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Old February 7 2011, 09:45 PM   #38
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Inception - on DVD/ BR now

Finally got around to seeing this. A very impressive film from a storytelling and visual effects standpoint. The score is also excellent. You'd have to chalk me up into the same camp that says it's a very straightforward movie, though. I went into this having virtually no spoilers, purposely avoiding them because I got the impression it would ruin the movie if I went into it knowing very much.

The mechanics of building and infiltrating dreams was all explained well enough that even the dimmest viewer could grasp it. I felt like the whole affair was a little too straightforward, and not nearly as much of a mindfuck as the buzz led me to believe. I guess people's standards are just really low for this sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching it and it's an exceedingly well-crafted film, but a lot of the alleged complexity appears to consist of people reading things into it that aren't really there.

One of the things it did do well was get me invested in the dream sequences, even down into the dreams-within-dreams. That's one of the neat tricks Nolan managed to pull: the vast majority of the movie takes place inside dreams, so there are not any "real" consequences to what's happening. Nobody can really "die" in there, for instance. And yet you get caught up enough in it that it is real, or at least as real as the "real life" segments of the film. I didn't wind up feeling as though the dream sequences were less important, which is a very real risk with a movie of this type. Let's face it, the "dream within a dream" shtick has been done to death, and I thought this was a pretty fresh take on it.

The last-second ambiguity as to the reality of Cobb's homecoming was a little eye-rolling to me, as it was so obvious a card to play. A small sin I can forgive in an otherwise good movie.

I enjoy movies that question reality, especially appreciating the irony that movies are false realities in themselves. In some ways, Inception is subversive of the conventions it employs, but its narrative was surprisingly straightforward and accessible given the subject matter. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, I guess I just don't see all the depth and complexity others do.
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