The definition of inception is: (in science fiction) the act of instilling an idea into someone’s mind by entering his or her dreams.
Inception is a very complex, and at some times very confusing film. The story can either be told in a few sentences, or not told at all. The movie is all about process, about fighting our way through what is dream and what is reality.
I felt very adrift in time and experience during this film – we can never even be quite sure what the relationship between dream time and real time is. Nolan explains that you can never remember the beginning of a dream, and that dreams that seem to cover hours may only last a short time.
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a corporate raider of the highest order. He infiltrates the minds of other men to steal their ideas. He is hired by a powerful billionaire to do the opposite – to introduce an idea into a rival’s mind, and do it so well that he believes it is his own. The rich man, makes him an offer he can’t refuse, an offer that would end Cobb’s forced exile from home and family.
Cobb assembles a team; Arthur (his longtime associate), Eames (a master at deception), Yusuf (a master chemist), and Ariadne (a young architect who is a prodigy at creating spaces). Cobb also goes to touch base with his father-in-law, who knows what he does and how he does it.
Cobb’s assignment is the “inception” of a new idea in the mind of another young billionaire, who is heir to his father’s empire. Saito wants him to initiate ideas that will lead to the surrender of his rival’s corporation. Cobb needs Ariadne
to create a deceptive maze-space in Fischer’s dreams so that new thoughts can slip in unperceived.
Cobb tutors Ariadne on the world of dream infiltration, the art of controlling dreams and navigating them. Nolan uses this as a device for tutoring us as well. And also as the occasion for some of the movie’s astonishing special effects, the most impressive to me takes place in Paris, where the city literally rolls back on itself like a roll of linoleum tile. Protecting Fischer are a number of gun-wielding bodyguards, who may be working like the mental equivalent of antibodies; they seem alternatively real and figurative, but whichever they are, they lead to many gunfights, chase scenes and explosions.
Nolan helps us with an emotional thread. The reason Cobb is motivated to risk the dangers of inception is because of grief and guilt involving his wife Mal, and their two children. Whether we are seeing Cobb’s memories or his dreams is difficult to say, even, literally, in the last shot.
A lot of movies in nowadays often seem be a remake or sequel, “Inception” does a different and much more difficult thing. It is very new and very original, and definitely unthought of. I still believe the film is a very complex story to follow, but that is what kept me hooked throughout, and keeps you guessing…
Web references: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/inception-2010