Viewed – 20 July 2010 Cinema, 08 December Blu-ray
You have to give it to Christopher Nolan. He has quickly become one of the most respected directors in the business, and you probably know him best from his reinvention of the Batman franchise. Yet this highly imaginative and skillfully made movie bares more of a resemblance to his earlier, intricately plotted Memento – especially for its audacious concept. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an agent who uses stolen military technology to jump into the dreams of high-powered businessmen and steal their inner most secrets. Joined by a bunch of colourful partners in crime, he transports us into another world, and this is where the movie really shows its golden feathers, bringing dream-logic and mind-bending surrealism to life with the aid of some wonderous effects (honestly, some things here I have never seen done before). When a Japanese businessman hires DiCaprio and his team to plant an idea into a rival business man’s head, DiCaprio is at first reluctant, as stealing ideas is one thing, but planting them, as in ‘Inception’ is much harder and more dangerous. Yet with the offer to be able to return home to his children dangled in front of him, DiCaprio can’t help but sign up.
Borrowing elements from the Matrix but doing away with the silly sunglasses and leather jackets, this action / thriller certainly offers a bold and unique experience. It’s mind-blowing, confusing and to be honest a little overwhelming but as ever DiCaprio is brilliant with plenty of darkness, emotion and inner-demons similar to his role in Shutter Island, and his co-stars, especially Juno’s Ellen Page and brit actor-of-the-moment Tom Hardy, add plenty of spice. Yet above all else, Nolan’s assured direction impresses most, with break-neck rapid editing, a loud orchestral soundtrack and a flair for gun fights and chases developed since The Dark Knight.
On viewing it back in it’s theatrical run, I did find it hard to get into, and some of the ideas and action was a bit much with so many things going on at the same time. However, on a second viewing, the sheer excellence of the concept and intricate structure was much clearer without the worry of not knowing the plot and outcome. I was able to appreciate the movie on a whole different level.
Therefore this remains something that begs to be analysed and watched several times, preferably on the biggest screen you can find.
Verdict: 4 /5