Leave it to Christopher Nolan to create a world that is as thought-provoking as they come. After delivering tantalizing moments in 2000’s Memento, reviving the Batman franchise in 2005 with Batman Begins, taking viewers on a spellbinding ride in 2006’s The Prestige and making a name for himself with audiences worldwide with The Dark Knight, Nolan has ultimately carved out a niche and taken it to new heights in Inception.
Opening up with vagueness and jarring scenes of confusion, Inception doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for explanation, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Viewers are thrust into the science fiction world where messing with another’s dream is entirely possible and are never allowed to look back to see the journey they have traveled until the bittersweet end. Always moving forward and attempting to captivate audiences with surreal imagery, Inception is art in its greatest form with a few hidden errors that go unnoticeable until reflection.
Nolan will never be questioned for his eagerness to overwhelm audiences with an intelligent narrative that goes above and beyond standard conventions. Whether it’s manipulating the audience to think what they see on the screen may ultimately be a figment of their imagination or breathtaking scenes where the world is literally flipped upside down, Nolan has grown into a bonafide director that knows his way around the craft to the point that walking away from his film unimpressed may be near impossible, so long as you are ready for a one-of-a-kind experience that never stops giving.
The issue with this experience is that the viewer may end up being given too much, even with the open-ended conclusion to the story that is meant to let the viewers decide for themselves. As the film delves deeper into the subconscious and dreams of its characters, the viewer has to play catch-up more often than not to fully understand the circumstances. If they aren’t able to keep up with the fast-paced structure of extraordinary plot device that has the characters exploring dreams within dreams and entering a state of limbo, then they’ll be left behind without a clue on what is truly proceeding – which, given Nolan’s history, may be what the film intends on accomplishing.
Outside of the crazily enjoyable plot, Inception is riddled with fantastic complimentary characters that serve their purpose of expanding Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead. Marion Cotillard serves up spine-chilling glares and frightening moments of provocation that has the audience on their toes waiting for what she is bound to do next. Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes plays is straight and, in the end, partakes in what are unmistakably are Nolan’s best action scenes to date. Working with scenes that are understood to have no gravity, Nolan produces wonderful choreography alongside beautiful shots that tell the story like none other. In addition, Tom Hardy’s Eames often is capable of stealing the show with this subtle humor and riveting action scenes that give a whole new meaning to espionage. If there’s one thing that holds Inception together, it’s the superb casting that exceeds expectations and does so with stunning looks.
If the viewer walks away from Inception with questions in mind, then Nolan distinctly was able to accomplish his task at hand: Give audiences a tale that is worth talking about. Each and every set piece is unique in its own right, so there’s never a moment where astonishment isn’t close behind. Sure, there were a few CG buildings and effects that could’ve been touched up, but without a magnifying glass and a stopwatch, viewers will never know the exact instances where these hiccups occur.
Inception is the evolution of Christopher Nolan; an evolution that every director should crave to achieve in their lifetime. If a Salvador Dali painting was to ever come to life in the format of a film, it would be Nolan’s wild imagination that runs rampant throughout Inception. Although, be prepared for a few groans and laughs when the credits begin to roll – open-ended conclusions have a love-hate relationship with movie-goers nowadays.