‚??Do you want to take a leap of faith or die a lonely old man full of regrets?‚?Ě asks billionaire CEO Saito (Ken Watanabe). It‚??s the near future. Saito asks (or maybe, tempts) corporate criminal Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to pull off ‚??inception‚?Ě ‚?? plant an idea so deep in a business rival‚??s subconscious that the idea will seem to his rival to be his own. But Cobb is in the opposite business ‚?? ‚??extraction‚?Ě ‚?? removing secrets from business executives by manipulating their dreams. He‚??s initially reluctant, but Saito offers Cobb the one thing he wants but cannot have. Cobb accepts. ‚??Inception,‚?Ě he says, ‚??is dangerous and very difficult, but,‚?Ě he adds enigmatically, ‚??I‚??ve done it before.‚?Ě That‚??s the setup for this smart and extraordinary mind-bending drama, mystery, sci-fi, action thriller.
Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent as Cobb, whose complicated past we put together ‚?? as best we can ‚?? from clues ‚??Inception‚?Ě plants during its 148 minutes. Ellen Page plays the newest recruit to Cobb‚??s ‚??dream team‚?Ě whose members, with Cobb, will go dangerously deep into the mark‚??s subconscious. She‚??s Ariadne, dream ‚??architect,‚?Ě who helps us ‚?? and Cobb ‚?? learn his back-story. Her name is a clue. In Greek myth, Ariadne helps Theseus escape from the labyrinth. Here, Ariadne designs one. Others on Cobb‚??s team are Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Cobb‚??s serious business partner, Tom Hardy as playful Eames, the ‚??forger‚?Ě (who gets a few laughs), and Dileep Rao as Yusuf, the ‚??chemist.‚?Ě Ken Watanabe plays powerful Saito, corporate rival of terminally ill Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlewaite). His only son Robert (Cillian Murphy) will be the target of Cobb and his team‚??s inception efforts. Marion Cotillard is Cobb‚??s wife Mal (whose name may be another clue). She is probably ‚?? but maybe not ‚?? a projection of Cobb‚??s subconscious. Michael Caine has a cameo as Miles, wise father (or maybe, father-in-law) to Cobb.
‚??Inception‚?Ě is a mind-bending sci-fi action thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan. Like his ‚??Memento‚?Ě (2000), the plot is intricately structured ‚?? three, maybe four, layers of dreams ‚?? or dreams within dreams ‚?? all of which have plenty of action. ‚??Whose dream are we in now?‚?Ě asks Ellen Page. You may well ask, too, so pay attention because ‚??Inception‚??s‚?Ě cerebral pleasures are worth the effort. It‚??s a movie of dazzling images, ideas about dreams and reality, and the dangers of losing one‚??s way. It‚??s worth seeing twice. I did.
Excellent cinematography in the grand style by Wally Pfister. Hans Zimmer wrote the score, another of the film‚??s pleasures. Stay through the credits and listen to the music. I think Edith Piaf‚??s great song, placed just a few minutes before the end, is also a clue. Rated PG-13 for pervasive violence and action.
Action and some laughter,
It‚??s mostly cerebral ‚??
Talk about it after.