It’s a fascinating place, human mind, especially when it is dreaming. How is it possible to tell where one dream ends and another one begins? How can we distinguish dreams from reality? Inception (2010) raises these and other questions in an original and unforgettable manner. Some of the concepts are pretty mind-boggling – and re-watching this movie will, no doubt, uncover new details every time. Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page, Inception is a rare blend of incredible visuals and layered plot, combined with strong performances.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief with a very unique speciality – stealing information while entering people’s dreams. “Inception” is a process of planting an idea into someone’s mind, and Cobb’s next job will be exactly that. To do that, Cobb and his team will have to go into a “dream within a dream”, in order to get deep into the subconscious of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy). If Cobb succeeds in planting an idea in Fischer’s mind, it will influence an important decision about the company Fischer just inherited.
The music score by Hans Zimmer commands attention from the opening credits and only gets more epic as the movie progresses, in its scale matching the impressive special effects and the intense action. Some of the effects in Inception look truly unique, taking the familiar environments and twisting them into something that can only be found in a dream. In one scene, where Cobb and Ariadne (Ellen Page) are sitting outside and talking, and Ariadne realizes that they are inside a dream, there is a moment where the city starts folding in on itself – a somewhat unnerving thing to see. The visual effects transform the seemingly mundane setting in a seamless and realistic way, creating a great sense of someone controlling the dream.
Leonardo DiCaprio makes for a convincing lead, with the help of other memorable characters played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy to name a few. Marion Cotillard as Mal, Cobb’s dead wife, is certainly one of the more interesting performances in the movie, as she continues to haunt Cobb’s subconscious.
At the beginning of the movie, Cobb describes an idea as “resilient and highly contagious” – an interesting concept to consider. There are plenty of things to ponder, especially since the line between dreams and reality is so blurry in Inception. The movie leaves off on an ambiguous note – a fit ending for this multi-layered story.