SGNEWWAVE Presents – Inception (2010)

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”

Every time someone I knew mentioned Inception, I never once had the slightest urge to see it, one excuse being the movie’s runtime. However, when I finally got around to see Inception, I came to realize that the 2h 28min just breezed past. It’s almost as if I was in a dream.

The film tells the story about a man named Cobb. Cobb has an expertise in the field of extraction, mainly the extraction of information from the minds of others, penetrating their dreams and taking valuable information from them. This goes on normally until he faces an unexpected request from Saito, a man he used to extract. Instead of extracting information, he has to plant them.

The film boasts a brilliant ensemble cast with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt and so much more. I absolutely love the fact that throughout the film, the focus of the story shifts, we are put in the perspective of the different characters, we experience the full arc of their respective stories, but yet despite the intertwining stories, the film seems complete.

This film is about catharsis. Cobb, Saito and Fischer are all characters seeking some form of catharsis. They want to let go of what they have been hanging on for so long. Deep down, they want to, but are unable to realize that sometimes it’s better to let go than to hold on. Cobb has never been able to escape his world of guilt brought upon by the death of his wife and has been visiting that “limbo” he created through inception, a world where he could spend some 50 years with his wife Mal, a life he lost because of his actions. With this in mind, the phrase “Come back and we’ll be young men together again” uttered with both Saito and Cobb suddenly has great impact.

The film also has exceptional usage of mis-en-scene. A particularly interesting visual motif would be the spinning top, Cobb’s totem. He spins the top as a way to separate dreams from reality. The use of the totem aids the narrative in representing Cobb’s state of mind. Even though has done this job for a very long time, he is still questioning the nature of his reality, the world of dreams is a place he is unable to let go of, because deep down, there’s still a part of him that is wishes to stay. In the final scene of the film, the top seems to spin infinitely, implying that even though Cobb is back with his children, he is still dreaming. The top seemed to have wobbled to a stop but the film cuts to black before it does. This keeps us in suspense – is Cobb still dreaming? Is he still living in the world where his wife is alive and fulfilling the promise of them growing old together? Or has he finally found peace in reality?

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone looking for a visually stunning and thought provoking film. It raises many questions, could we, at this exact point in time, actually be dreaming? Is an idea that we thought up of, truly original? Is there something you refuse to let go of in your life? Inception raises and explores these questions in great detail, held together with an entertaining yet complex story.

Trivia:

– Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb is also the name of the main character in Christopher Nolan’s first film, Following and also, both Cobbs are thieves.

– No second unit team was hired for making the movie and all the shots were filmed with cinematographer, Wally Pfister. 

– Director Christopher Nolan didn’t research dreams while writing the screenplay for Inception.

– Actress Ellen Page didn’t have to audition at all and got to read the script after meeting with Nolan for a sit down that had nothing to do with the film.

– The idea for Inception began with Christopher Nolan around eight years prior to the film. 

– Despite the vastness and complexity of the film, Christopher Nolan wrapped it up early and under budget.

AVERAGE RATING 4.03/5

By: Jolyn Liauw

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