Nolan’s latest will linger in your subconscious for days

Christopher Nolan’s dreams came true after his 10-year-old project frinally comes to life in a visually and mentally gripping film. The director’s second original feature is yet another smart, action-filled film to add to his already impressive canon.

Nolan’s (The Prestige, The Dark Knight) newest feature film revolves around a professional team who break into the subconscious via dreams to extract information. However, planting an idea in someone’s mind — inception — is a much more risky venture. Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, heads the team into the dreams of Robert Fischer, the heir of an energy giant, in his final, daring project.

The plot is kind of a like a heist in reverse — the objective is to plant an idea rather than steal it. The plot is simple enough, but the science and laws of the dream world are not. Despite their complexity, the rules established are well-defined and act as much needed barriers of what the team can and cannot do. Without these rules, the almost limitless possibilities in a dream would render any sort of conflict obsolete. Nolan manages to outline concrete rules that keep the film grounded from the get-go.

What’s far more interesting is Cobb’s personal trouble, as his sub-conscious constantly spills into the dreams, risking the lives of the rest of his team. Cobb’s troubled mind acts as a wild-card and keeps the film unpredictable. Without giving too much away, the film explores things like regret, guilt and dreams in an interesting way. The science and philosophy of dreams is explained within the context of a plot that has a clear purpose and direction, balancing the themes of the film with the overall narrative structure.

The film’s visuals are easily the best part of the whole experience. Not just the special effects, which are impressive, but the vividness of specific images and objects — the ghostly presence of memories intertwined with dreams gives the picture a tense atmosphere. Unfortunately, the music doesn’t live up to the high standard set by the visuals. It is fitting for a fast-paced action movie, but it sounds a little too similar to The Dark Knight.

As the question of what is reality or dream is pondered by the characters, the viewer grows uncertain as well. We are never quite sure when the characters are in the dream world or the real world — the lines between the two become blurred and confused. The deeper the team delves into the mind, the harder it is to remember which is which. It’s an interesting and mentally engaging ride, packed with its fair share of shoot outs and car chases. Nolan lives up to his reputation as a maker of thinking/action movies and Inception is definitely no exception. The film is a rewarding experience — well worth the nearly 10 years it took Nolan to write it.

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