Synopsis: In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset.
Born in London in 1970, Christopher Nolan began making films at the age of seven using his father's super8mm camera and an assortment of male-action figures. He graduated to making films involving real people, and his super 8mm surreal short 'tarantella' was shown on PBS' 'image union' in 1989. Chris studied English Literature at University College London while starting to make 16mm films at the college film society. His short film 'larceny' was shown at the Cambridge Film Festival in 1996, and hisother 16mm shorts include a three- minute surreal film called 'doodlebug'.
Inception is a movie about ideas, quite literally-- stealing them, creating them, their power and their ability to linger. But this is a Christopher Nolan movie, so of course it's about Big Ideas, about reality and heartbreak and choosing how to best live our too-brief lives. The fact that Inception is also fun and emotionaland thrilling, even with all those eggheady concepts wrapped inside it, makes the movie a true marvel. It's not quite perfect, but it's uncommonly ambitious and courageous, which is close enough.
Don't worry too much about spoilers for this film, as the central concepts ofInception are too complicated and frankly ridiculous sounding to be clear from the mouth of anyone but Nolan and hischaracters. At its core Inception is a heist movie, about a team of operatives led by haunted soul Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to venture into peoples' minds and extract the darkest secrets from their subconscious. In this particular mission, which will be Dom's last, the goal is a little different. Japanese business mogul Saito (Ken Watanabe) has assigned them to the perilous task of Inception,planting an idea so deep in the subconscious of rival CEO Fischer (Cillian Murphy) that he believes he thought of it himself.
Like any good thief, Dom must assemble a team, and he sticks with the best-- his young stuffed shirt second-in-command Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), budding architectural prodigy Ariadne (Ellen Page), slippery thief Eames (Tom Hardy), chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao) and Saitohimself, who tags along despite Eames's condescending "There's no room for tourists on these jobs." Dom and his team don't just enter Fischer's dream, they define it, guiding him toward his darkest secrets and so far through several layers of consciousness that the risks are compounded even further than usual. It's a tough job under the best of circumstances, but when immersed in dreams-- his own orsomeone else's-- Dom is haunted by a particularly persuasive projection of his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), who shows up to ruin his missions for reasons Dom isn't willing to explain.
The layers of the heist fall in place like the familiar Nolan clockwork, so that the images that seem so foreign in the trailers-- zero-gravity fights in hallways, stony cliffs collapsing into oceans-- make perfectsense within the airtight dream logic of the movie. It's not just that Inception whips between beautiful foreign locations and tweaked dream realities, but that each of those created worlds seem fully realized to the tiniest surreal detail; Nolan uses his penchant for polished, elegant visuals to create dream worlds that are unsettling in their perfectness. The warm ochre lights in a dining room,the glistening fruit at a market in Paris-- all are beautiful, all are fake, and all represent our subconscious as it reveals our deepest secrets.
Nolan's screenplay, which he worked on for nearly a decade, keeps the audience on a leash that is expertly loosened and tightened throughout, allowing us sometimes to predict what's coming and other times ramping up the suspense so that we can't...