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Old August 4 2010, 07:32 AM   #458
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Hmm. Well, I don't know if I give every Nolan film a pass. To be completely honest with you, it took me some time to warm up to The Dark Knight, probably because it didn't have the emphasis on Bruce Wayne/Batman that I was expecting after Batman Begins. I love The Dark Knight, but after Wayne was the center of the story in Batman Begins it was somewhat disappointing to see him take a lesser role since The Dark Knight was much more of an ensemble film about The Joker, Harvey Dent, and Gotham City, and Batman only really played a part. However, after some introspection, I have come to realize that Batman did play a pivotal role, he just wasn't the emotional center of the film like I was hoping.
Something was lost when the film shifted gears (yes, I do consider Batman Begins and TDK to be one film split in two) from Wayne to the villains. You can see this in TDK in the reduction of the talk about how Batman is supposed to make villains afraid. Note that there is not a single "bat" in the film (it's the first of all six modern Batman films to not have one). However, the canvas of the story needed to expand. A few key lines of TDK connected it Batman Begins rather eloquently, particularly Wayne's somewhat misinformed opinion ("criminals aren't complicated, Alfred..." that's a great reference to the first film, doing exactly what a well done sequel should do when bringing up the original film).

As far Inception, I really liked Nolan's directing, and the broad canvass he paints on. He did such a good job. However, the plot with Cobb's wife was very odd. Some critics call it a subplot, but to examine the film it almost has to be the main plot, because it could be argued that this story is what the film is about. I don't know if that was intentional or not. In any case, I was puzzled by how detached I was. The performer who played Cobb's wife seemed to be taken out of a typical romance or a soap opera and somehow the emotion I was supposed to feel wasn't there, at least for me. In any case, this "emotional story" was not the most powerful thing in the film for me. Far more powerful was the notion that 1) ideas are like parasites, 2) the simpler ideas are what would work the best for inception (the best part of the plot about Cobb's wife was the idea that he had instilled into her- that concept was more interesting than the actual performance of this subplot/love story) 3) Fishr trying to reconcile with his father. Yes, I was far more entranced by this than the story of Cobb's wife. That's just me.

I can't be certain if Inception had too many rules or too few, but, as rigidly structured as it is, it seems to play fast and loose in its own universe. I wondered about the dreamboxes. Is this common equipment, or if not, how did Cobb procure the boxes? Why do they tap into a person's wrist and not their head/brain? Why is it that the projections of these boxes work as if they are real boxes?

Anyway, more to come...
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