After the overwhelming success of The Dark Knight it seems that Nolan was granted one opportunity by Warner Brothers to utilize a large Hollywood budget for an original idea of his own making. That film is Inception. Say what you like about it being a ploy to hold onto Nolan for one more installment of the bat franchise, but this is a refreshing gamble taken by a major studio who clearly have a lot of faith in Mr. Nolan, and rightly so. He is proving himself to be one of the most outstanding filmmakers around and Inception does not lower the bar.
Inception is ultimately a thriller involving drama, sci-fi as well as an epic love story at the heart of this film (pun definitely intended.) It is all combined to leave us with an exceptional experience narratively and visually. The story is extremely complex and pushes its audience to keep up with the deeper and deeper levels of labyrinth-style story structure. You must not go to the bathroom during this film. If you stop paying attention for a short while you will return completely out of the loop. To gain a great appreciation for this movie it demands your focus for the entirety of the screening.
I felt that during the first hour the film was worrying me a little. In this period the rules of the film are generally explained. What our characters can and can’t do. This is still a very fluid sequence of the film for such a clunky objective to achieve but wasn’t blowing me away all that much. As we moved into the ‘heist’ in the last third of the film things really began to crank up and I was drawn into a fantastic, tense ride of which you rarely experience in a film. The story became truly epic as Nolan clearly drew upon James Bond and Matrix influences to escalate the stakes.
There were excellent acting performances throughout with not one actor dropping the ball. DiCaprio was excellent as our hero through this strange world with some mysteries of his own and Ellen Page proved she can play the straight girl and still be compelling. The standout performance for me was from Tom Hardy from films such as Bronson, who excelled as the classy thief. One small problem is that Ken Watanabe who I’ve loved in some of his previous roles like The Last Samurai, was hard for both myself and my friend to understand in parts which was unfortunate. However it still remains, that the strength of the ensemble cast was very impressive and everyone delivered.
What really impressed me with this film was the thought and detail that was put into the script. The depth was exceptional for the story, plus the characters and their motives. I do feel that it is OK if you find yourself a little lost during the film. Questioning what is going on. Nolan wants you to feel like that. He keeps you interested to find out the answer, which he will deliver in time. When you leave the cinema you’ll be happy with the experience, questioning reality, dreams and time.
The ending was tantalizing and thought provoking, really leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. Whilst leaving the cinema I was astounded when thinking how creative this piece of work was and am delighted that the risk of creating such a project was taken. I hope that their faith is rewarded by a large turnout for the film to prove to Hollywood that audiences like to be challenged and be entertained by original ideas.
Many will claim this to be Nolan's masterpiece and I will admit it is an excellent film but for me the first hour of Inception isn’t quite as engaging as the rest, whereas I find The Dark Knight consistently compelling throughout. So surprise, surprise, I would say I prefer Nolan’s previous film but Inception is clearly a project Nolan's wanted to do for nearly a decade. I’m very glad he’s been able to produce this film and am very excited about all the techniques he has acquired to bring to Batman 3.
Reviewed by Nick