Old Movie Review: Inception

This is an amazing film. There, I said it. It’s certainly not flawless (no film is), but it’s closer than most films I’ve seen in recent memory. It engages the mind and senses, and the emotions – at least it engaged mine. After I watched it, I read some reviews, and I felt myself disagreeing with a lot of them.

Most people know the plot to Inception even if they haven’t seen it: a dream within a dream within a dream, all so a group of dream-spelunkers can implant an idea that might lead to the dismantling of a large corporation. Let’s be glad Google can’t do this (yet?).

What I found myself reading from reviewers is that, while beautiful and technically masterful, the movie lacks emotional appeal. All the characters are simply there to explain something, or to stand in for the audience.

I disagree. I found Dicaprio’s character, Cobb, to be a complicated character. You could see him as selfish for going on missions even though he knows his subconscious could be a danger to the others. You could characterize him as a lost romantic, still mourning his wife. You could say he is a loving father who will do anything to get back to his children. Or perhaps you just think he’s an asshole for ever agreeing to enter people’s dreams for money at all. All of these characterizations are true, and I don’t think that’s a flat character.

If you don’t find Cobb to be engaging, so what? For me, it wasn’t the characters who impacted me the most, but the film itself. Isn’t awe an emotion? Isn’t admiration, surprise, excitement? I felt all those things and more while watching Inception, and I wasn’t lamenting the fact that we didn’t hear more about the motivation and back story to the “forger” or “architect”.

Inception gives us more depth than a blockbuster has in years, but of a special kind. It’s not a character study, it’s not a personal drama, but it’s deep all the same. I’m not talking about the endless debates you can have about the nature of self and dreams, but the simple enjoyment you get from watching this movie. It’s wonderful, in the true sense of the word, with just enough drama thrown in.

Dice roll: 6

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About filmroller

I'm primarily a history student, but my love of movies made me write my master thesis on historical films. This meant I read more film theory books than history, so I decided I wanted to keep writing about movies in my spare time.
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