Required Viewing | Inception

by George Watches Things

(2010)

Roger Ebert once said that he envies people who have not yet seen his “Great Movies,” because they have the ability to watch such movies for the first time, while he does not, having already seen then. This is exactly how I feel about Inception.

No, this movie isn’t the greatest motion picture ever made (those of us familiar with cinema know that I Am Legend is). It wasn’t even my favorite film from 2010. But my first viewing experience with this film was as exhilarating, fresh, and thought-provoking as any other.

The film juggles between dream and reality while telling the story of an “extractor” (a term used more in this review than in the movie itself) named Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who has to complete “one last job” in order to get back to his kids. This heist/gangster movie setup only adds to the fun of the movie; especially since the characters aren’t stealing, but instead implanting something into their victim.

The rest of the fun, fine cast is filled by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who talks to himself too much in later sequences), Ken Watanabe (who adds heart), Ellen Page (whose character the film uses in order to explain things to us), Tom Hardy (I think he likes messing with Gordon-Levitt off-set too), and Dileep Rao (who literally makes it rain).

And then there’s Marion Cotillard. I can’t put her in the “fun” section, as you know if you’ve seen the film. She plays DiCaprio’s dead wife who keeps getting in the way with silly emotions. The end of her storyline was the one part of the film which was unsatisfying. Instead of allowing Cobb to get over his guilt himself, the film goes another direction, leaving that end unresolved.

The pacing and the music go hand-in-hand (as they should), the script is clever, and most of all, this film means something even before its successful foray into existentialism at the very end.

It just wouldn’t be right if a person couldn’t enjoy a movie as much as I enjoyed Inception the first time I saw it.

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