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Inception

I finally saw the movie Inception today (yes, I’m a few weeks behind the crowd), and I loved it. I’ve always loved movies that were more complex and that made you think. This is one of those movies.

(It is also one of those movies that inspires people to want to become something specific. Like an architect. Who wants to be an architect now? *Raises hand* I do. Hahaha)

Anyway, the movie was so good that I now feel that I MUST post something because I’m just BURSTING to discuss. So, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, and don’t want to spoil it for yourself, please come back and read this AFTER you’ve seen it. 🙂

First, I’d like to discuss the characters and their names.

I thought it was interesting that the characters were named certain names. There are only a couple I’d like to point out, but here is a list of the main characters and their “roles” according to the Inception Movie site.

  • The Extractor: Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio)
  • The Point Man: Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
  • The Architect: Ariadne (Ellen Page)
  • The Forger: Eames (Tom Hardy)
  • The Shade: Mal (Marion Cotillard)
  • The Mark: Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy)

Cobb’s wife, whom appears often in Cobb’s worlds, is named “Mal”, which translates from several different languages into “bad”, or “evil”. Not so ironically, she also has all the characteristics of a Femme Fatale–a svelte, dark-haired beauty, with some sort of fatal flaw. In most of her scenes, it seemed like she was either trying to attack someone, or trying to lure someone to their downfall. It was only fitting that they named her “Mal”.

Another character that had a  fitting name was world-builder architect, Ariadne. This name was undoubtedly drawn from Greek mythology where Ariadne was the one who gave Theseus a sword and a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the Minotaur’s maze-like labyrinth. It was was a subtle but precise choice to pick such a fitting name for the prodigy young Architect who designed the maze-like layers of the dream worlds of Inception, and who also offered the faster escape route to the maze, as well as the “saving suggestion” for the team towards the end.

I haven’t really looked into the rest of the character names, but those were the two that were most blatant and worth discussing to me.

Another thing I’d like to discuss is the plot. People like Christopher Nolan, who also wrote, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, and Memento, among others, have a gift. He has a gift and his gift is being able to write about complex theories and portray them in film, getting them across to mass audiences, and compelling them to actually THINK about the ideas and what they just saw, at the very least, for a few days after they saw the movie.

Inception has a way of making the viewer think about “dreams” in a different way. “They” always say that dreams are a link to the subconscious. They play around with the idea of being able to penetrate and “navigate people’s minds”. Inception manages to put on screen, just exactly what these ideas might look like, feel like, or be like to experience. In Inception, they manage to create the world of the dream, just as real as the way an architect would create a building. They walk through  these dreams, just as real as the way people would walk through the halls of a crowded building.

“Dreams feel real while we’re in them–It’s only when we wake up that we realize that something was actually strange.”

As for the actors and actresses, I think that Inception was a movie that once-again distinguished Leonardo DiCaprio as one of THE actors of his time. It’s not easy to transition from young teenage heartthrob to weathered but talented adult actor, but Leonardo DiCaprio is one who has proved himself as well as his abilities over and over again throughout time.

I also think that this movie was very defining for Joseph Gordon-Levitt who played Arthur. He reminded me of a young, slicked-haired Neo, from the Matrix, as he runs on ceilings and moving walls and coolly fights against agent-like operatives. One can see that Gordon-Levitt definitely has grown from his younger dorky-roled acting days, into a young competent rising star.

Ken Watanabe is also another favorite of mine, and I was glad to see that he played a major role as Saito, throughout the movie and managed to keep himself alive until the very end. Usually the characters of certain ethnicity have smaller roles, or get killed off or something of the like. I hope that Hollywood continues to include or bring forth more actors and actresses in spotlight roles where they aren’t so much focused into their ethnic background as much as what they bring to or contribute to the movie itself.

As for the ending of the movie… I have to say that we all probably knew the top was going to keep spinning. But what did that mean? Was Cobb stuck in his own dream limbo? Since the top was wavering a little on the table as if it was going to fall, do you think maybe it was going to fall, but they just cut the scene too early? Was someone manipulating Cobb’s dreams the way he was manipulating Fischer’s dreams? If so, were the people in his dreams (everyone that was not part of his subconscious, like Ariadne, Arthur, Saito, etc.) just pawns in someone else’s big scheme to play out Cobb’s dream within a dream within a dream? There are SO many questions!

Overall, I must again say that I REALLY like the ideas of the dream world, dreams within in dreams within dreams, dream manipulation, and reality versus alternate reality. I’m scared to think that one day this might all be possible, but the world is a scary place, and we’re only getting farther and farther into an age where ideas like these are turning into realities.

These are just SOME of the things that I immediately had to touch on about Inception, but what are some things that you’d like to discuss about the movie?

(Note: All stills of the movie were taken from the Inception Movie site.)

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  1. August 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    You are absolutely right… the way he writes and then portrays his ideas on film, is awesome, having such a complex idea understandable, fun and relatable for anyone who wants to enjoy the movie!!!

    I also agree that DiCaprio is one of the best actors of the decade, having managed to get respect in the industry by portraying convincing roles, and by not limiting himself to playing the same type of character over and over (although one might argue that his character here does resemble in some ways to his character in Shutter Island), like his great role in The Aviator, The Departed, Blood Diamond, etc…

    As fro Gordon-Levitt, who could have imagined that funny kid in 3rd Rock From The Sun would grow up to be such an amazing actor… Thumbs up for him!!!

  2. August 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    thank you also for the background of Ariadne’s name… very interesting

    • August 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks for the comments!

      I took a Greek and Roman myth class a few semesters ago in college and we learned about SO many greek and roman myths… Ariadne was just one of the “side” myths we learned about. I always think it’s neat when Directors/Writers give a “nod” to literary work.

      And I agree! DiCaprio has continued to prove himself. I never thought he’d grow out of Jack from the Titanic. He has grown and come so far. I’m impressed. And Gordon-Levitt… He was just so tiny and awkward before! I like him like this! 🙂 BIG thumbs up for his new direction!

  3. August 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Loved the movie! And I’m glad you got to see it finally! What was your favorite part?? I have so many. LOL.

    • August 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      omgaaawww.. i liked the whole thing!!!

      though.. most notably… the spinning room scenes. I enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performances!! And the part where he steals a kiss… I like any parts where there’s lots of action… I think everyone’s Totems needed more play or explanation. lol

      hmmm.. what else did I like…. I love the slow movement parts… and the parts where there’s something BIG about to be discovered! hahahaha!

      and the strange floating scenes where there’s no gravity.

      the time elongation and compression was very… interesting. i was waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and WAITING for the van to fall. LOL

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