Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, With Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao
(G) I think Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors we have working today, but the real draw for this movie is the writing/directing genius of Christopher Nolan. Here he establishes himself as the undisputed scriptwriting champion and my new hero. In INCEPTION, he takes a basic con-man, heist thriller and adds the complex, intellectual layering that was present in his Academy Award winner, MEMENTO (his other great script from a few years ago). That movie was basically a murder mystery, but revealed in reverse from the end to the beginning and written from the perspective of a man with a memory-disorder who cannot recall anything from his recent past. The presentation, therefore fit the storyline.
INCEPTION butts the con-man theme up against another of Carlos Castaneda’s basic concepts (delineated in the classic book, THE ART OF DREAMING) asking,”Is the dream world real? Does it have rules that must be followed and can that world be manipulated?”
There has been a lot of talk about the ending being confusing--there are several new sites dedicated to explaining the ending, for instance--, but once you accept that people can share dreams and that it is possible to go into deeper and deeper levels of consciousness within a dream, then the adjustments in time become just another interesting quirk in the unique perspective that Nolan enjoys bringing to the screen. It’s O.K. to have to think a little when watching a movie, in my opinion. Chris Nolan is asking the audience to think, just a little, just enough to make a run-of-the-mill con-man movie into a brand new entertainment experience.
I have to give this one a full four binoculars because it sets itself up to do something different and then, I believe it delivers.
The friend I viewed this one with, Mark Morris said he enjoyed it, but afterwards felt like he'd eaten too many oysters before bedtime.