine details in the forefront of each geographical scene really went all out with what I can only imagine as an unthinkable amount of work and effort. The importance of an architectural character was emphasised to really acknowledge the attention to detail in Cobb’s alternate reality. From the initial structures and creativity of an entire city to the demise and destruction of individual buildings, no effort was lost, and will be one of the things that really sell the DVD for fans of high definition. Thankfully though, Inception chose not to release a 3D version and instead remained focussed on the story the audience were there to absorb.

Inception’s director, Christopher Nolan delivers the excellence we saw from him in the Dark Knight, but with the added freedom of his own conveyance of plot, he brought the story to life in a way which will be recognised for a long time, and will no doubt further him still in the respect he will earn from his Hollywood peers.

There aren’t always a lot of films around which have an element of everything needed to make them work. Inception had the emotionally pulling love story mixed with just the right amount of action to be impressive without boring the audience into a passive mix of gunshots and explosions, ensuring boy and girl could go on their mutual date and both go home happy with their choice of film. Combine this with the thought-provoking drama and pure directional talent and Inception will struggle to find a large audience who won’t enjoy it.

If you’ve ever needed a film to illustrate the saying, ‘must-see film’, then this is that film. Its brilliance is unexplainable in away that can only be understood after seeing it for yourself. Go and see it now, then go back and see it again.

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