Inception: A dream within a dream within a dream

Very rarely do I find myself at a loss for words at the end of a movie like I was at the end of Inception, a refreshing end to the drab monotony of Hollywood remakes bombarding theaters today.

Watching Inception for me was like moments before eating a banana, each layer of the plot was like peeling one part of the fruit before you finally eat it and enjoy it, a reward similar to the movie’s very last moment when the audience comes back to where the movie began and understands how they arrived.

A psychological suspense always entails an intelligent plot, which comes from a brilliant idea — a simple one that is complicated and improved by the layers added to it. Pretty much, this is the best way to sum up the film.

The movie was based on the idea of modern corporate espionage done by extracting thoughts from business rivals to get the upper hand, a field in which Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Arthur (Jonathan Gordon Levitt) excelled. However, due to some legal trouble, Cobb finds himself unable to return to American soil to be with his children. One of their targets, Japanese tycoon Saito (Ken Watanabe) offers him a deal to take care of his issues with the law in exchange for planting an idea in the mind of his chief business competitor Robert Fisher (Cillian Murphy), the head of a major conglomerate. However, unlike extraction, inception is far more complicated and may influence not only the decision of the target but also his outlook in life. Desperate, Cobb accepts the offer and enlists the help of Ariadne (Ellen page), a brilliant young “architect”, as well as forger Eames and Yusuf, a chemist. Deep into Fisher’s mind, they deal with various obstacles they had not prepared for.

The best thing about Inception is that the director/screenwriter took into consideration the intelligence of the viewers, challenging their abilities to understand a complicated story, but taking care not to lose them along the way. The film made sure that the motivations of the lead characters were well explained, and every plot or subplot was established and settled as the movie progressed. The good thing about Inception was that viewers were sure they were in for a major ride since the basic premise of the environment was surreal. The film met the expectations for the dramatic side as well, with DiCaprio portraying a brilliant but troubled leader to a motley crew of modern day outlaws, whose inability to deal with his personal issues complicate the mission time and again; Cillian Murphy as the insecure son, Jonathan Jordan Levitt as a good friend and competent sidekick who had Leo’s back the whole time. Ken Watanabe also had his moments as the shrewd and cunning businessman, but there were times I had difficulty understanding what he was saying because of his heavy Japanese accent.

From the feel of the movie, it was obvious those who were part of it were committed to presenting a masterpiece. There was no last minute decision to convert to ride the hype, no hanging ending to open up the possibility of a Part 2 — It’s not a piece of trash released for a quick buck, unlike so many other flicks whose main focus is churning out sequels to milk out established franchises (Yes, I’ve got my eye on you, Shyamalan!). The cast was amazing, the direction and the cinematography were awesome. Inception as a psychological suspense, totally delivered on the aborted promise I was expecting from Shutter Island (Sorry, FFC). Inception is a movie that would cater to viewers who like drama, suspense, action and those who get their kicks from unique and intelligent stories. Well done, Christopher Nolan. I am now one of your fans. 🙂