When news broke that director Christopher Nolan wouldn’t be immediately working on a sequel to the incredible ‘The Dark Knight‘ (2008), movie blogs speculated ‘what next then?’
Then in 2009, Warner Bros. made it official — Christopher Nolan’s next project would Inception — a concept he’s had for nearly a decade. Nolan never got the budget to realize his ‘dream project’ back then, but when ‘The Dark Knight’ became the second highest grossing movie of all time, getting funds now didn’t seem like an issue. Leonardo DiCaprio signed up and filming began in Paris with Ellen Page. From the behind-the-scenes photos I saw last year, it looked like a plain thriller to me. Then the first trailer hit. I was intrigued.
Then the new trailers came out this year.
Now I was blown away! Inception soon became the summer movie I was looking forward to the most (especially after a rinse-repeat ‘Iron Man 2’ and the just plain disappointing ‘Prince of Persia’).
The TV promos in India made it look as though Inception was an out-right CGI action movie — and judging by a few annoying audience members, you could tell they felt misled. I could sum up Inception simply using one liners like: “A thinking man’s action movie” or draw comparisons to the Matrix films with all it’s jacking into one’s mind shenanigans. But Inception is more than that.
For one, it’s got a great cast. No, Christian Bale isn’t in it, but other Dark Knight alumni are, namely Michael Caine and Cilian Murphy. Then you have Leo, who hasn’t done a bad movie since ‘The Beach’. French actress and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard along with Ellen Page make up the female cast.
I won’t go into what Inception is about, because the whole reason why I was so intrigued by the film was despite the brilliant visuals, I still didn’t have a clear idea as to what the basic plot of the movie was.
So as the movie began, it began quite slow. Lots of chatter about “the architect” (a la The Matrix trilogy — but not as annoying), back-and-forth on entering someone else’s dreams to extract clues, Leo’s back story involving his wife (Marion Cotillard)… let’s just say the first half doesn’t suck you in right away.
The scene where Ellen Page and Leo DiCaprio are at Parisian cafe when the world around them just starts exploding seemed like a blatant excuse for pretty visuals, despite making go “wow!” (it also reminded me of Sony’s BRAVIA ads) .
But once the second half kicks in, you’re hooked. The plot thickens, the visuals only get better and the action picks up pace. Towards the end of it, you may still be confused, but not once did I lose interest in the film.
People are already calling Inception the best movie of the year so far. Some had high expectations and were left disappointed. I wouldn’t call it either.
Whatever it may be — you have to watch Inception! You won’t see anything like it this year. Even the CGI. Remember watching The Matrix for the first time? The first time they did the whole slow motion, bullet time sequences? Well, Inception‘s special effects USP (‘unique selling proposition’ for those not into trade-talk) is it’s world-bending sequences.
I may have to watch Inception again to fill some of the loopholes in the plot I *think* I didn’t get — but at least it made me want to watch it again. It’s that intriguing!
Christopher Nolan is on a roll, no doubt. After a good Batman Begins (2005) and The Prestige (2006), Nolan pretty won me over (& every geek worldwide) with The Dark Knight. He really is a genius. Writer, original screenplays, producing, and of course directing. His Academy Award is surely on it’s way, it’s only time.
After the promotional tours, Nolan will now return to working on the next Batman film, due out in 2012. Until then, Inception will rake in the big bucks and win him many more accolades throughout the year.
You maybe confused by *my* take on Inception too, wondering why I’m showering praise on Christopher Nolan despite not understanding it fully myself. I mean, look at the screens from movie I intentionally used for this post. Try and figure out how they all fit. You won’t, unless you watch the film.
Regardless of whether you understand Inception the first time you watch it, my advice is, just sit through it. The ending alone will make you applaud the man who wrote and directed this film. Trust me.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 (for now… a few years later and many repeat watches as a cult classic, it may change to a 4/5)