By Sean Harris ’11
It has not been a good summer for movies.
Yet something glimmered in the far-off reaches of July. That movie was “Inception,” an original summer blockbuster brought by the same director of “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan.
What Nolan has brought to the plate here is nothing short of astonishing; “Inception” is a refreshing new idea that boasts eye popping visuals, visceral thrills and a challenging but rewarding storyline.
This is the summer blockbuster audiences have waited for.
In the not too distant future, the main protagonist Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) works as an extractor, stealing ideas from the dreams of wealthy tycoons and selling it to rivals.
Cobb is the best at what he does, but this lifestyle has cost him everything, and now he just wants to return home to see his kids. He is offered this by Saito (Ken Watanabe) in exchange for one final job; to destroy a rival energy company completely.
To do this, Cobb will have to plant an idea into the heir apparent, Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy).
Planting an idea, or inception, is far more dangerous than stealing one, and the stakes are heightened when Cobb’s own frayed subconscious tries to sabotage the mission.
Seeing this film reminded me of what films are supposed to be; a perfect blend of acting, storytelling and visuals. All three are utilized to their maximum potential.
The acting is mostly led by DiCaprio, who does a fine job playing such an emotionally damaged character, a role that shockingly fits him better than the similar performance given in “Shutter Island.”
DiCaprio is surrounded by a good supporting cast, most notably Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, a role that could land him more recognition in Hollywood.
Marion Cotillard also deserves some praise as Mal, a complex symbol of the skeletons lying in Cobb’s closet.
The visuals are also top-notch and further proof that Nolan truly knows how to use a big budget. One fight scene in particular ,sans gravity, is really a jaw dropping moment.
If anything bad can be said of the movie, it’s the fact that the story can be too complex at times.
Once all the rules of this fantastical world are laid out, it makes much more sense but part of the problems rests with the fact that it will take multiple viewings to truly understand.
This is not typical popcorn fare; it requires much thought during the movie, after the credits have rolled and even during multiple viewings.
The complexities of the story aside, Nolan has created a wonderful science-fiction heist flick with multiple twists and turns that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Is it perfect? Maybe not, I will need to see it again to truly grasp it. But the fact that “Inception” makes me want to go back moments after seeing the end credits proves it’s something special.
I give this movie my full blessing and hope that it will reach a wide audience in such a dry summer.
5 out of 5 horseshoes