Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inception (no spoilers)

The description "A cross between The Matrix and James Bond" is pretty accurate, though thankfully we aren't distracted by good-looking women pretending to be spies, offering themselves up to get laid.

What fascinated me most were the assertions in the sub themes:
  1. Holding onto guilt limits our creativity.
  2. Our subconscious is well-defended from alien points of view.
  3. An idea (especially a wrong one) that takes hold will gather evidence to itself and will expand to control a person's experience of (or relationship to) reality.
  4. We seek to alter our memories to relieve guilt.
  5. Memories can't be the basis of dreams (in the film, a literal idea; in life, a principle—don't be limited by the past when imagining the future).
  6. We don't need more time if we've shared a lifetime. What we share can be enough.
  7. What we believe about our relationships impacts our choices and can endanger others.
  8. Knowing love from a parent makes a world of difference.
  9. Manipulation of our beliefs (even if we are led to believe what isn't empirically true) can enhance or diminish our experience of life (even to the point of happiness or suicide).
  10. When you feel like peeing while you sleep, it rains really hard in your dreams.
I loved the cinematography. The opening ocean spray (wow!), the table top reflection in the scene with Saito (gold, black, faces with black hair, perfectly balanced in that zen way), the mirrors in Paris, the folding over of streets, the floating bodies ... so many moments.

Acting terrific. Leo DiCaprio has matured and is a favorite A lister now. Ellen Page was feminine! I loved that they didn't make her Adriadne character some boyish computer nerd. Great to see a soft side, a relationally aware side combined with being smart. Good role model (though still far too few females in these leading roles for my tastes).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is almost too adorably handsome for his role in this film. He does a great job, but I still see him with that smarmy smile, arms swinging to a happy tune after his shower sex with Zoe Daschenel from "500 Days of Summer." Jacob (18 yr old son) loves his wardrobe in every movie. Who doesn't?

So what did you think of the film? Lived up to its hype? (Spoilers may be in comments - permitted but be forewarned.) 


julieunplugged said...

Favorite funny line: "You just need to dream a little bigger, darling." ;-)

Rick said...

Took 12yo daughter and 14yo son, was their first "brainbusting" film experience. We enjoyed it, and I need to see it again. :)

SUSAN said...

Went way beyond my expectations! Loved, loved, loved it and can't wait to go again with a list of questions.

I get all your points except #8. I don't remember that connection unless it had to do with the difference between Cobb & Mal's idea of parenting?

Do you think there will be an Inception 2?


my15minutes said...

Haven't seen it yet, but can't wait to! Won't read the comments until I do! Your messages drawn from it are really intriguing.

julieunplugged said...

I was thinking of nearly the end when Fischer believed his father loved him versus earlier when he didn't believe it (the two ways of thinking about the word "disappointment" as uttered by his dad). They were only able to accomplish inception if Fischer felt loved. Also, the ending shows Cobb (Leo) reunited with his dad, walking to his children - this theme of love between generations motivating much of the action.

julieunplugged said...

Rick - that's so fun! My 13 yod felt the same way. :)

RedGypsie said...


I have a theory that I'm dying to see if others think about too.

I think in the end, with top, it shows the whole thing was a dream. Only, not his. The father's. I think it's the father's dream. Remember when he also said, "come back to reality son". Same as the wife. But the father was into that research and had a student (the architect) that he recommended. Said she was "better" than Leo's character. Maybe the father's projected comfort in limbo at the loss of his son?

Main problem I see with my theory is that in Mol's dream world there were no people. If the movie was the father's dreamworld, there were a lot of people and layers!

Other than that...I loved the locked subconscious, the layer upon layer of dreams. The depths in which we will hide our most secret thoughts. The simplicity of the power of memory (the windmill in the simple). I loved how on the airplane Fisher had brief contact with all those people and yet they "showed up" in his dream. We knew why but he didn't and didn't question that. He assumed the faces he saw in life could show up in his thoughts and dreams.

I was thinking through the whole thing at how creative this was and that I at the half way point, I already wanted to see it again. It's been YEARS since a movie was that good!

Rick said...

My only problem *SPOILER* is that I though he was Mol's dad, with Cobb as his student.

One thought is that the movie was OUR dream, with the ending sequence being the audience's "kick" :-) - must see this again.

jo(e) said...

I liked that the ending was deliberately ambiguous so that the audience was left thinking (and arguing with friends and family) about what had happened.

My one complaint is that there were way too many men with guns. I would rather some more imaginative defenses in a dream world. It seems like at every level and every dream, it was men with guns again.

In my scary dreams, I have snakes, dark water, all kinds of scary stuff, but never men with guns.

RedGypsie said...

That is a great point Joe! I never have men with guns either. My eyes started blur over with some of those scenes. Maybe Inception 2 will think that one through better.

last night I spent the whole night walking the streets of Dublin with my fella. We had good food, listened to an Irish pub band, bickered about what time we were supposed to meet somewhere, talked about other places to get on a train to see...I've never been there and while the themes/elements were memory, the setting wasn't. I woke feeling like I'd seen enough of Dublin and really have no desire to revisit it, even though it was a quite lovely dream!

My friend Susan is into dream analysis and through the movie I was wondering about those projections. One thing I remember in a dream chat was that our projections of other people are often parts of ourselves in another form. Remember the part of Uncle Peter? How it was really that other guy but Fisher's mind wouldn't see that? He'd see his own understanding/projection of Uncle Peter. The ability of what is familiar to masque what is actually harming us had my thoughts going.

Colleen said...

Ack! I'm so out of the loop I've never even heard of it!