Can you pull a brain muscle? I think I just did. Inception is a movie you should go and see with your skullcap sharpened. I, however, was not privy to such a warning. I felt about as sharp as a bowling ball. That being said, the movie is a fascinating examination of the concept of what is real and unreal, what we perceive and what we project, what is solid in our conscious state and how our subconscious can influence it all. This is literally the plot, of an action movie, no less. Add some serious layers of story line and you are hanging on for dear life to your own rational thought processes. It is kind of cool.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief who specializes in entering people’s dreams and stealing their ideas. As one can imagine, this is a tricky and complicated business. Cobb has, of course, made mistakes he is driven to rectify. He gets a chance to do this by being given an opportunity to plant an idea in someone’s head rather than steal one. This turns out to be even more tricky. Alas, no worries. Our pseudo-hero assembles a brilliant team of talent to navigate the treacherous complexities of the human mind in dream state. Will they succeed? The answer to that is perhaps the coolest part of
Now given what I have divulged about the plot, you may think it is all somewhat far-fetched. It absolutely is. However, the performances in this movie are so grounded that you totally find yourself shaking your head in an affirmation of understanding even if you are beyond lost. After all, half of the cast has had an Oscar nomination: DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page. What are you going to do? Not believe them? Even Michael Caine is in it.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception is a fast-paced action thriller that does not allow you to sit back in a passive state of cognitive disengagement (see Hot Tub Time Machine on pay-per-view). Instead, it challenges you to question and process all the nuances of how our minds work and how our dreams can influence us, topped off with lots of shooting and fighting, car chases and explosions. Throw in some longing for lost loves and a few laughs, which Inception manages to do, and you have yourself a pretty great film. Just be ready for the brain acrobatics.