Inception Keeps Viewers Guessing

By Connie Lay-Ngo

What do you get when you mix The Matrix, Push, and psychology all in one action-packed film? Summer’s hit movie, Inception, a mind-blowing thriller that makes you really think while exciting you with the action-packed scenes. Director and co-writer of the epic film The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, has truly outdone himself with this complex storyline of manipulating dreams, the links between real life and fantasy, and entering the unconscious mind. The brilliant idea of controlling dreams is what attracted this reviewer to such an enticing movie.

The movie revolves around the leading man, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), also known as “The Extractor.” His job: stealing people’s deepest, darkest secrets from their dreams. Cobb and his partner, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who was nicknamed “Point Man,” are offered a job from a powerful businessman, Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe), to plant an idea in the mind of the heir to his rival’s company through a process called “Inception.”

In return, Saito promises Cobb that he will use his power to remove charges preventing him from entering the United States, allowing him to be reunited with his children.  Unfortunately, using dreams to plant an idea is not an easy process, so Cobb seeks the assistance of a young Architect named Ariadne (Ellen Page), to shape the dream world; a Forger named Eames (Tom Hardy), to take on the shape of people the dreamer knows; and a Chemist named Yusuf (Dileep Rao), to induce the dreamer into a deep sleep.

The target, Robert Michael Fischer (Cillian Murphy), inherits the company and flies to Los Angeles to attend his father’s funeral while Cobb and the gang follow him to perform the Inception. To enter a dream, the target, or the Mark, is linked with one or more people who will enter the dream with him. The dreamer and his followers are then put to sleep, and they instantly enter the dreamer’s mind while their bodies are lying unconscious. The unconscious body can still be awakened using a kick, or something that simulates a sudden falling movement. If one is killed in a dream, they awaken back in the real world.

I thought the cast did a fantastic job of portraying their characters. DiCaprio marvelously pulls off the rugged, intelligent character that is Dom Cobb. Page also does a remarkable job at playing the curious “fixer” who tries to learn more about Cobb while helping him cope with the pain of his past.

Another great aspect of the movie is the choice of locations and effects. I applaud Nolan for the amazing zero-gravity effects shown throughout this movie. One particular scene I loved was the fight in the hotel where Arthur creates this world, a hotel, for Fischer to enter. During this scene, his unconscious body in the real world keeps moving. This causes his surroundings in the dream to move and change as well. So during the fight, the rooms are moving 360 degrees and he is able to walk on the walls and ceiling, while fighting a bunch of bad guys.

These amazing effects are also shown when Ariadne first learns how to build the dream world and turns half of the city upside down, folding the entire city into a box. This allowed people and cars to go up the sides of the city and hang upside down without being disturbed by the laws of gravity.

There was only one small issue I found with the movie that may vary depending on the attention span of the viewers. In the movie, I was a bit confused when the events led up to the characters traveling into dreams within a dream. Because there were so many layers of dreams that the characters passed through, it was difficult to keep track of which dream they were in. In order to really understand what’s going on in the movie, you must remember where the characters are going and where they began before their journey.

I could not find a major flaw with this movie. What I liked most about it was how Nolan tied together the aspects of psychology with the fascinating mysteries of dreams. Sci-fi lovers, action cravers, DiCaprio stalkers, and movie goers alike should go see Inception. It was the best five dollars I spent in a long time.