“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling”. This quote always resignates with me whenever I hear it and that’s mostly due to the context of it. I look at it in a personal context but the quote is a representation of Christopher Nolan’s cinematography. After the brilliance that has followed each of Nolan’s entries in his filmography, he continues to go to new depths. This is especially true with Inception, his 7th and arguably greatest film ever (although we know which one that is). He dreams bigger than he ever has before and creates a story that is so investing and mind-boggling yet does so in a way that you never feel confused about what information you’re intaking. This is one of the best movies ever made and I absolutely adore every aspect of it. The score, the script, the acting and the world, it is all so well assembled and crafted by arguably the greatest modern filmmaker working today. This film is a must-see by anyone who dare calls themselves a film buff.
Inception takes place in a future where the ability to enter one’s mind and steal ideas is avaliable. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief who is on the run due to being accused of his wife, Mal’s (Marion Cotillard) murder. When the mysterious billionaire Saito (Ken Watanabe) offers him a way out, he takes it. The job only is seen as impossible. Inception or the act of inserting a specific idea into someones head and watching it grow into that person’s own idea. Cobb assembles a team consisting of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a fellow extractor, Eames (Tom Hardy), an identity forger, Yusef (Dileep Rao), a chemist who handles the sedatives and Aridane (Ellen Page), the architect. Together, they slowly dip into different levels of the dream world and eventually get too deep.
This movie is basically a heist movie but the way it takes this genre and bends it on it’s head is so original and unique that movies have been trying to rip it off since 2010. The script, which was nominated for best original screenplay, is truly out of this world. Each line of dialogue so investing and smart, each scene building upon the last and that ending! Everything about the script is just so perfectly written, each time I watch the film, I’m just immersed and can’t help but turn my phone off and just give 100% attention.
The acting is phenomenal, with Leo DiCaprio giving yet another amazing and understated performance. You clearly see how broken this man is that he can’t see his children and is dealing with both his wife’s death and the fact that people believe he did it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt almost steals the show if not for one performance I’ll speak about after this but this was the movie where JGL showcased immense action ability. He’s so charismatic and likable in this movie and kicks some serious ass. The one fight sequence in the hotel is one of the best fight scenes in a film and that’s mainly due to JGL’s presence. Michael Caine (A Nolan movie doesn’t feel complete without the Caine) is briefly in this movie but his character has a history with Dom and also helps assemble his team. Marion Cotillard is terrifying in this movie. Mal has a bigger presence in this movie than one thinks and when she shows up, she genuinely creeped me out. Such a fantastic performance. Okay, remember that performance I said steals the show? Who else do you think it would be than Tom Hardy as Eames! He is electric in this movie. This role is the reason I think he should be the next James Bond. He is so sly, so funny and cheeky and downright badass, his entrance in the movie still makes me laugh so much. This was the first movie where the world was introduced to this amazing actor and thank god we were because he something special.
I mentioned the fight scene in the hotel as being spectacular and that’s true but the other action scenes are all spectacular. The finale in the snow feels like the ending to a Bond movie. But the entire finale is so unique as it continuously cuts between each dream layer, getting more and more intense. I could boast for hours about each action sequence but just know it’s amazing and never feels like just action but there’s true stakes there, even though they all mostly take place in dreams.
Inception is perfect filmmaking craft. The way it all blends together, the ending and the action. This film is a true cinematic masterpiece and is going to be if not already deemed a classic. It is without a doubt one of the smartest films ever made and I couldn’t recommend it enough!
Next Up: The Dark Knight (2008)