Saturday, 24 July 2010


"An idea is like a virus" states DiCaprio and seeing as this hasn't left my mind since I've seen it, he couldn't be more correct.

I'm guessing most people have already heard the incredible feedback this film has received and so might walk into it thinking 'how great can this be?' and the answer is, it is perhaps one of the best films I've ever seen.

This isn't like Empire where they throw top marks at everything that's not complete crap (and sometimes even then they don't hold back), but this is a brave, original, perfectly crafted work of art. Yes it's art. Art can still be a commercial success and at least this isn't up it's own arse.

If you're not familiar with what it's about I can tell you the less you know the better. So I'm not going to reveal too much but let's say it's got a unique blend of different genres - action, heist, spy, sci-fi, thriller, horror, fantasy, drama and even a bit of comedy thrown in every now and then. DiCaprio is a man with a haunted past that is able with his crew to penetrate people's dreams.

That's the basis and I don't want to reveal more of the plot than this as it's a review, not an essay. Though I'm sure a lot of film students will have a field day on this film as it beckons more questions than The Matrix ever did. The symbolism, science and pretty much everything is enough to keep your mind busy for a while and what's great is that - it makes sense.

It doesn't patronise the audience by talking to them like a child, but it explains in simple enough terms all the intricacies of how the science of it all works and it is clearly a topic Nolan had thought to death about. Nothing is spared, every possible loophole filled and leaves the audience satisified (unlike the awful writing of Lost for example).

So let's move on to Nolan. There's no denying the man is a genius, he knows how to make a true film and you can see the passion he puts into his work all over the screen. The directing cannot be bettered and I would go as far as to say he is possibly my favourite contemporary director after this film. Not one of his past movies (not just Dark Knight - but Memento, Insomnia etc.) has ever failed to be nothing short of incredible. His confident, brave and bold projects shows that it really does pay to take a chance and take on something most directors wouldn't dare. The fact that he wrote Inception (I'd imagine he let his brother at least look over it) shows that his personal involvement with these films puts people like Bay and more to shame. Nolan has taught us that even subject matter like a comic book hero doesn't mean it has to be anything less than amazing.

Back to Inception though. It's possibly the first time that I have looked at a film and thought the CG looks entirely real. Completely believable. The fight scenes were enough to beat Heat & The Matrix (which if you remember were pretty much the best bits of the respective films) and the action is relentless. Like all Nolan films, not one scene is filler - every single moment in the film is relevant and even at a lengthy 2 and a half hours, I would have stayed and watched the whole thing again happily. It also shows that to have such an amazing scale, you don't need to be in 3D either and that it probably would have possibly ruined the film should people have been too obsessed with the 3D aspect of it. Thoughts?

Either way, the acting was perfect, I even enjoyed watching Page whom I hated before this film. Tom Hardy once again proves he is Britain's best young hope and even DiCaprio works on his Shutter Island performance to give a depth and gravitas I've never seen him do before. Even the score, cinematography, script and basically everything is incredible, I cannot gush about this enough. Fuck Toy Story 3 - if you've got a choice, choose this.

Saying that, it can't be completely perfect right? Well, that's true. For some reason, the first fifteen minutes felt a bit Johnny Mnemonic to me and I started to get a bit wary of where this was going, although luckily that feeling left quite soon. Also Michael Caine jarred with me slightly as I felt like he was just going to turn around and go "Yes Mr. Wayne" at any point. The fact that they go through so much trouble to plant an idea in someones head also feels ridiculous - surely there are easier ways of manipulation? And wouldn't it take someone just to go 'that's ridiculous, why would you do that?' to counteract it? Unless you truly believe it's like a disease and that you get obsessed with it. I don't know ...

However, these are such slight niggling things that all it will do is detract from your enjoyment of what is a perfect piece of film-making. I don't think anyone could argue that the way the dream layers come together at the end is nothing short of a superb piece of storytelling that could have easily gone wrong at any point. And the final shot? That's enough to drive you mad forever.

I can hardly fault this film and to be honest, I shouldn't, because if more film-makers like Nolan were around this truly would be a wondrous world. I'd just love to have a look at what goes on inside that head of his, but I guess this is the closest I'll ever get.
Maybe ....

Rating: 10/10

1 comment:

  1. I took zero pee breaks watching this film. That's rough because I'm on a diuretic.