(The Borgified Corpse
continued. Damn these public library computers and their sessions timing out!)
So what's going on in Inception
aren't really dreams as I understand them but rather shared telepathic experiences in fixed landscapes created by the architect. This is why they work best if they are as realistic as possible to avoid tipping off the mark that it's not real. This is why other people are able to walk around in these dreams as if it is reliable 3-dimensional space. (I don't know about you folks, but in my dreams, if I walk around the corner, there's no guarantee that I'll be able to retrace my steps. When I try, there will often be something totally different around that corner the next time.)
While I enjoyed the movie for the emotional issues and the questions it raises, I think that what we ultimately get here is less like dreams and more like The Matrix.
Rather than dangerous, surreal fantasy worlds cobbled together from hundreds of different experiences, the movie provides us with an illusion that's nearly indistinguishable from reality except for the ability to sometimes bend and/or break the laws of physics.
And I don't know about anyone else, but there were more guns in this one movie than there have been total in all the dreams I've ever had in my entire life. I understand the fictitious reason why they're in the movie, but it's things like that that make the movie feel much more like a standard thriller heist movie rather than something more unique & dreamlike. (Although, I suppose this is the sort of compromise that Nolan would have had to make to get the movie made at all.)
And why does everyone seem to age in real time in these dreams?
I wonder how I would have reacted to the Mal plotline if I hadn't seen Shutter Island.
After the emotional wringer of that movie, I can't say I was particularly interested in wading through more of DiCaprio's dead wife issues.
I thought DiCaprio was passable but, as is the case in a lot of his movies, he's often the least interesting thing in them. Marion Cotillard was hot but dull. Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Ellen Page were much livlier & entertaining. They should have been the stars of the movie instead. Tom Hardy was fun to see, mostly because of my pointless nerd giggle every time I recognized a Shinzon mannerism surfacing in his performance.