While Inception was the most anticipated blockbuster of the season, does it live up to its hype?
Christopher Nolan’s new movie is a spectacular journey into the realm of dreams and the imaginary, massively aided by colossal digital effects, architectural wonders and dizzying episodes of floating subconscious humans.
Set in a world in which technology exists to manipulate dreams, this film revolves around Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional ‘dream extractor’ who is on a mission for his ‘client’ Saito (Ken Watanabe) to implant an idea through dreams (defined as inception) into the mind of Robert Fisher (Cillian Murphy). He is helped by partners Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and dream architect, Ariadne (Ellen Page). However, Cobb is faced by many obstacles along the way including the constant haunting of his deceased wife Mal (Marion Cotillard).
The plot thickens as the dream enters new levels and new challenges emerge at each. You would think a film about extracting an idea through someone else’s dream is complex enough. But would you think about a three-layered dream, essentially a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream? Well, Nolan did. In true original fashion.
Due to the multi-layered complexities involved in this film, you find yourself thinking about the ingenuity of Nolan at the end of it. But it stops there. The lack of character development and overemphasis on cognitive abilities overpower the film, sometimes making it a dose too heavy to swallow.
Despite outstanding performances by the actors, particularly from DiCaprio and Watanabe, the emotional connection between this team of dream extractors is really lacking. Unfortunately, you don’t find yourself rooting for them as much as you would have hoped to.
But then again, with a film so heavily dependent on its technical brilliance, gripping storytelling and aesthetic feasts, who needs emotion?
Nolan’s power to draw his viewers into a world so technically mystifying is vital to the success of this film. Just as with his past thriller [i]Memento[i], Nolan demonstrates his knack for playing with time, brilliantly at that.
With moving Parisian buildings and suspended men in suits, this film is as visually striking as a pop-up book, but far more intricate.
And definitely not for children.
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