How hard do you want to work to like a movie? In other words, how long do you want to spend thinking about it after it’s over – and I don’t mean think about it in terms of, “That was thought provoking! It really made me think about x (race, adoption, love, marriage, etc).” I mean, thinking things like, “wtf? What happened at the end?” And then, after you spend hours analyzing, twisting, trying to remember clues in the movie, determining that you have to see it again, see it again, and then, still, no answer . . .
Do you find that satisfying?
Even if the answer is yes, wait – don’t jump on the Inception bandwagon just yet –
Because even if you come up with an answer, you might just not care, because there’s no reason to care about any of these characters, their manufactured dreams or their futures.
Don’t worry about reading this review and being “spoiled” – I can’t tell you what happened at the end, because I have no idea, and I really don’t care.
Inception is about a thief – a thief who can enter your dreams, steal your most precious industrial commodity in a shoot-em-up action packed dream, and sell it to the corporation who hired him to pilfer the “information,” whatever that is. These dreams don’t look like any dream I’ve ever had. I have the same dream over and over – it’s a panic dream. I’m late, or maybe I’ve missed a test on the eve of graduation, and I might not graduate. Maybe I’m not that imaginative, maybe I don’t dream in cinemascope – but my dreams never involve car chases, AK-47’s, or hand grenades. And these dreams have no dream like quality to them – everything is in focus, the action in the sequences are linear, and really, the whole concept just makes very little sense.
When you think about it.
So do you want to think about it?
Because if you want to think about it, you will be very disappointed. If you don’t want to think about it, and just go in and watch the stunning cinematography in glorious IMAX, go.
A couple of summers ago, I read a review of the at the time new Michael Ondaatje book, Divisadero. The review was glowing, but as an aside, it mentioned that it might just be a book you have to read twice. I’d heard that before, and I threw caution to the wind. The book was nonlinear. The characters did not seem to connect. It wasn’t until the last chapter you understood how all of the pieces fit together, and the narrative became cohesive. Huh, I thought, I’d actually understand it if I read it again. But, I didn’t, because I got it, and I’m lazy. But, a second reading definitely would have provided a payoff, and made the reading of it a deeper, richer experience.
And, if I had to read Divisadero again, that would have been ok – because the second read is free. Second time of IMAX – not so free. And then, you’d have to spend time with these not very likable characters again. Leonardo DiCaprio’s thief is supposed wracked by guilt, yet, there’s no real redemptive moment in this movie. And the plot – that in order to be able to return to his family, Leo’s thief must implant an idea in the mind of a corporate scion who is on the eve of inheriting his father’s massive empire, that he really wants to break up his father’s life’s work, and start all over again . . . because . . . or else . . . I don’t really know – world domination? A monopoly? Who cares. The other characters? I know so little about them, that I don’t even remember their names, and I just saw the movie on Sunday.
Anyway, this review is becoming almost as incomprehensible as the movie. If you’re looking for beautifully filmed action movie, go. If you think you’re going to become enthralled with a dream world, and become wrapped up in the levels upon levels of dreams, and begin to also question what is reality, what isn’t and what is the reality of the end of the film, spare yourself. You’re never going to get that second time around payoff.