Thursday, July 22, 2010

Inception - Nested Dreams, Vested Interests!

Genre: Science Fiction

Koppireddy’s Tag line: Nested Dreams, Vested Interests

Koppireddy’s Rating: 4 stars (Watch it in a Theater)

Analysis: Inception is a good idea, well executed. If a plot has the capability to lay down a good screenplay, then it’s a movie I would like to watch. And if that screenplay goes strong, then it’s a movie I would like. Inception is a movie both that I would like to watch and I liked!
Excellent direction by Christopher Nolan keeps you on the edge of the seats, throughout! And literally! Though it is straining your resources at times squeezing your relax-at-movie desire, it soon puts all the missing pieces together so you should well be good at the end of the movie. However, you take home a lot of questions like I did. Read my story...

Performances: Ellen Page, Gordon Levit and Marion Cotilard have come up with good performances. Tom Hardy can add to ladies audience involvement in his short but important role. I think Leonardo Di Caprio’s has nothing exciting to impress you but plays with his role, as Nolan wanted him to. Don’t expect him to do a ‘Titanic’ or a ‘catch me if you can’ and then get disappointed. Dileep Rao and Ken Watanabe are adequate in their respective roles

The Story

As the genre suggests, it’s a science fiction based on human capability to enter one another’s dreams. The movie starts with a small demonstration of this capability but quickly sets into the main plot. The main plot is Saitu (played by Ken Watanabe) luring Cob (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) to do the title act-Inception. Cob is expected to implant or incept an idea into the heir of corporate riches of the Fischer family, Robert Fischer (played by an Irish actor Cillian Murphy, heard about him first time in the movie) who would in turn go against the monopoly styled business of his dad, which would help Saitu in turn as he is the business rival for the Fischer family.
Arthur (played by Gordon Levit, the host of popular Saturday night live), Eames (played by Tom Hardy), Yousouf (played by Dileep Rao of Avatar fame), Ariadne (played by Ellen Page of Juno fame) and Saitu team up to do this task. Arthur assists and a friend of Cob the hero, Eames has the capability to project fake identities, Yousouf is a sedatives specialist and Ariadne is a student who likes intellectual challenges and is drawn into this by Cob by throwing both a challenge and a flattery at her. Cob openly admits to Ariadne about what they are doing is illegal but someone manages to drive a point that she is important and only she can take up the challenge of building a dream world.

Robert Fischer, while returning to US from Australia taking his father’s dead body along, is talked into and quickly sedated by the team. Then they all get connected together into the dream world. In this dream, the team kidnaps Robert and his family’s mentor Peter Browning (Tom Berenger of the Sniper series fame). The twist here is Eames takes up the identity of Browning to extract information from him! These 2 are locked up in a room where Eames (in the Browning form) pesters Robert Fisher to say it off so that they both can live.
The team then sleeps in a mini bus and as Yousouf drives the mini bus, all others enter into second level of dream (within a dream) that is set in a hotel and Cob tries to make Fisher believe that Browning kidnaps him and thus try to read Browning’s mind for his plans. For this the entire team sleeps again to enter another dream (this one within the hotel dream, which in turn is within the mini bus dream). This dream is set in some arctic region where snow avalanches are a common occurrence. Remember, all these are being build by Ariadne in the dreams out of her intellectual urge.

Now, I will have to go back a little and introduce Cob’s wife Mal (played by French actress Marion Cotilard). Mal is dead even before the movie begins. But the director keeps narrating to us that Cob and Mal used to dream a lot and got so used to it that they hesitate to come into real world. And even if they do come, they don’t realize if they are in dream or real world. This is shown as the downside of having such a human capability. Ariadne quickly figures out that Cob keeps meeting Mal in the dreams as she hacks into his dreams during the practice sessions before the main plot. Here, dreams actually have projections and anyone can project anyone in one’s own connected dream, which is kind of the underlying theme here! So Ariadne finds out that Cob is guilty that he is responsible for Mal’s death. Cob tries to woo Mal back to real world and finally does to meet their children. But children can also be projected in dreams, right? So they don’t really know if the are in real world or dreaming. This leads a series of self-killing by Mal, first in dreams and then in reality. Cob is thus guilty. Ariadne has to being him out of his guilt and so directors uses this build up in the main plot…so returning to the main plot, we are 3 dreams deeper, remember?

