Friday, 23 July 2010

A single idea from the human mind

It's true that while watching Inception your mind will mainly be occupied by trying to understand it. The premise of going into people's dreams isn't that complicated, but there's a lot of strange rules to it. A subject's subconscious has to enter a designed dream where other subconsciouses (plural of subconscious?) can come along for the ride. Then there's dreams within dreams, a strange 'limbo' place even further down, and 'totems' that remind people where they are. The idea of 'inception' is to plant an idea in someone's mind rather than extract information, which sounds quite difficult. Thankfully Leonardo DiCaprio and his various assistants are up to it. Like the best heist films, every stage of its plot is based on a clever idea, a twist that changes everything. And even if you strip away all the layered psychology, there's still a good action film underneath. It can go anywhere it wants at the flick of switch - from inner city car chases (with a train) to snow fortresses and weightless corridor fights. The highlight is the cityscape that folds in on itself, rising and falling like all the people are going to fall out. It's brave to spend this much money on something so wilfully complex. It's like Christopher Nolan has been let loose with millions of dollars to do whatever he wants. The result is an inventive, imaginative, intelligent thriller.

You don't usually get questions like 'what is reality?' from mainstream cinema, but that's the first thing this film makes you think. Next to all the explosions and shooting there are people discussing (usually quite quickly) the difference between dreams and reality. The plot sets up layers of dreams, with the top one being called 'reality'. Obviously, you've got to wonder if it really is, and what it means in the first place. These are the sort of philosophical ponderings the film promotes. Whether or not everyone is always in a dream or not is irrelevant though, it just matters that you thought about it.

And with that I'm having a two-week break from these internet things.


  1. Heh, have a nice break from the things...

    I wonder, I really do, if this business that started with The Matrix is about the reality which we've created which we don't want to acknowledge. I do know that what I can see in my own imagination, and in other peoples', is frequently more appealing than quotidian reality. In dreams we fly.

    Yeah, a little cranky today.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the movie, so did I!! It was a great cinematic experience. Have fun on your two week adventure outside of Internet land. :)

  3. Sounds good, especially as I was so disappointed with Shutter Island. And a bit Donnie Darko, if that had been a heist-action-thriller with multiple locations.

  4. It's been two weeks, you know.