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Inception (2010)

January 18, 2011 1 comment

I finally had the chance to see Inception this morning. Staying at home with a toddler without any possibility of alternative childcare dictates that I wait for a new movie’s DVD release for me to see it. I’ve had the Blu-Ray with me since last week, but preparing for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party prevented me from seeing it sooner, despite my really wanting to do so.

There has been a lot of talk about this film, and I consciously prevented myself from reading anything about it on the chance that knowing them will ruin the experience for me. All I know is that it’s about lucid dreaming, a psychological idea that has always fascinated me and a movie plot that seldom fails to deliver entertainment. Inception was no exemption to those expectations.

There is no point discussing the movie’s plot by now, since all of the movie-going world has probably seen it before I did. Plus if you consider the hundreds of websites that have dedicated themselves in (over) analyzing its many levels and characters – it’s a futile effort. Did I like it? Of course I did, who wouldn’t? But I have to agree with the small majority who has been screaming to the top of their lungs for the past months since its release, asking the same questions I’ve asked myself after seeing it. What’s with all the hype??!

The visuals are stunning, the concept of different levels of consciousness and waking up from them only to find out you are still in one is interesting – but not nearly as mind-boggling as other sci fi films before it. Maybe I would be more impressed if I haven’t seen Scorcese’s Shutter Island or loved Vanilla Sky the way I do. If it was a pioneer in its visual display the way The Matrix was in its time, or at least as intellectually stimulating as The Man From Earth, The Thirteenth Floor, or the 90’s hit film The Lawnmower Man I’d be smiling from ear to ear. The plot within a plot within a plot has been done countless times. And while it is interesting to see how each layers of the puzzle unfold as one goes through the film, I personally think a film should offer something new to the table to make it worth one’s time – especially if it is more than 3 hours long.

All I’m saying is that, YES it is a good film, but definitely not great. If I can remember correctly, it is on Ebert’s Top 10 for 2010 – which maybe proves my theory that the reason why my movie-loving self was not as satisfied last year was because there weren’t a lot of wonderful films last year.

But I would have to admit, in this day and age where everything we have done in the past is recorded and when almost anything can be recalled by a search in Google – it is harder to be original now than before. Chris Nolan, however, still managed to do it. Incorporating the heist concept with lucid dreams as its backdrop while including the plot within a plot twists and a dose of action scenes and a romantic angle is, to say the least, genius in its own right. I am not sure how long it took him to develop the story after he has successfully identified his concept, but after watching the film I feel this sense of aspiration. Somehow knowing that this film could be done better – with the story being more cohesive, deeper, and overwhelming than how it was shown. That maybe if Mr. Nolan just thought about it more, or worked with the story longer, it would be the movie that I think it has the capability to be.

But what do I know. I am just a stay at home mom who loves films since the day I knew they existed. There are smarter and brighter people who understand why the world raves about Inception that way it does. I am simply just not one of them.