I saw Inception in IMAX on opening Sunday and I thought it was incredible. It has easily been added to my list of favourite movies. I remember seeing a preview for this movie at least a year ago and all it had was some epic looking clip, I didn’t know who was in it, what it was about, but I still knew it would be amazing. And I was right. For this review, I assume I will have some spoilers in here when talking about sets, plot, characters, and most other aspects of the movie so I can give a very detailed review (which apparently is what I’m giving here).
Of the filming locations, I’m talking about them in the order they were filmed in, not sequential order during the movie, although it’s usually quite close. The movies filming starts off in Tokyo, and shows a beautiful shot of the city that I really enjoy. Then filming in Paris, France for the important bistro scene. It was fascinating to watch the entire street be destroyed during that first dream sequence Ellen Page is in. From the previews even I thought that shot was incredibly beautiful (obviously I’ll be using this word many times over). Then they used Tangiers for the riot scene during the first dream sequence of the movie and it seemed very gritty and real. Tangiers was also used for the Mombasa shots when Leo’s character Cobb hires Eames and Yusuf. The foot chase between Cobb and his tails was really fun there because they squeeze around buildings, run into a market, and into a tea room. In LA they filmed the big first dream portion with the car chase and the train that comes in. This is also where they filmed the van flying off the bridge in the same dream. The second dream portion inside the hotel is filmed in England, as well as the short college scene with Cobbs’ father-in-law. The Rockies in Alberta, Canada are the home to the third dream portion with the large fortress they must infiltrate. All in all the sets, backgrounds, and everything inbetween is so beautifully breathtaking. They did a fantastic job locating the perfect places for these scenes to take place. Every performance in this film is amazing. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dominic ‘Dom’ Cobb the Extractor, a man who specializes in subconscious security but steals his clients’ ideas. As Leo is my favourite actor, I am obviously going to give him high praise, what’s good about him is he deserves all of the rave reviews people give him because he truly is an incredible actor. DiCaprio’s emotional scenes were totally believable and I was there with him, feeling the same things as he was 100 percent of the time. Especially when Mal jumps from the hotel window and kills herself, Leo’s reaction was very truthful like someone who actually just saw the love of their life fall to their death. I was almost crying with him. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Arthur the Point Man, the person who researches the teams targets. I enjoyed how straight-laced his character was and his fight scene in the hallway was possibly one of my favourite bits of the movie. It was incredible how they made the revolving hotel hallway. Ellen Page plays Ariadne the Architect, a college grad student who builds the world of the dreams they go into. Normally I’m not a fan of Ellen Page, or maybe just not in Juno, but I didn’t mind her in this role, I even thought she was quite good. The chemistry between Arthur and Ariadne is fun. Although Arthur is always very serious it seems, he almost lets his guard down a few times making a few jokes with her. My favourite bit with those two together is when they are in the hotel sitting together and she notices everyone is looking at them so he tells her to kiss him. She looks around again after and states everyone is still looking and in a very insincere tone he covers saying “oh, I guess it didn’t work,” and everyone in the audience laughed. Tom Hardy plays Eames the Forger, someone who impersonates the target in the dream world and forges an identity in a physical form. Eames is the comic relief of the movie, and Tom definitely works that role well. At first when Cobbs comes to hire him I thought he meant a forger in writing -because I wasn’t thinking of the incredible in dreams- so when he first looks like ‘Peter Browning’ I got confused, though I figured it out quickly. I’m just dumb sometimes, it’s okay. Marion Cotillard plays Mallorie ‘Mal’ Cobb the Shade, Cobb’s dead wife who manifests in the dreamscape out of his control. She was really good in this movie. I really felt the chemistry between Leo and Marion and I thoroughly understood his grief and how he deals with her in the dreams. In one or two scenes her gaze startled me when Ariadne is looking in on Cobb’s memories and Mal turns to look at her suddenly. Cillian Murphy plays Robert Fischer the Mark, the heir to a business empire and Cobb’s latest target. The few scenes between him and his father are amazing. Just in the minute or so near the beginning when you see them together really shows you everything for this movie to work. It shows all of the emotional problems between a father and son that, by the end, are relieved when they are shown together a second time in the third dream and Robert picks up the toy from childhood. It was truly a beautiful scene. The plot of this movie was amazing. It was enjoyable, never incredibly difficult to figure out -at least on face value, and was just plain fun. If you look at the basics of this movie, you would see a regular heist movie with a twist. But what Christopher Nolan brought to this picture was two different emotional journeys that easily play in and are fantastically done. The three main dream sequences and limbo are all crafted together perfectly, showing just the right amount of each to be understandable yet not boring. There are tense moments, funny moments, confusing, sad, happy and everything else you would want from a movie on this scale. The question is, do you think the top ever fell over?
Lauren, sending articles your way.