I first saw “Inception” about three weeks after it came out, in July. I saw it again recently, in early September. The first time was at an almost-too-close-to-the-screen seat in an IMAX theater in Canada, the second time in a regular-sized theater in Hong Kong. Personally, it helped seeing the film twice, not because I didn’t understand the plot, but because there was a bit of a gap between the viewings, it allowed me to absorb the story after first time and just purely enjoy Christopher Nolan’s masterful film making the second time around.
Contrary to my own title for this blog post. I’m not exactly reviewing the film here. My intention is to talk about it; what it has done to me personally / what insights I have gathered, and the like.
I can sum up what I think of the film in a few sentences:
I think that writer/director Christopher Nolan’s intention was to make an all-time sci-fi classic. What he ended up with, though, is a brilliantly-made, fantastic action thriller, but not really a greatest-film-of-all-time. The film really is not that hard to understand, if you pay attention during the first 45 minutes or so, where the explaining takes place. And while the topic of the film concerns dreams, the characters never really indulged in discussing the nature of dreams. What we had instead were awesome set-pieces for mind-blowing action sequences, which is fine by me.
Here’s the thing: I’ve always been slightly annoyed when people say that certain movies only create certain worlds / go to exotic places so that they can film interesting action scenes, and does nothing to help the plot. While this is true in many cases, the argument as a whole doesn’t really make sense because all movies, good or bad, do this. It’s a matter of how seamlessly they blend it so that the audience doesn’t feel this way. In the case of “Inception”, Nolan’s dream world provided him opportunities to get really creative with the action sequences (zero gravity, flipping Paris over, etc.), but because he has captured the audience with this world, no one complains.
Interestingly enough, “Inception” has somewhat functioned as a litmus test for me. I’m not one for judging people (not in the open, anyway. But hey, everyone judges, it’s what people do. But that’s another debate…), but you can really get a sense of how well-rounded , how bright, or culturally connected (well-read, etc), a person is by discussing “Inception” with them. First of all, there will always be those who came out of the theater going “I have no idea what that movie is about”. While some regular movie-goers or educated people might fall into this category, you can probably safely assume that the people confused by “Inception” aren’t the brightest of the bunch, because the movie, as I mentioned earlier, is not that hard to understand.
Also, as I watched the film the second time, I realized that Tom Hardy, who played the role of Eames, the Forger, would be a really good fit to play James Bond once Daniel Craig is done. He is sharp, charming, sexy, and has the flare that we associate with previous James Bonds. Sure enough, there already is a facebook page dedicated to making Tom Hardy the next Bond.
It’s a great movie, one of my favorites of all time. It’s probably not one of the greatest movies of all time, but hey, in today’s world of mediocrity, I’ll take more movies of “Inception” caliber anytime.