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Movie Review: Inception
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Inception – **1/2
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine
Release date: July 16, 2010

A thief of dreams is one who drowns out the purities of cinema, cashing in on the big budget extravaganzas and deterring from the simplicity of storytelling in favor of an extremely intellectual web of narrative that proves to be in the long run too tedious, too sophisticated, and too savvy for its own good. Ideas are extrapolated from the likes of Freud and Jung, then are mixed with cinematic concepts spanning from 2001: A Space Odyssey, to BladeRunner and to The Matrix. All of this and more occurs in Inception, a refreshing film that seems to have forgotten how a great cinematic tale can be told with such simplicity.

What is meant to confound the mind in a stimulating and energetic manner turns into a rather laborious process that gives us a contemptuous attitude towards a film that dares the impossible: it perceives colossal dreams and attempts to make them possible (key word there being “˜attempt’). An exuberant imagination, even an overwhelming fury of inventive images, is displayed before us with hopes of redefining not only the sci-fi genre, but the entire panorama of cinema. The elaborate logistical demands of director and screenwriter Christopher Nolan‘s film is a cause for celebration only because he is audacious enough to go dream them up and apply them to his film. He conjures up an inconceivable idea that obliterates the familiar landmarks of cinema and troubles the mind profoundly, but in a way that is detrimental to his film.

Imperturbable in his conception of such a fantastic idea, maybe the most ambitious since Mulholland Drive in 2001 but nowhere near that film’s extraordinary ability to exhilarate the mind via dreams, Nolan allows his new film Inception to methodically drift away from his audience instead of sweeping them up in a reverie. There is no denying the film’s inscrutable enormity that is both overwhelmingly formidable and incongruous. The immensity of his outspread vision reveals unsuspected depths which prove to be altogether unscalable.

Attempting a coherent structuring of the film’s narrative is near implausible because even Nolan can’t logically piece together the pieces that would prove to be enlightening and beneficial to viewers. On the mind of Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a multitude of things, mostly domestic issues regarding his wife (Marion Cotillard) and two children, but even above that is his job as a dream thief. Dom has the ability to examine one’s dreams when they are asleep and medicated. He enters into their subconscious to hijack top secret information. His craft is impeccable and can even be dangerous.

Dom is a lost soul who relies on his own pursuit towards illusions to obtain gratification because his reality is a depressing one. DiCaprio portrays Dom as an individual tormented by what is eating at his soul. He locks any indications of his past away and wants to live in the moment. While not facing it thoroughly it becomes more contaminated by fear and cowardice. Sound like familiar Nolan characters? Bale’s Batman? Pacino’s insomniac and guilt-ridden cop? Or how about Guy Pearce’s Leonard in Memento, a character completely out of it that he only lives for the moment only.

Currently Dom and his assistant Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are trying to swipe confidential files from the subconscious state of Saito (Ken Watanabe), a very rich man who will soon join Dom’s team in trying to introduce a radically new concept called “˜inception.’ This concept presents to an individual in their subconscious state an idea that is not their own. By implementing a new idea into a rival’s mind, in this case Saito’s rival billionaire, Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy), Dom’s team can capture the necessary information they need and control what information comes in and out of Fischer’s dreams. When Dom’s mentor, also his father-in-law, Miles (Michael Caine) introduces to him a gifted young student (Ellen Page) who specializes in creating the architecture of an individual’s dream, the planning of “˜inception’ seems to be apparent.

Aesthetically Inception is beautiful. Before being called a visionary, Nolan obtains strongly the title of an astute and well respected aesthete. His creation of a multi-layered dream world is breathtakingly immense, even usurping the immensity of The Dark Knight. The architecture of a particular dream world is bristling with fascinating detail that, in a cinematic way, proves to be indispensable. When we see Parisian buildings being folded on top of each other, trains traveling recklessly through congested streets, and men fist fighting in a hotel corridor where gravity is obsolete one realizes these miraculous violations of natural law and we dare not question them because we are embedded within a world of no limitations; a world of dreams. It is not impossible for us to revel in this surreal atmosphere. What attests to be impossible for us is to engage proficiently into the disjointed narrative. Maybe it is better for Mr. Nolan to keep his dreams to himself.

14 Comments »

  1. INCEPTION MOVIE HERALDS “528” CODE FOR MUSICAL TRANSCENDENCE

    Wake up or die in the nightmares of corporate espionage, greed, corruption, and armed anger. INCEPTION writer and director, Christopher Nolan, heralds “528” as the “code” through which social transformation, involving music, is achieved.

    The new Hollywood blockbuster has moviegoers nationwide curious about the source of a mysterious code used in the plot involving music played in “Room 528,” and linked to a forgotten “528” memory.

    INCEPTION, another word for creation, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, shown in promotions entering Room 528 to defend against corporate thugs.

    Recalling the “key” to Room 528 is crucial to the movie’s plot, wherein Cobb (DiCaprio), an expert in the art of mind manipulation, extracts secrets from people’s subconscious to serve the “treacherous new world of corporate espionage.”

    The movie repeats the number “528,” a mathematical frequency, in a key phone number, on a napkin, two vault combinations, and the room wherein much of the action occurs during the film’s climax. Here, special music must be played at a precise time to “extract” the operatives from their anguish and nightmarish pseudo-realities.

