Sunday, July 18, 2010

Infinite Dreamscape

"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference, between the dream world... and the real world?"

I'm going to keep this brief. Inception is the new film from director Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight), starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The less you know about it before you go into the theatre the better. I had very high expectations and, unbelievably, they were fulfilled. Inspired by the slew of 'edge of reality' movies that came out around the end of the last millennium - The Matrix, Dark City, eXistenZ, The Truman Show, The 13th Floor, and, to a certain extent, Nolan's own, Momento. Not a remake, or a sequel, or a comic book adaptation, Inception is the first truely original screenplay of the summer, and all the better because of it.

Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as tortured hero, Dom Cobb, gives the laberythian plot an emotional centre, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is among the best and most interesting actors working in Hollywood today. With Shutter Island, earlier this year, and The Departed and Blood Diamond before it, he is certainly on a very srong run.

I am sure there will be quite a few people that don't get or like this film, and I can understand that. It certainly isn't an easy watch, and if you don't care to engage with its fantastical premise, of course it is easy to sit and sneer... Those people, however, are wrong. The film is layered and dense, but never just for the sake of it, and if you want cinema to have ambition, you've got to be willing to engage your brain.

My hope is that Inception will be a massive hit. My hope is that this is just a beginning, putting pay to the idea that the only films that people want to watch are dumbo action unspectaculars about CGI robots. This is Blockbuster filmmaking as it is supposed to be. Congratulations to Chris Nolan and everybody else involved, their imagination and daring are something to be commended.