Friday, July 30, 2010

Inception, or: Is This Post Even Real?

Last night, I did something I love to do but haven't done in a while: I went to the cinema. (And yes, it still tickles my fancy that they call it the "cinema" here. Also, the whole assigned seating thing. But I digress.) A group of us went to see Inception, the latest from the fantastic Christopher Nolan (director of two of my favorites, Memento and The Dark Knight). I have never been happier about forking over 85DKK.

First of all, I didn't know much about the film going into it, and was apprehensive for a couple of reasons. Aside from a third grade phase of Titanic-related adoration--a movie I still have not seen--I am not one of those people who Loves Leo. I "nothing" Leo; though at one point I recall my brother and I dubbing him (somewhat unfairly) Leonardo DiCraprio. Also, since Denmark is a bit slow with movie release dates, the film has been out in most other parts of the planet for a couple of weeks now. (As my brother pointed out: "What is with that country? When is the movie coming out there, three years from now? And you guys have weird plumbing.") So although I knew nothing about the actual film, not having a television and only viewing the trailer once online, I had read enough on American friends' Facebook profiles and seen enough foreign headlines to know that this movie was "AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! OMG INCEPTION!!!!!111!!!" Such hype often leads to massive disappointment, and so I made a conscious effort to go into this movie with no expectations. And I walked out in tears.

Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is our hero, an "extractor" paid to invade the dreams of various industry titans and steal their top-secret ideas. Dom is a pro at navigating other people's sleepland fantasies, but he's got a lady problem in the form of Mal, his late wife who bears a shocking resemblance to Marion Cotillard. She's "cray-cray" and has the problematic tendency of getting all up in Dom's subconscious and totally screwing with his missions. She seems to really enjoy gunplay.

Mal lives up to her negative-prefix of a moniker during a dream-raid on wealthy businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe). But it's sort of ok because he is in fact auditioning Dom for a much riskier job, the target of which is Saito's future rival, billionaire heir Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy). The goal of this dangerous mission is not to steal an idea but to plant one (the "inception" of the title; love when that movie moment occurs) that will lead to the dissolution of Fischer's empire.

Dom takes on this job, because--as the best protagonists are--he is a little cuckoo for Coco Puffs, and has unresolved family issues. He assembles the classic Dream Team, starting with an architect, Ariadne (the fabulous Ellen Page). Dom teaches her how to mentally build every street, every building, every physical detail in the dreamer's world (necessary if the dreamer is to be deceived). There's also Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, still freaking adorable) as Dom's organizer; Eames (Tom Hardy) as a cheeky "forger" who can shapeshift--how cool is THAT?!; and Yusuf (Dileep Rao), who supplies the powerful drug that pulls the whole motley crew into a beautiful stupor.

As you watch, the strange beautiful world of dreaming and the rules by which it operates grow clearer: There are consequences to dying in a dream. Dream time vs. real time--you have way more time in your subconscious life. There are serious risks of layering dreams within dreams (hello, turning into a human vegetable!). And once our heroes dive head-first into this labryinth of an other world (via Cillian Murphy's subconscious), this movie--like a dream within a dream--becomes cloaked in wonderful, almost-incomprehensible layers of complexity as Dom and his merry band of crazies navigate the chambers and antechambers of a young billionaire's mind. So, just another day at the office.

I can't go into much more detail, both because I don't want to give anything away and because I can't adequately describe what I saw myself. I do know that for two and a half hours, I didn't move, except to put my hand over my mouth or cover my face or cry. I rarely enjoy a film so thoroughly as I did last night, and I do know I will see this movie again in the theatre, because I have to. It's more than worth the money, so I urge you: go see it asap, but save the beer for after the flick, full concentration is a must. And to Leonardo DiCaprio, I say: I am so sorry I ever called you Leonardo DiCraprio. You are the opposite of crappy. So undskyld, og tusind tak for en underlig, dejlig aften.

1 comment:

Rebecca King said...

YESSSSS. It totally rocked. I knew you would enjoy it! P.S. When its time for retirement and career change, you may want to think about writing movie reviews.