    Cobb’s psychological operation in Room 528 reconnects the heir to the world’s most powerful energy cartel, Robert Fisher (played by Cillian Murphy), to his father’s memory. Fisher senior, atheistically representing the corporate alternative to God, is locked in a vault requiring the 528 code to open. Another “528-491” combination unlocks the final safe containing the greatest secret, treasure, motivation, and catharsis for the main characters that have all been struggling with the loss of LOVE.

    The idea of linking music for social transcendence with “528” and LOVE in INCEPTION appears to have come from Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz, the discoverer of the “Perfect Circle of Sound,” and a frequent contributor to Hollywood’s screenwriters. The author of 16 books has written extensively on the subject of 528 as it relates to universal construction, healing, Spiritual Renaissance, creationism, and what Nolan terms “inception.”

    “I am honored that Christopher Nolan, reputed to be a ‘dark filmmaker,’ thinks so highly of 528Hz music that he chose to promote the frequency in, around, and through “Room 528″ at the height of the drama,” Dr. Horowitz said.

    528 engages the “music of the light,” versus the “music of the night.” The musical mathematical knowledge about 528, and its spiritual implications, is urgently needed to deal with the planet’s corporate criminals.

    Nolan wrote, “An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.” Horowitz’s idea that 528 plays the sound of LOVE, has been rewriting all the rules since 1998 with his writing of Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse. (Tetrahedron Press; 1-888-508-4787) From co-author Dr. Joseph Puleo, a Bible code scholar and naturopath, Horowitz learned that 528Hz frequency is the “MI” note (that stands for “MIracles”) in the original Solfeggio musical scale.

    Thereafter, leading physicists and mathematicians published proofs that “528/LOVE” is fundamental to universal construction, Pi, Phi, the Fibonacci series, sacred geometry, the circle, square, the hexagonal ring of organic chemistry, and the world of biology. Grass, in fact, grows green because of 528Hz–the color of chlorophyll. And the real da Vinci code, according to Horowitz, has everything to do with these discoveries.

    LOVE is what drives Nolan’s leading character Cobb, leading lady Mol (Marion Cotillard), and leading victim Fisher, to access their memories in order to reconcile their relationships to reconstruct their lives.

    Many people do not understand Nolan’s film for its deeper social and metaphysical meanings. Dr. Horowitz attributes a lot of this confusion to the lost memory of 528Hz frequency, believed to be central to spiritual identity and human creativity.

    Nolan’s film plays on these themes, juxtaposing violence and cataclysm with the dream of “extracting” ourselves from the corporate controlled world of mind control and general madness. The objective is to “get back home.”

    Comment by Joan-the-Baptist — July 17, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

  2. Stop using words whose definitions you do not understand. No wonder you did not like this movie; it was clearly over your head.

    Comment by K Mc — July 18, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  3. I am seeing it today, I read the prequel comic online, it seems pretty cool and I am stoked to see it. K Mc, love the comment. ;)

    Comment by Trikira NEH — July 18, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  4. I have to disagree with this review completely. Saw it yesterday with my wife and we absolutely loved it.

    Comment by Mike MadAgent — July 18, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  5. I found assaulting your audience with unrelenting polysyllabic words is a good way to distract from the core of your review of which I will simplify into a TLDR for their benefit. “Movie Inception make brain hurt and I don’t get it, me make big words so you no think me is dumb for opening mouth in first place.”

    Comment by Hangmansjoke — July 18, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  6. I can’t wait to see it again.
    It’s a beautiful film.
    Appreciate the difference of opinion, but this film is so powerful to me.

    Comment by Jerry — July 18, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  7. I think I disagree with this review, but I’m not sure.

    Comment by Hillbilly_Zombie — July 18, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  8. Saw it yesterday and it was fantastic. I dont know what this guy is talking about. I will probably go see it again before it leaves the theater.

    Comment by JV — July 19, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  9. All that to basically say, “They should’ve dumbed it down”? Do us all a favor: Stop writing movie reviews. Your opinions aren’t worth anyone’s time. Go see Marmaduke or something. Might be more up your alley.

    Comment by The Doctor — July 21, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  10. Geez louise, don’t let a college freshman with a thesaurus fetish write your reviews anymore, Geeks of Doom. This movie was awesome, beautiful, and well-acted: entirely worth the price of a ticket in.

    Comment by Miss Anony — July 22, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  11. This was such an amazing movie. I think this reviewer should view it a few more times…
    There were so many intricacies here that you really just need to sit down and think about.
    Beautiful film.
    Yay Nolan!

    Comment by Karrie — July 23, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  12. Dreams don’t necessarily make total sense and neither does the movie but that’s the freedom it has and it was an incredible and unforgettable journey. Your review was way too harsh!

    Comment by John — July 26, 2010 @ 6:14 am

  13. I completely disagree with this review. I saw the movie yesterday, and found it absolutely stunning. The way it all comes together in the end, along with the final visual with which it leaves you, is positively breathtaking. On top of that, the acting is superb from start to finish, which is refreshing.

    Comment by Abby — July 26, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  14. I enjoyed the film, but agree with the review.

    Also, despite many amazing and beautiful scenes, quite a few of the dreams (especially later in the film) seem to lack creativity. All gunplay and explosives? Seems like something more amazing than that could happen, given the potentially limitless boundaries.

    Comment by Zardo — July 26, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

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