Happy Hump Day, friends! Today I have for you yet another amazing guest blogger here for Resolutions 2014. If you’ve missed the series so far, definitely check out the archives because there have been a ridiculous number of stellar reviews. Thanks again to all who have taken part so far! So who’s up today? That would be Luke from Oracle of Film–a super cool blog that delves into film, TV, and games. It’s a fantastic site that I highly recommend looking into if you haven’t already. Heck, even if you have, go look again! Anywho, here’s Luke’s review of one of my very favorite films, Inception!
It has taken me far too long to watch this film. I am not sure why I have only just got around to seeing it, because it sounds like a tailor-made movie for me. It is a thriller that tries to be something a little different. It is a thoughtful action with one of the generation’s greatest actors in the lead role and a supporting cast made up of stars that, at the time of release, I was beginning to fall in love with (Hardy, Cotillard, Levitt). On top of that, Christopher Nolan, one of my all-time favourite directors was leading the way. It seems absurd that I didn’t catch it at the cinema. Maybe it was the warnings of a mind-boggling plot that kept me at bay; I never seemed to find myself in the mood to throw myself into a story so complex. However, when Resolutions 2014 came along, I realised that now I had the chance to force myself into watching Inception…eventually.
Inception was definitely worth the wait. Even if you do get dissuaded by the overload of exposition or the supporting cast with a minimal amount of character to work with, you have to be impressed at the very spectacle of it all. The imagination behind the concept of Inception is really impressive. I liked how there was little setting or science thrown around; the movie simply asked us to accept the fact that this technology was a real thing, rather than diving into backstory. The character of Ariadne was introduced to make the story easier to swallow, Cobb explaining the physics of this phenomena in terms we could all understand. Yes, it is a tough story to keep up with, but it wasn’t as much as a struggle as most people made it out to be. Like the Matrix, it is an action movie that tries to become something new and therefore I forgave the slow build-up. Also, how amazingly beautiful was this film! We see a scene where Ariadne plays around with one of Cobb’s dreams, folding the world in on itself and the imagery was jaw-dropping. The best scene was also stunning, showing Joseph Gordon-Levitt fight off security while gravity kept changing around him. Imagination was flowing everywhere and for that reason alone, Inception commands a least one viewing.
The actual heist takes up half of the movie’s running time and it is a credit to Nolan that he keeps it fresh. The dream within a dream within a dream concept was actually not that hard to get your head around and it meant that we could play along with different scenarios. Therefore, we were treated to a car chase sequence, jumping to an assault on a snowy fortress. I liked the idea of an ensemble team of heroes, rather than trying to have DiCaprio shoulder the action himself. One, it kept up this tension, as while we didn’t believe that DiCaprio would be killed off, it was highly possible that one of the lesser characters like Levitt or Hardy would be harshly slaughtered at any given moment. Two, it meant that the action could jump around very easily, again treating us to several action set-pieces at once. It is something that I wish more movies would adopt. On the negative side, Nolan needs to rely on the actors bringing their own charm to the table, as the movie runs out of time to develop the characters. It partially works, as the moment Tom Hardy steps onto the screen, he keeps his character Hardy-esque and we instantly love him for that. But on the other hand, you might find yourself craving more. There is a brief moment, where a romance is hinted between Levitt and Page, but the instant is too fleeting. It is never touched upon again.
The cast are superb. DiCaprio has the most to do, as most of his lines involve explaining things in clear terms to the audience. He copes amazingly well with the clunky script. Sometimes, we get the impression that DiCaprio is more comfortable with larger than life characters. Dominic Cobb is a little too straight-faced for the actor to show off with. He makes up for it in other moments. The flashback where he witnesses his wife die is emotionally superb, as he just breaks down. However, the best actor in the entire movie was easily Marion Cotillard. She plays the aforementioned deceased wife, who haunts Cobb’s dreams, becoming a dangerous loose wire in the heist. Cotillard makes a terrific villain, always strutting around a set-piece with arrogant authority. However, being a projection rather than an actual human, takes her usual great villain character to a whole other level. She is terrifyingly unpredictable, suggesting that this movie could have easily been a chilling horror, with her as the movie monster. The emotionless evil stare she is asked to do is a few times sends shivers down your spine. She is always scary, whenever a knife is lying casually, just within her reach. Yet at the same time, Nolan asks her to suddenly jump to doting wife and she handles the change in character, like it was the easiest thing in the world. It is a superb performance.
So yes, Inception was definitely what I expected it to be. A well-acted thriller that decided to be a little different than any other movie around. It is the kind of film that I wish I could watch more often, and I think cinema would do very well from occasionally looking to Inception for inspiration.
Another day, another stupendous film resolution! Many thanks, Luke, for taking part! Also, I said this in yesterday’s post, but just in case anyone missed it: I AM EXTENDING RESOLUTIONS 2014 TO NEXT WEEK. If you would still like to send something, I only ask that you try your very best to get it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by next Wednesday. Please and thank you. 🙂