Tuesday 24 August 2010

Brief thoughts on Inception

Yeah, so I finally got around to checking out the film that everyone's been raving about.

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.


Todd Newton said...

Nice, good post. I really enjoyed Inception, as well. Definitely one of the best movies of the year for me.

What I liked most about it was that it made freaking sense. Movies like that walk a tightrope of mystery, suspense, and confusion, and I think this portion was done pretty much perfectly. Great performances by the cast, as well. They really made me care about his wife, and because of that I was truly impressed.

Iain said...

I totally agree with you James.

Some of my friends -- who consider films like the execrable Legion or X Men 3 to be good films -- utterly hated it. I think they belong to the category of film fan who like to be spoon-fed their filmic entertainment.

It was a tremendous film. The,plot, acting, music, audio and visual effects were terrific, the editing as ever with Nolan movies was crisp and exciting. All in all the best summer movie so far. And by the way, how good was it to see Tom Berenger in a big movie again?

After seeing Tom Hardy in this film and on the strength of his performance in Bronson I am quietly confident that the next Mad max movie will be rather enjoyable.

Now here's hoping Scott Pilgrim is actually good and not hasn't been hyped out of all proportion by the internet fan boys.

Winter Warriors -- ace.

As an aside. In the last three weeks on three separate occasion s I have bumped into Peter Dinklage in M& S, Rory McCann in the street and Mark Addy in the pub. Didn't have the courage to say a word to any of them! Next time I see a GOT star I will say hello.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed Inception as well and I think part of it was due to the fact that there isn't anything out there like it as most of the mainstream releases which is what I get in Korea.

There are not a lot of movies out there (that we get) that make you think but this one has you trying to figure out the various strings.

Had not so many big names been attached to this project it may never have seen the light of day.

Jebus said...

Inception - it was certainly well made with some great cinematography, I just thought the prmise of the film jumped around a bit - things were explained about how the dream world should work and then they decided to completely ignore those "rules". Then of course the actual dreams were rather pedestrian in execution - a rainy street, a hotel and a fortress in the snow? "What Dreams May Come" had way better imagination to it. Oh and if it really is all just an allegory of the film making process then I am rather disappointed.

That being said, Tom Hardy is "the next big thing", don't believe me? Go see "Bronson".

Scott Pi
lgrim - for Geek boys it's a total riot, I loved it.

Max said...

The only thing I disliked in Inception was the slightly overlong action scenes. Could've used a little tightening there.

On a sidenote about DiCaprio, it's funny how people have said approx last five years that they finally can enjoy his acting. Yes, he's done bad movies (The Beach) during his career, but who hasn't? I believe the reason for his social un-acceptance is Titanic and the fact he became a teen idol. I'm sure that Robert Pattinson will be regarded as a bad actor next ten years even if he'd give stellar performances. If you want to be respected, you can't do movies that appeal to teen-aged girls. Or music, or whatever. Who could've guessed that adolescent girls can hold such a power to grown-ups, lol.

SQT said...

I liked "Inception" but I do think it was a tad over-hyped. I think we're so starved for thoughtful, intelligent movies that we will jump all over the first thing we see. That said, it was good. I also like Joseph Gordon Levitt-- which surprised me. But yeah, Tom Hardy steals every scene he's in.

Jebus said...

Arrrgh! All this talk of being starved for "thoughtful, intelligent movies" gets my goat up. For anyone that says that I would add and addendum: "from the Hollywood studio machine".

There are HUNDREDS of movies coming out every single year that fit that description and that's not even delving into foreign markets!

Go see Poetry, The Actresses, The Messenger, Aftershock, Mammuth, The Father Of My Children, Welcome, Winter's Bone, Away We Go, Away From Her, World's Greatest Dad, Fish Tank, The Maid, The Housemaid, Blessed, The Loved Ones, Louise-Michel, Lebanon, Red Riding Trilogy, In The Loop, Members Of The Funeral, Still Walking, Breathless, Flame & Citron, Bronson, Skirt Day, About Elly, The Chaser (Chugyeoga) and and and... Oh the list can go on and on and on.

Anyway, this is a personal attack on anyone's film tastes, just a general rant.

I BEG people to go and see films outside of the mainstream, you'll be pleasantly surprised.