Cob just cant help projecting Mal and he projects her in this Snow land dream setting who in turn kills Robert Fisher as he approaches the treasury which is the ultimate objective of this whole inception
Some directorial fundas before we proceed: When someone dies in level-one dream, they wakeup in real world. If this death happens in any of the nested dreams, they enter a limbo state and hang in there indefinitely. This point is also made clear to audience as the warm up and story build up takes place. Also, the time inside a dream is amplified as you go deeper into levels. So if you dream for 5 minutes, its like 10 hours in a dream, and that in a next level dream is like 10 days and so on…Kick is a shudder-like thrust which can wake people up from dreams. One possible way to come out on voluntary basis

So now Robert Fischer dies in dream 3 and hence enters limbo state. In the mean time, Dream 1 that has Yousouf driving the mini bus, had to start a kick earlier than the plan as the mini bus plunges into a river from a bridge. This kick has a cumulative effective into the dreams and the Dream 2 at the hotel is forced into a kick. Arthur is left behind in Dream 2 and he has to task of doing the kick in this level, which he plans to by blowing down the roof of a hotel room above, which the dreamers were operating. Now since Robert Fischer dies in a limbo state, the team starts giving up until the young heroine Ariadne suggests they get into one more level. I know, I know, you are asking me to stop now but this is the last level of dream thankfully!

Now Robert Fischer, Ariadne and Cob go into another dream (level 4 dream). This they do knowing that the mini bus is falling off the bridge. But because of the theory that you have more time in each subsequent dream magnified by so many times, the few seconds of fall from the bridge into river in dream 1 gains, like 60 minutes in level 4. Hence the hero, young heroine can now get the job done. In this level, Cob’s projection of his wife Mal tries to avenge Cob due to planting the idea in her (all dreamed up by young Ariadne remember?). So this gives Ariadne the opportunity to kill Mal, albeit in the dream thus clearing Cob’s projection, which in turn returns the Fischer champion to life. But they have less time (remember the Van in level 1 is falling) so they have only a few minutes left. He opens the treasury and learns that his Dad wanted him to be man of his own. The inception mission accomplished, Yahooooooooooo

Now Eames quickly works on the kick for Dream level 3 and they come back to 2 and with explosives in Dream 2, which thrust the elevator to the ceiling to make the kick happen, Arthur orchestras this (as against the originally planned kick by blowing the roof down). Now all of them just manage to get in Dream 1 and find themselves in water from the minibus fall.

Then the scene transports to the opening shot of the film where Cob and Saitu are old and plan to go back to real world. As this happens everything returns to reality. And what is reality? If you forgot they are all in the airplane back to America

Mission accomplished in reality too as the idea is now planted. INCEPTED, you see. Cob returns to America and meets his children. It was shown that Cob is charged of crime for killing his wife, which is all cleared now by the corporate giant Saitu as promised. I wonder how he does that?

Throughout the movie, there are totems used, this is one of the directorial fundas too. It helps the dreamer to decide whether he is in real world or still dreaming. Cob uses a spin and Ariadne, the fast learner, uses the Bishop’s chess piece. No one allows others to touch their totem as to let them really decide whether they are dreaming or living real. So Cob when he is finally home spins his spin but is called by his children. We donot get to see the spin fail or turn, hence leaving us wonder if he is still dreaming…

Am I dreaming or did I just write a review of this movie? Kick me...Oops it looks like its real, My Kick hurt me and my totem is my revolving chair which is not spinning!!! Ha ha ha

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