Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Perception of Inception

The mention of ideas being powerful once it gets in your head was a great way to start "Inception". It rightly set the tone that this movie is cerebral. Indeed, it leaves you thinking about reality and dreams even after the movie has finished.

Dreams are powerful, and essential. Perhaps that’s when and where ideas truly play. And that, I believe, gave Nolan a great focal point for his movie.

I often engaged in conversation with some of my family members--as they talked in their sleep! And I found it funny how senseless the things they talked about. A few times, I actually tried to coax some information from our conversations, so I can tease them the next day. However unfair it seems, I maintain that no one must ever do that to me, for I would never want my wife to uncover secrets from my subconscious!

But I can tell you that it's actually impossible to “extract” any sensible information from sleep-talkers, or sleep-walkers! The best you can do is enjoy that moment and giggle while they murmur incomprehensible sentences.

Perhaps that is the reason why I never thought of injecting some ideas into vulnerable minds as they slept or dreamed. I think that if garbage was coming out, then they’ll perceive incoming ideas as garbage as well.

If I knew that implanting ideas into a sleeping person's mind would work, then i would have tried to trick my dozing Dad (who, at one time--I caught sleep-talking) to increase my college allowance back in those days.

And so, with the thesis of Inception, the “extractor”--whose usual job was to “extract” information--was also hired to “implant” an idea into a person’s mind. All that will be done via “shared dreams”.

That seems like a simple plot, isn’t it? Yes, but there’s more. It also involves layered dreams within a dream within a dream. And the technical aspects of such dream-layers was also accounted for--such as time dilation between each layer of dreams.

All that plot mechanics would’ve been enough for me, and it already is a great movie with that complexity alone. But Nolan overdid it with some snow mountain shooting action sequence which i think was unnecessary.

The movie also failed to tap into the emotion spectrum. Cobb's wife, who i suppose should deliver that part, played the weakest character of them all. The only scene that moved me was the quick flash of an elderly couple (Dobb and his wife) walking together while holding hands.

I also think that the “architect” was not creative enough in conjuring dream settings. Her “powers” were not tapped thoroughly.

Although i liked the scene where she pulled two mirrors facing each other. But then I instinctively looked for the camera (and the cameraman) in that scene, expecting them to be visible to me, as reflected by the mirrors. So in effect, what the scene did was to snap me out from being an "audience". At that moment, I began thinking technical stuff (as if i was part of the movie crew) on how the special effects were being achieved.

There were tropes which were apparent, such as dreams within a dream, as exemplified by “Waking Life”, or shared dreams (people entering the dreams of others) in “Dreamscape”, “The Cell”, and “Nightmare on Elm Street”. But with “Inception”, I give Nolan credit for making a movie that stimulates its viewers to think.

Even up to now, I am still thinking what my "totem" would be. Some little object that'll let me know if i'm within a dream or not.

How about you. What is your totem?

No comments: