‘Inception’ Movie Review

by Mikayla Kim, Staff Writer

Dreaming can be a wonderful and terrifying experience at the same time. However, what if people used technology to invade one’s dream and implement ideas that one believes to be their own?

Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan and released in 2010, puts forward a science-fiction concept that allows running through multiple stages of reality and seamingly manipulating them. This psychological thriller incorporates cliffhangers and a non-chronological story to create a complex plot and make the film an emotional and mind-bending roller coaster. 

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a thief that specializes in a concept named “extraction,” which entails stealing secrets from the subconscious. Although DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb seeks to return home to his family, his past prevents him from returning. However, one last job is posed to him as a way to return to his family. Saito (Ken Watanabe), a wealthy Japanese businessman, offers him this opportunity in exchange for a risky plan involving inception, or the planting of an idea into one’s subconscious mind. This plan is specifically targeting Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the heir to a multibillion dollar energy company. The goal- plant an idea into Fischer’s mind to break up his father’s energy company.  

Using a brilliant team consisting of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Dom’s longtime partner-in-crime, Eames (Tom Hardy), the forger, Yusuf (Dileep Rao), the chemist, Dom’s father-in-law (Michael Caine), Dom’s mentor, and Ariadne (Ellen Page), the newly recruited architect, Dom embarks on a emotionally and mentally taxing journey in hope of returning back home to his children. 

DiCaprio plays a determined and persistent leader, considering his internal struggles and dark past that are slowly introduced throughout the movie. His intense but collected attitude towards the chaos that erupts around him and the obstacles the team faces along the way balances out the complicated and thought-provoking plot. 

Nolan fortifies a captivating plot, as the plot is not in sequential order, and uses flashbacks to complicate the plot and relationships between the characters. The introduction of Mal (Marion Cotillard), Dom’s ex-wife, pushes Dom to jeopardize the team. However, the characters do not comprehend the severity of Mal’s antics and Dom’s past until the plot progresses and Nolan introduces viewers to more of her background. 

Moreover, Nolan stacks multiple storylines at one time, to complicate the plot even further and put forth more external and internal obstacles the team has to surmount to complete the task at hand. The layering of realities adds to the plot to make it compelling and interesting, but proves to be tough at times for viewers to follow which reality the characters are currently in. However in a good way, the viewers lose a sense of reality and this leads them to question if what the characters are doing or experiencing is real, or if it is just a part of the multiple layers of dreams. 

Nolan’s use of screen stunts, combined with a small amount of CGI, creates mind-bending visuals and a visually appealing experience for the viewer. The minimal use of CGI and the common usage of real stunts makes the dream realities look more realistic. An elaborate stunt involving a 60-foot train barreling through the middle of a street was one of the many out-of-the-ordinary and unique elements that Nolan incorporates into the film. 

Inception is a mind-twisting thriller that utilizes multiple storylines to create a film with an intricate plot. With a cast of many Oscar-nominated actors, this film introduces viewers to the life of Dom Cobb, his haunting past, and even more uncertain future.