Every once in a while, there is a movie that pulls you in completely and makes you feel a complete part of it. So much a part of it that even when you walk out of the movie, everything seems a little surreal.
And Inception, with its dream concept, is only more so.
Leonardo is fast becoming my favorite actor. And I really mean actor, not pretty face boy. The last time I really remember him was in Titanic, where he was, well, a pretty face. True, his role was meaty and all that but honestly, you saw him as a face and you noticed Kate Winslet more than anything else. And I found him too pretty… and after the fiasco called “The Man In The Iron Mask” I forgot about him.
He did have some good movies after that… Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator and even The Departed. Really different kind of roles. And ones where you appreciated his acting too. But it is Inception and The Shutter Island where Leonardo di Caprio becomes an icon.
I watched both movies in a row… Inception first.
Cobb sticks in your head, like those dreams he enters or the ideas he implants in your brain.
The plot is so simple and complex that it seems like a fairy tale and something that could’ve come out of only Christopher Nolan’s mind. What is the plot? Dream-stealing.
There have been movies about dream-walkers… people who enter your dreams, entities that enter your dreams… the ones who talk to you there and you reveal your darkest fears and secrets. But with Nolan and a little bit of science, he makes it possible for one to create a specific dream for you where you end up revealing all your secrets. The difference between reality and the dream world is so slim. And the dream world is richer… after all, the only limitation there is your imagination.
So there is Cobb, the dream thief. He is the spy of today… with a few wires and some sedatives, he enters your brain and steals whatever it is that he needs. He is brilliant. Except, he needs to get back home and that is possible only if he completes a particular assignment of not stealing a dream but implanting an idea in someone’s head. Now as any thief will tell you, it is hard enough to steal but it is harder to return something because you need to go back in and go back deeper.
Cobb crafts the world… the dream. He needs an architect – Ellen Page (of Juno fame). He needs a gadget man and a forger – someone who can impersonate other people. And of course a drugs guy. They aren’t as sleek as Ocean’s 11 but they are definitely more interesting. Ellen Page is our guide through the movie and to what really drives Cobb.
You see, Cobb, despite all his brilliance, has a tiny problem. Considering all of this occurs in the mind, he has an intruder there whom he cannot keep out and who is intent on sabotaging all his moves. His wife. His dead wife, actually. And she is the key to all his actions and inactions and problems and solutions.
I wouldn’t say more. Because this is a movie that must be watched and in the theatre. You need that big screen to see the visualization of that dream. To see the fights, the tilts and the colours of the dream. And the dream within the dream. And the dream within the dreamy dream.
Leonardo plays it beautifully. Rugged, no more the pretty face though no less attractive, he compels you to follow him through as he faces his demons. The movie has a touch of surreality throughout, like in a dream… or that vague feeling when you wake up from a dream and you wonder if that really happened or if it was just a dream. (Has it ever happened to you?)
I wonder if anyone else would’ve been able to pull it off so beautifully. True, there are geniuses out there in Hollywood… but Martin Scorcese’s style or Guy Ritche elan would not have suited this. It needed a delicate hand… with the choreography of action, which Nolan manages to pull off.
Every time you believe Nolan has reached his best, he comes up with something new and surprises you. There was Memento. Then The Dark Knight. And now Inception. I wonder what else he has in store.
And I sure hope di Caprio is in it!
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