Jul 23, 2010

Inception - prepare your breath to be taken away, far away

Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine.

Long story short: ... Okay, this is a bit difficult. So, there's a technology that allows you to enter people's minds and dreams and steal their secrets and ideas. And there's this one guy whose mind these other guys need to enter to plant an idea in there (that's called 'inception') ...and that's pretty much what it's all about. Kind of.

Isn't it just awesome, how something that's been hyped to be awesome actually turns out to be just that? I was so worried that I wouldn't like or understand Inception. And - even though I have to admit I didn't fully, totally, completely understand it - I did like it, a lot. And that's just awesome.

Now - a little praise. I feel like calling Chris Nolan 'a genious'. Seriously, who knew he could top The Dark Knight. He did! Oh man. The cast, then. Somehow they'd managed to cast only actors that I like. Leo - the usual dark and twisty awesomeness, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - oooooooh, hello eye candy (and more!), Marion Cotillard - favourite actress material, Ellen Page - I'm glad you didn't get your first Oscar for Juno, you'll get it for something so much better, Ken Watanabe - Ha! Chairman!, Tom Hardy - a new face for me but liked him immidiately, Cillian Murphy - something very freezing about him, in a good way, and of course Michael Caine - wonderful, awesome, that's all he knows how to be.

... I don't know how to start analysing and disentangling the film. I can say it was the best film I've seen in a good while - but at the same time I'm positive Inception won't become a favourite film of mine, because for me a favourite film means that I can watch it over and over again and every time it's just pure indulgence.  Inception is a brilliant film, so brilliant it's weird to think someone human came up with it, it's very very well made and it seriously is modern film making at its best - 'a triumph of modern cinema', as I mockingly descriped Eclipse a while back.

At the same time it's difficult, complicated, almost tiring, if you're not feeling at your sharpest. Half way through I felt a bit exhausted, because there was so much to take in and no break to catch your breath. It demands you to concentrate constantly and keeps your brain busy, provoking your thoughts. It's... well, like a maze. Which you can't crack just like that. And as brilliant as it is, and as much as I enjoyed it, it wasn't pure indulgence. So - if someone askes me in the end of this year what was the BEST film of 2010, I will probably say Inception. If they ask what was MY FAVOURITE film, I will say something else. Something silly like Toy Story 3 or Kick-Ass or Harry Potter. You know what I mean.

Anyway, at the end I was just glad I'd substantially understood what the film was about, had been able to follow all along and even guessed and predicted a thing or two. I call this a personal triumph, haha.

Dreams and the subconcious are a blurry and mysterious area of science, and thus very fascinating. Somehow in Inception they'd managed to take some things we know - like the feeling of falling that wakes you up - and compose a technology that you know is fiction, but it's made and explained so well it feels plausible and real.

The CGI was excellent, just excellent, and there was obviously a lot of it, but it didn't feel like they were gloating with it - special effects weren't the reason to tell a story (ahem, Avatar, ahem), but a tool to tell it. Also, they didn't shoot it in 3D, which in my book means a million thumbs up! Go, you.

Some random thoughts: I liked how that Edith Piaf song played quite a major role in the film. As you remember, Marion Cotillard won an Oscar for potraying the singer. Hans Zimmer's music is... like Hans Zimmer's music tends to be. I liked the film's humour a lot, it was subtle and clever. There wasn't much of it, but just enough to nicely lighten up the atmosphere when necessary. The ending... Aaaaaaaargh, damn you Nolan, you nasty nasty thing! (=Thank you! You are a genious, there I said it!)

What else... Oh, I don't know. My breath is still a bit taken away, I can't think clearly. The Perfect Film still remains unmade (as it hopefully will forever), but Inception shows it's always worth a try. And I hope they still remember this little film when the awards season kicks in.

"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."

 EDIT // Damn, one just can't spell after midnight.


Anonymous said...

I really, really loved this movie. The action-scene with Gordon-Levitt was purely awesome! I loved everything about it and want to see it again, really soon ;O)

Eeva said...

Agreed about the action scene! That was really something I've never seen before, it was just... wow! And agreed about everything else, too. If we're lucky I'll see it again this weekend :D

Nora of Alusvaatteet Verkkokauppa said...

I agree with you and it is not only the action, the scenario of the movie and how it is done are really good.

Eeva said...

This movie is awesome, and it works on small screen, too, which is not always the case with movies like this.