To Each His Own : A Movie Review for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”

People are still talking about this, so I guess it’s not too late to post this one out, as I only found time to watch this just the other day.

So here we go.

I am one of those kids who had dreams within a dream occurring to me a few times in my life, so let’s say right out of the bat that I’m impressed someone had the courage to take this concept on onto the big screen, because this kind of realm is very much in free form that a story line about it might let itself go and lose all its credibility. The thing about that though is that, since I indeed was one of those “fortunate” kids, not to be a snob, but I found this as though another one of those sci-fi movies. Also, too much exposure and admiration over movies such as “The Matrix” may have evolved, and therefore prejudiced, my train of thought, but not until the uniqueness of the idea sinks in within the next few days, albeit very wonderfully delivered, it’ll be nothing less than a story told.

I guess seeing the movie in this kind of eyes though will make me judge the movie in its more unassuming state. So I’ll work my way from there.

– Spoilers Ahead –

First things first, as much as you would have anticipated it, dreams here don’t actually go as crazy as one could imagine, which is a good thing. It doesn’t get too crazy giving gratuitous data to the point of giving us all a mindf*ck. It was established earlier on that things could be restructured or reformed but they are actually as controlled as possible, with many categorically fixed players involved and therefore downplaying the dream. Nothing bat shit really happens, like seeing someone faceless or having a really formless, thwarted kind of dream space. However, in some form of unfinished business, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, have these recurring visits of guilt in the form of his wife or his kids that are so strong, they are the only apparent unsettling forms of subconscious that keep distracting and almost ruining the gang’s plans for inception.

I guess the rest didn’t carry that much baggage as he did. Let’s put it at that.

Photo Credit From Warner Bros.

Photo Credit From Warner Bros.

It bothers me though that logic is put into so much play into something which is supposed to be governed by metaphysics. Notwithstanding the crazy things any one’s subsconcious might conjure in a dream space, they actually have the liberty to push themselves further against reason too and knock themselves out with all the gadgetry and karate chops they can think of. Heck, even Eames (Tom Hardy) was pushing for it more than once in the film. Apprehensiveness could’ve justified it but the guys could’ve used more of this ability to their advantage.

Then again, that would definitely look like a rip-off of The Matrix.

Photo Credits from Warner Bros.

Photo Credits from Warner Bros.

What I appreciate about this movie though is not really much of the technicality (clearly), but its grasp of how dreams run and operate, in its many layers and forms. Most of the meat here were found in Cobb’s inner battles, and how Ariadne (Ellen Page) played a huge part in helping and actually finding a resolution to all those. This part of the story is very poignant not merely because he has to deal with an enraged wife but the fact that he’s actually battling the projection of his wife, a metaphor that he’s just battling with his own inner demons: memories, thoughts and, therefore, his own self. This took so much more emotional layering than the inception mission itself. Somehow it elicited, intentionally or otherwise, a realization: similar to life, we usually have a say on someone else’s problems, but to find a solution to our very own, it’s much more complicated than you think.

Photo Credits from Warner Bros.

Photo Credits from Warner Bros.

So anyway, let’s fast forward to the dilemma between Cobb and Saito, played by Ken Watanabe. A subtle, but interesting, injection of idea known only between the two of them was the arrangement. The arrangement being if the plan succeeds, Cobb gets to pass immigration and go home to his kids. And if the plan fails, he will be locked up in jail for the rest of his life.

This would make sense, of course, being that, if Cobb fails, Saito would actually have the power to have him locked up for failing the mission miserably.

But why would Cobb actually volunteer himself to be jailed for life? Changing Robert Fischer’s thoughts and ideas wasn’t going to exactly change the world radically and rashly. Save for saving the world from energy monopoly, it was just competition that drove them there in the first place. He could’ve said it to save the team from the misery of being chased down by Saito’s men for forever, or there are other important reasons which could’ve lead him to say such. Let’s not forget though that he had detractors he was able to escape from time and again, for which who had continually chased him for so many innumerable times possibly. He might have volunteered for the sake of extremities: make me go home to my children or have me locked up in jail.

But, this is the kind of idea that lurks into your subconscious subtly but, at the same time, is actually very significant. This is the real reason why Cobb was working in the first place; not for Fischer, but for his children.

Which leads me to my own interpretation of the ending…

While others have their own versions of what the ending actually was, mine is this: I believe he got what he asked for. Actually, he got both of it.

Remember that Saito already died in the 3rd layer of the dream, making it hard for him to come back even to the 2nd dream. This doesn’t even include that he’s actually drowning in the top layer of the dream. So to make all sense of it, and to put simply, he definitely ended up in his own limbo.

Then Cobb comes in, in messianic form, sacrificing time and space to save the man he had an arrangement with, decidedly so in the 4th layer.  When he finally gets to talk to him, it ends up as though Cobb forgot what the arrangement actually was and it was actually Saito who remembered that they have one. Or maybe Cobb was testing Saito, and at least Saito remembered. Pan towards gun on Saito’s side of the table.

Then they wake back up to the plane. Everyone’s safe, including Saito. Everyone’s smiling, Saito makes a phone call, Cobb gets through immigration, meets his dad, gets home and then sees his children.

Then for a final touch, Cobb spins his totem of a top on the table and leaves it on there, not even waiting to know if he was still in someone else’s dream space or not. He was happy, he was home, finally.

But could it be that the top never stopped spinning, and that he was just stuck in Saito’s limbo?

And that’s the part we will never know.

Inception is brilliant, all in all. A wonderful cast, even Marion Cotillard, who played the troubled wife so well: underplayed but necessarily disclosed. I actually swooned for, oddly enough, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A different look on a sidekick kid who’s almost on the verge of really being cool and quite the debonair, but maybe not quite, no thanks to Tom Hardy’s Eames constant sarcastic quips on the kid.

And don’t deny it, the heavy but beautiful score moved you as well.

Movie rate? A 3.5 out of 5.

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368 Responses to “To Each His Own : A Movie Review for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception””

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