30 December 2016 | Danielpotato
Didactic, but nonetheless a good movie.
Inception has a problem that I cannot bear: the constant that someone comes to explain the laws and how that world works. The creation of the character of Ellen Page (Ariadne) was for the sole purpose of explaining that to moviegoers. Not that it's bad, but at certain moments it seems like the movie becomes more class at school, to know how that universe works, instead of the characters in this movie live the adventure for themselves. In this aspect the film is didactic. And the space for the imagination is limited. In this aspect everything in this film is chewed, everything explained, where are the possibilities? I do not want someone to explain the universe, I want to see the characters live and react in this universe.
Yes the ending leaves open the question whether that is a dream or reality, but it is a cheap gimmick instead of letting them our imaginations fly. If at the end of the movie the experience of the characters was a dream, so it was waste of two and a half hour, at least the Matrix shows the characters in the real world, and that it was not a dream inside a dream. The tension and time invested would not be a waste of time
Not that it spoils the experience of the film, but it disturbs in some parts, mainly in the middle of the film, when the group is preparing for the assault. The concept is good, but it should be presented in a simpler way. Clearly Nolan was very ambitious in the concept of this film. But Nolan is quite integral in the proposal of his films, and he tries to put unknown concepts to the general public in such a cohesive way, even with the problem of trying to explain everything and other problems of pace are easily forgiven. Nolan tries to do his best in each of his films as if his movie was his last, as if his life depends on it. A great honesty on the part of Nolan, and this I can and I want to enjoy. Nolan is such an honest guy and scores points with me. It's the difference between the lousy movie director and an excellent director. The bad elements of Inception are not enough to spoil its qualities. The ambitious ideas of the filmmaker and the great sequences in parallel assembly that characterize his works.
Not that the idea of Inception is innovative, this idea has been copied many times in other works (Paprika, Synecdoche New York and The Matrix are the most practical and common examples). But it's the way Nolan puts these ideas in the big budget blockbuster. Let's be honest here. Smaller or lower budget films are not seen by the general public due to the absence of of large production values (a great soundtrack, great locations for filming or great special effects, etc). See these ideas or concepts in a great Hollywood blockbuster made with such quality and care, it is amazing. And these ideas are embedded in the drama of the film in such a cohesive and exemplary way; it is applauding Nolan's professional integrity. This is why Nolan movies are so well received, he tries to put in these Hollywood blockbusters something more, something common in indie or smaller films, but with the financial aspect of the great studios to provide a better technical quality.
Obviously there is quality on this movie; the large parallel sequences are exemplary. The parallel between the Van sequences, the hotel with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt (when character is awake in the elevator), the peak at the military base in the snow and the desolate city of Cobb and Mal is almost perfectly made with an all- encompassing soundtrack. Of course the sequences of action are lousy . And many dialogues are very weak. Two weaknesses in Nolan's movies.Bad things come with the good things. I suspect that the bad action scenes of Inception and Dark Knight were the reason why Nolan turned DKR into an action movie instead of trying to tell a good story, Nolan's ego should have been hurt by the criticism as he directs his action scenes in these two films. Particularly Inception and the action sequence in the snow with Tom Hardy. Too bad, sorry.
But the performances are amazing, particularly Marion Cotillard as Mal. There are many layers in the various characters which Nolan conducts with mastery and the way they are inserted into the film is almost perfectly. Particularly in the initial sequence (which I thought would be a scene to showcase special effects, and Nolan proved me wrong). Or in the scene between Ariadne and Cobb, when Cobb tries to explain how his wife dies, and then discovered new layers of the character to reveal that in fact, he did have to do with the death of his wife. Of course this will be important to the outcome of the film. It is this ability to put the scenes and the flashbacks in certain key moments of the plot that Nolan shows much quality, and one of his long lists of virtues.
Inception is a movie like any movie; it has its flaws, but also its virtues. But, for me the qualities overlap the defects, and in the end the movie is well worth watching. But is its legendary statute being worthy? If Inception was released in the 1980's would it have the same impact in that decade, as it had in 2010? Currently the commercial movies in Hollywood are in crisis. We live in an era of remakes, superhero movies and franchise fatigue without the studios or directors making an effort to improve with originality or at least with a little more original concepts. Inception's credit could be lower if today's Hollywood was not in such a decadent state. But nonetheless, Inception is still a good movie.