Directed by Christopher Nolan
The top starts spinning.
Whenever a film with a crippling level of anticipation is released, a lot of phrases begin to get thrown around. “Masterpiece,” “Disappointment,” “Unrelenting,” “Drawn out,” “Forgettable,” “Inventive.” These are just a paltry few of the words that could (will and have been) used to describe the latest “big” movie event of the summer, “Inception”. For my part, having just finished watching the film a few hours ago, I’m going to do my best to stop myself from throwing around words like those. I need to give this movie time to fester in my conciousness (and subconscious) before I make any sweeping statements. But all the same, I still want to write something down while it’s fresh in my mind.
One things for sure, as daunting as it no doubt is to take on a film of this scope, Christopher Nolan has proved over the past two years that he is more than up for the task. I’ve read that “Inception” is Christopher Nolan’s attempt to create a James Bond film, something that he has supposedly always wanted to do. If this is true, “Inception” certainly has more in common with the more methodically paced Bond films like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (even as far as the “invasion of a snow top fortress climax!”) than it does your typical James Bond film. At over two and a half hours, you’re in it for the long haul with this film, but I don’t believe that it’s a journey that you’re going to regret anytime soon. In fact, the more I think about this film the harder it is for me to talk about it without resorting to words that I used at the beginning of this article. (I know, I lasted all of a paragraph.) It just really is that fantastic. I’m going to stop myself short from calling it a masterpiece or unforgettable, but that isn’t to say that the film hasn’t earned those words of praise, only that, it’ll be up to the individual viewer to decide for his or herself if they see it as such.
I’m not going to spoil the storyline of this film for those who haven’t seen it yet. Trust me, go in as fresh as possible. (Not just to this movie, but any movie.) You’ll get a lot more from it. Though I will say this: “Inception’s” biggest triumph is its story. Not because it is particularly fresh or original (though it is) but because of the layered nature of the narrative and its self-reflexive commentary on both dreams and film. The deeper I went into the film, the more and more impressed I was by what Christopher Nolan was able to accomplish with what is the most important aspect of any film, the story.
The acting is also positively worth mentioning. Leonardo DiCaprio has had one hell of a year. After “Shutter Island”, and now “Inception”, he’s starred in what very well might end up being the two best films of the year. And he can be proud to know that he has made them all the better by his presence. The “King of the World” has come a long way since his youth and is now one of the best living actors on the planet. A scene in “Inception” that takes place along the ledge of a hotel building is easily as powerful as the scene at the climax of “Shutter Island” when Teddy remembers the truth about what happened to his family. I’ve said it before, a few years ago I was not a fan of DiCaprio’s, but now I can’t wait to see what he does next. I can’t think of a better compliment than that. Everyone else, from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to Marion Cotillard, to Ellen Page, to Cillian Murphy, all do a fantastic job. They’ve worked their asses off to make sure that in a film this good, they don’t come across as the weak link, and their effort shines through triumphantly.
If I really wanted too, I could probably go on and on about this film. Hell, I could write a page on just how awesome Hans Zimmer’s score is. (That would be mind-blowingly awesome, for those of you keeping score.) But to do so would be to risk spoiling it for people, and considering how recently it was released, I don’t want to do that quite yet. But note this: just like “The Matrix” was over ten years ago, so is “Inception” now. There’s going to be a lot of talk about the philosophical nature of this film, and it’s all going to be rightfully earned. The morality and depth of the story is simply astounding for an “action film” and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll make you think about the nature of things.
Fuck it, it’s a masterpiece.
Because once the top starts spinning it never stops. Until it does.