Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Brief thoughts on Inception
I thought it was very good; not the spectacular film some have suggested, but certainly one of the best films released in quite a while. At a time when Hollywood seems content to churn out remakes, reboots, and just depressingly bland films in general, it's great to see a film that completely goes against the grain and rises above this tide of mediocrity.
Inception feels both fresh and sharp. The underlying premise - of stealing information from people by entering their dreams - is wonderfully developed, and offers all kinds of possibilities, many of which are subsequently explored. It's pleasing to watch a film that demands you actually think carefully about what is happening, rather than just throwing mindless action at you (Transformers, anyone?).
That's not to say there's no action and violence in Inception, as there is. It's just not the driving force of the film, although it must be said that it is handled very well indeed (there's some wonderfull editing and cinematography involved). No, the driving force of the film - gratifyingly - are the characters; specifically Leonardo DiCaprio's protagonist, Dom Cobb, who struggles to deal with some shocking memories that he just can't escape. There's a very strong emotional aspect that adds genuine depth; despite the original premise and often blistering action sequences, this is very much a film about human emotions and the power of the mind.
I've never been fully convinced by DiCaprio; in some films he's brilliant (Blood Diamond) and in others he's, well, not (The Beach). But I thought he was good in Shutter Island earlier this year, and the same is true here: he turns in a very solid, believable performance. Ellen Page complements him neatly in her role, while Tom Hardy also impresses. The soundtrack is also worthy of mention; Hans Zimmer has developed a reputation for great movie scores, and he's on form again here. The music fits the atmosphere of the film perfectly.
Overall, a very good, original film that's definitely worth checking out.