>During the Christmas holiday, I finally caught up with everyone else and watched Inception. Liked it a lot. Another great performance from Leo, and I don’t believe director Christopher Nolan dropped the ball once in the execution of his complex storyline.
I say complex … actually, you know, I think it’s pretty straightforward. In a good way. The dreams-within-dreams concept has got everyone speculating about Inception‘s hidden meanings. But I honestly don’t think there are any. I think it’s a simple story about one man’s redemption, told through a dizzying series of reality shifts. Even the (arguably) ambiguous final shot is just a bit of fun, not a serious attempt to undermine the film’s essential reality.
I think if Nolan had really wanted to melt our brains, he would have employed more misdirection, and used every opportunity to pull the rug from under our feet. Which he doesn’t. Most of the way he’s there holding our hand, making sure we don’t lose our way. Because the story’s not about brain-melting, it’s about Leo’s character Dom Cobb finding a way back from the brink and coming to terms with what happened to his wife. That’s the heart of the story, and it’s what gives Inception its surprising emotional depth.
That said, I couldn’t help but thrill to all those joyous lurches through unexpected realities, the stunning visuals (a folding city, a zero-g hotel, but never anything too weird) and above all Nolan’s bold and confident staging. This is a tight, clean movie that never gets silly, and is never less than utterly gripping.
Now, I’ve only seen Inception once. Maybe when I watch it again (and I will) I’ll spot some of these hidden clues the conspiracy theorists are on about. Somehow I don’t think so. I think that with Inception Nolan’s done something rather remarkable. He’s made a science fiction movie that plays effortlessly to the mainstream crowd, that’s packed with audacious ideas and images yet is ultimately about people. No mean feat.