Will Preston

Inception: A poor man’s headfuck

by on Sep.07, 2010, under Films, Review

Inception - Corridor

It's a bugger to hoover...

Should anyone dare enter my dreams, making a film about them would be the last thing I expect them to, before seeking psychiatric help and obsessively learning what the meaning behind the term ‘Yangak’ is. Dreams are more than just visions, they can be sensations, colours several things melding into one that make absolutely no sense whatsoever when observed by an awake, and hopefully sane, mind. Plus, how many Freudian slips would you encounter? Enter one man’s mind and end up being chased by a rampaging penis monster with the voice of your mother. Make a compelling science fiction entitled ‘The MindLair of Mrs Dong-Bitch’ and it’ll jizz all over the Oscars. Literally, hopefully.

And no matter what you do with the film, please give a strong think about casting Leonardo Di Caprio as your leading man; I wouldn’t trust him to lead a lemming over a ledge! Obviously Chris Nolan didn’t read my last letter to him. Don’t blame him really. The last one was just a crumpled bit of paper with the words ‘Dark Knight mmmmmmmmmmm’ and a strong hormonal odour. But despite this I still didn’t hold strong feelings for his newest venture. Was it the absence of bat ears? No promising performance? The fact it was an ‘original’ plot? I can’t put my finger on it. The first visuals of Paris being folded in half did stir up something, but my heart stayed at a steady pace. It took me a while to finally go see it after barging through nothing but loyal positive feedback from just about everyone alive. It’s on the to do list for sure then!

After much warning of a complicated plot and the possibility of having to see the movie a second time before I got the jist of it, I decided to up my challenge by have two pints with a Welshman. It should be a pre cinema tradition. A sandy beach starts the film off and our Leo is waking up washed up to shore; the shadow of the Titanic sinking back behind him in the distance and in his career. Can we expect an amazing performance? Well so far he’s predictably groggy. Let’s see how this unfolds. Two children are on the beach and he is yanked off the sandcastle pitch by armed escort to an oriental castle. One owned by a rubber faced old man. They find a gun and a weird thimble thing. The pieces are sure to come together. After a bit of time/dream jumping, we are introduced to some of the main cast. Leonardo and his lacky are professional theirs who do their operating inside the minds of their victim, where their minds are fully furnished with obvious metaphors (His secrets are locked in a safe in his mind….well, duh?). It makes it look like there’s a video game to be played inside of everyone.

Immediately The Matrix comes to mind, which is a bit unfair. To be honest, this is what the Matrix should have been instead of disappearing up its own arse with haf baked philosophy concerning reality. Instead of falling down the bullet time pit, Nolan makes the whole reality thing subtle. No green filters to blind the viewer with the obvious, no gimmicky bullet time. But come to think of it, the whole over the top CGI starts off to look like a gimmick. It feels like a discarded fireworks box being put to use on a dull day than being something that augments the experience. It draws the average Joe punters in, me thinks. It does wow in some places, though; and surprisingly enough actually becomes woven into the storyline. But you have to get about an hour in for that.

Inception - Poster

One foot of rainfall?! What a boring dream!

The thing that made Dark Knight brilliant was the story in terms of quantity: a lot was happening and so very quickly. Inception offers the opposite. The film is just as long (Two and a half stonking hours!), but it all focuses around what is technically one major set piece. It’s a heist movei about planting an idea in someone’s mind. At one point Leo mentions their ‘dream within a dream’ plan stressing how time slows down when you go though the next ‘dream layer’ (It makes sense, trust me!). 1 hour in the first dream turns to weeks to months to years. So in theory they could be in the persons mind for a couple of hours and have an experience lasting around ten years. You have me sold Nolan. That is one of the greatest premises I’ve heard. Another letter shall be sent to you. But sadly, that was not the case.

The promised ten year dream heist last under and hour of their time and feels more like an old episode of Mission Impossible mixed with William Gibson’s Necromancer (a book that ‘heavily inspired’ the film). His dead wife pops up around the heist as it’s his own projection of guilt fucking up the mission, but this turns from character development to tacky love story. “You said we’d grow old together” Uncomfortably turns into “I’ll never let go, Jack”. Typical. As the film goes, it’s impressive in places as well as very well done, but I would have been happier with an extra hour for them to flesh out this concept even more. That and I couldn’t really care about the characters motivations.

Apart from Leo, the rest of the cast are fantastic. Cillian Murphy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page have my salutes. I just feel a bit sore about Michael Caine and Pete Postlethwaite having a crap amount of screen time. You don’t rent an expensive tuxedo and try it on once for 5 seconds, do you? Unless it was the one in my dream. The one made of penises…

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