Monday, July 26, 2010

Inception: A tear jerker... But not sad.

It's rare nowadays that I will walk out of a film convinced that I've just seen the best film of the year, but I did with Inception. It annoys me when film adverts brag "the best film of the year!" when it's only January and the critic is either exciteable or deliberately trying to get his or her name out there. This is not one of those moments. I don't think I've had such an excited immediate reaction to a film since The Fellowship of the Ring.

Maybe Rose was hoping he'd wake up when she "let him go".

For the two people who haven't seen it yet (who are even more unlikely to be reading this anyway), I won't give a plot synopsis because I think part of the fun is watching everything unfold (or fold onto itself as the case may be). I went in knowing about the film, but thanks to a great advertising campaign I was intrigued but not overly informed so everything in the film took me by surprise. In this regard, Nolan's script is truely a well polished and intelligent script. Too often people judge scripts on their dialogue (weakpoint), but a script is so much more than that. Considering the plot and what I suppose you could call "mythology" of the film is so convoluted, everything is seamless and surprisingly easy to grasp. There is certainly a fair share of expositional dialogue but it is necciscary, and unknowing characters like Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Saito (Ken Watanabe) make it far less clunky than it could have been.

Wet Dream

The entire cast of the film is in great form but the real star of the film is Nolan. The directors vision and flair for action sequences is bursting through every frame. I have amittedly been slow to get on the Nolan bandwagon, thinking The Dark Knight was good bu very overrated but you can consider me a shrieking groupie. In fact I have an embarassing confession, in the scene in which Joseph Gordon Levitt's character is fighting in the hotel hallway with shifting gravity, and cutting to his sleepy face being spattered with rain and limp arms flailing about the van... I teared up. Was this scene sad? No. Whilst the film was emotionally poignant it's by no means a tear jerker. So why did I nearly cry? If there was any doubt I'm a total film nerd here it is: Occasionally when I'm watching a great film and scene is so well made I become overwhelmed with the greatness of the film at that moment and tear up. This has happened in only two other films in memory (Lust, Caution and Sunshine).

Such a tearjerking moment...

The cast itself is excellent. DiCaprio has rarely been better. Often I find his performance can come across forced and he seems desperate to give a great performance, but this time there was none of this. Perhaps it was the genre that made Leo avoid "dramatic" acting, or maybe it was a case of Nolan getting the best out of him. Either way DiCaprio gives the film it's emotional core that is so essential to it's success. The moment on the hotel window (you know the one) I thought he nailed it. I couldn't mention that scene or the emotional core without his partner, Marion Cotillard. The role fits her sensibilities, with an other worldliness to her charm and beauty. It's not hard to see her as the woman of DiCaps dreams. She's surreally beautiful. Her sudden menace is also incredible and genuine.

"You jump, I jump, remember?"

Props too to Tom Hardy who was an absolute scene stealer and is it just me or was there something about him that was unbearably sexy?

Ok not just me then.

I could go on about the technical marvels of the perfect cinematography, dazzling CGI, the perfectly interwoven action sequences of the final dream, the clever plot devices, and everything else I love about the film but I'm sure you have something better to do for the next 5 hours it would take me to list everything I LOVE about this film.


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  2. Tom Hardy and JGL were totally flirting.

    Although you're right about the hallway scene. It really is a great juxtaposition, cutting from action scene to action scene to everybody sleeping within another action scene. But am I the only one who found it inadvertantly hilarious when Arthur had to tie up all the people sleeping with a rope when the zero-gravity kicked in?

  3. I totally understand what you mean! If there's a film better than this in 2010 then it's a fucking great year for cinema. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favourite actor and although I thought he was the scene stealer - I agree that Tom Hardy was awesome. He oozes charisma.
    P.S. Random fact: according to Google analytics, one of the most popular ways people find my blog is by search the term `Tom Hardy naked'.

  4. No, Tom Hardy was unbearably sexy. Just thinking about him as Heathcliff.... mmmm He's amazing.

  5. Excellent movie... Just watched it again...