Every once in a while it doesn’t hurt to have to think while watching a movie.  Although there’s a place for mindless escapism, trying to piece together a story’s puzzle can be just as much fun.  Inception has a grand time offering such a jigsaw with a multitude of clues for viewers to decipher.  We should thank director Christopher Nolan as his fertile creativity discards the ‘game show’ mentality other commercial films display.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief specialising in the art of extracting information from a person’s dreams.  Marked as a wanted criminal and haunted by visions of his deceased wife, he uses his skills to escape his demons.  His equally capable team includes Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who creates levels within dreams and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an ‘architect’ who maintains their balance.  Hired by Saito (Ken Watanabe) who wants them to do an ‘inception’ – planting an idea – into a business rival, they accept the challenge little realising the dangers that lie in their target’s murky subconscious.

Inception is an extraordinary film that can be enjoyed on many levels.  At once a science fiction action fest and then morphing into reality-altering drama, it delves into the concept of dreams and how we interpret them.  Although this idea has been used various times, never has it been given such expansiveness.  Nolan really wants his audience to experience this strange universe by ensuring they concentrate on the plot’s complexities.  The rewards are there for those who do with some exceptional performances and startling imagery maintaining its high quality.

You’re never quite sure where events are headed but what’s amazing is how the story never goes off the rails.  So precise is the intricate plotting that everything connects perfectly with the viewer forced to question what they’re watching.  It’s fascinating that whilst the characters have control over certain aspects of dreams, they aren’t totally in command.  Anything can happen which makes the tale more exciting.  Backed by a booming soundtrack and an intelligent and literate screenplay, Inception manages to satisfy the criteria of an all-encompassing blockbuster.

Good on Christopher Nolan for making effective use of the commercial success his Batman films have given.  It seems taking the safe route in formulaic dreck is not for him and that’s something for which to be thankful.  Although all of its connotations may not be understood, Inception is daringly different mainstream fare with the director’s determination to think outside the square a bravely imaginative bold stroke. 

Rating out of 10:  10

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