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Inception

Reviewed by Galen Strickland

Dream a little dream.

Inception is a story about induced dream states, in which people trained in the proper techniques can either extract information from the dreamer or possibly implant an idea they wish the dreamer to think their own inspiration. Or is it about something else?

It is possible that subsequent viewings of this film will alter my opinion, but at this time I am recommending it without reservation. Christopher Nolan is quickly establishing himself as a writer and director who is not afraid to do the unconventional, to push the boundaries of film narrative beyond the typical Hollywood fare. He challenges the viewer to think, not just observe. This is a film that demands concentration, and even then I am not sure all of the elements of the plot work, but also am not sure that it matters. It is fascinating, daring, and visually compelling, full of layers of meaning as it is probable all dreams contain. But as in most dreams, it might not make a lot of sense at times. But it is a hell of a ride nonetheless.

A dream within a dream within a dream.

It's possible I left out one level there, since I lost count on how many times they induced a deeper dream state on themselves when they were already in a dream. A bit like layers of an onion. How do we know what the first level was and if that level was "reality" or another dream state?

"Whose consciousness are we in?"

That is a question posed at one point by one of the characters, and it is possible it was meant as a "breaking the fourth wall" comment, a wink toward the audience. I don't think it would be a spoiler to state that it is possible the entire story is a dream in the mind of Dom Cobb (DiCaprio), or at least the final scene might be. Again, what difference does it make? It doesn't make the film less compelling or entertaining.

That's all I have to say at this point. I have no idea how this will do at the box office. It might be big, it might flop, it might be a sleeper hit, only gaining full recognition once it reaches DVD. Again, I don't care, I simply recommend you see it.

 

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Writer/Director
Christopher Nolan

Released
July 16, 2010

Cast
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ken Watanabe
Marion Cotillard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ellen Page
Tom Hardy
Cillian Murphy
Tom Berenger
Michael Caine

Full Credits at IMDb

DVD and Blu-Ray available from amazon.com