In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not much of a movie goer. A movie generally has to be something really special for me to want to watch it in a dark, cold theater surrounded by strangers instead of on my comfortable couch with a glass of wine in hand. But Sunday afternoon Rich and I found ourselves with some free time, and he desperately wanted to go see Inception. Despite the fact that Inception didn’t pass my test for a movie I wanted to see in a theater (up until that point I had only heard of in through a few friends’ facebook updates) I agreed. I’m so glad I did.
Inception is based around the premise that the technology exists that allows you to enter into someone’s dream and locate their secrets within the subconscious. A wealthy businessman challenges a group of experts to go one step further – to plant an idea within someone without them realizing where the idea came from. This challenge involves going several layers deep within dreams, each more unstable than the last. The different layers and their varying timelines are all woven together masterfully, although it still left my brain hurting by the end as I tried to untangle all the details.
The ensemble cast turns in a great performance. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was amazing, once I got past the “hey, it’s that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun!” moment. Between this movie and his recent work “500 Days of Summer,” he is really setting himself up for a nice career resurgence. Ellen Page was another standout, and I loved the detail of having her character, the architect that creates the maze-like dream worlds, named Ariadne.
Inception is one of those movies where you immediately want to watch it again, to pick up on all the detail you missed the first time. Christopher Nolan has created an extraordinary plot, brought to life with brilliant effects and acting. The shifting gravity hallway fight scene is breathtaking. I spent the last hour holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen next.
The only part that disappointed me was the final twenty seconds. I had spent the previous 150 minutes accepting the world Christopher Nolan was creating, and to have him suggest all of that was untrue definitely rubbed me the wrong way. That ending certainly served a purpose though. Without such an open-ended conclusion, I would not still be thinking about the movie, debating it endlessly with my friends, and wishing I could watch it again to determine what truly is reality.