We all know Leonardo DiCaprio. A very talented young actor from the start, now he’s matured and captured the entire world with the many strong characters he has played.
And most of us probably know Christopher Nolan, the director of the new Batman movie series as well as the director of a collection of highly praised movies like Memento (2000), Insomnia (2001), and The Prestige (2006).
When the two worked together, the world was watching. Throw in the beautiful academy award winner Marion Cotillard, the veteran Michael Caine, the most well known Japanese in Hollywood Ken Watanabe, and the innocent looking boy from 500 Days of Summer Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you have it. Perfect and complete casts for a mind twisting movie.
So again, I say, The Inception by Christopher Nolan was very promising AT FIRST. In the end, I say the film was overrated. I didn’t say that it’s bad or that it’s not worth watching. It’s just that if you put too much expectation, you might end up disappointed as I did.
For those of you who haven’t watched this movie, you can still read the next section. I’ll try to keep the spoilers to the minimum.
1. If you expect this movie to be an action movie, you’re better off with Nolan’s Batman series or Leo’s Gangs of New York.
2. If you expect a twisted plot, then Nolan’s Memento and Leo’s Shutter Island are way better. Not to mention that The Inception has many similarities (but with less impact) with Shutter Island.
3. If you expect a strong drama with a strong acting, then pick Nolan’s Insomnia or Leo’s The Aviator. The acting here is adequate. Nothing more.
4. If you expect a deep conflict, go to Nolan’s The Prestige or Leo’s Romeo and Juliet (don’t laugh, I’m serious). The conflict here is minimum.
5. And if you’re a big fan of pseudo reality movies, then stick to The Matrix Trilogy. Neither Nolan nor Leo has anything close in that field.
The problem here is that Nolan and Leo both have produced wonderful works in the past but this highly rated movie didn’t come close to their previous works. A more focused approach would probably be better than this action-thriller-drama-conflictless movie. So here’re a list of turn downs that degraded this movie from grandness to pure entertainment and dollar catcher:
1. It needed a more clear focus. 150 minutes were insufficient to cater all the elements shown in this movie in a good proportion. The actions were lame. The dramas were stale. The plots were simple. The conflicts were shallow. The actings were mediocre. The thrills were hardly felt. Even the jokes are not funny. Remind me again, what do we expect from this movie?
2. The backgrounds for this film are weak. Not quite like what we’ve experience so far from Nolan. All his films I’ve mentioned earlier had very strong background. In this film, we didn’t have any clue. Was it the year 2010? Was it the same world as we lived in or was it a parallel one? Who’s Saito and what’s the big secret he had that needed extraction earlier? How big was the Cobol Corp? How come The Cobol Corp had one private jet but didn’t have the second one? How come a Saito can buy a airline company and NO ONE noticed?
3. The core element of this film, the dream extraction-inception thingy was suspiciously not explained. Was it a science? Was it a skill? Was it something common? Was it chemical? Was it expensive? What’s the role of an architect? Can anyone be an architect? Why did it had to be Ariadne?
4. The interrelations between characters are also weak. Who ordered Cobb and the gang to extract the secret from Saito? Was it the dying Fischer Sr.? The clueless Fischer Jr.? The Uncle Browning? The Fischer’s nonexistent underlings? Who chased Cobb when he failed the Saito mission? How come the Fischers and Browning didn’t seem to care? Who helped Cobb escape from U.S.? Who funded Cobb while he’s a fugitive (and how did he market himself)? So many interrelations were only superficial.
5. A very annoying scene was the one where Cobb said that he and Mal had already gone through growing old together in one of the dream layers or more probably in the Limbo. If so, why did they both looked young when they do suicide to escape the Limbo? The whole Limbo concept would’ve been the foundation of this movie, but it’s too vague. Not only because it lacked explanation, but also because it lacked emphasis. Not to mention that Limbo itself wasn’t a very catchy word to use anyway.
There were so many questions left unanswered in this film. Including the last question whether or not the top would stop spinning. The disappointing part was that it seemed that the questions were there just for the sake of making this film looked kind of sophisticated and not because they needed to be there. That’s called cheating.
Well, in the end, I have to say that actually, the film was very nicely executed. The flow was smooth. The extra layers of dream that wasn’t planned from the beginning was actually quite smart. The whole kick concept was out of the box. The casts were interesting. The whole movie was eventually worth watching. It’s just overrated. But overrated doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
I watch, I talk. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.