Inception dreams big.

The concept is intriguing.  Imagine being able to enter a person’s dream.  Actually enter their subconscious mind and take whatever you wanted from it.  Such is the premise of Inception, a new movie from Warner Brothers, and directed by Christopher Nolan, the acclaimed director of the 2008 box office smash “The Dark Knight”.

If the plot took off that way, the movie might be called “Extraction”, which is what Leonardo Di Caprio‘s character Dom Cobb does for a living.  he and his assistant Arthur, played by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt sleep in close proximity to people, project themselves mentally into their dreams to steal information.  “Inception” occurs when the subject has an idea implanted in his or her mind instead of having something taken from it.


The idea is first proposed by an Asian corporate magnate named Saito, played by Ken Watanabe, who subjects himself to an extraction from Cobb and Arthur in order to “audition them to perform an “Inception” on a rival, Robert Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy.  Fischer’s father Maurice (Pete Postelwaite) is gravely ill and Saito would profit greatly if Robert Fischer would dissolve his father’s empire, which is the idea he wants Cobb to implant. 

There the film takes after the classic “heist” storyline, where Cobb recruits a crew to help him get the job done. Cobb recruits Eames (Tom Hardy), a forger who shifts identities inside dreams, Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who develops sedatives and dream architect Ariadne (Ellen Page).   Ariadne discovers during a training session that Cobb’s missions are continually sabotaged by his deceased wife Mal, (Marion Cotilliard), whose murder Cobb is implicated in.  Cobb has lived in exile for the years following his wife’s death away from his children, and that pain coupled with witnessing his wife’s suicide allows the vision to thwart his dream activity.

Visually, the film is a masterpiece.  those familiar with director Christopher Nolan’s work will recognize his use of urban cityscapes as backdrops, along with jarring images that leave you amazed.   I am no Leonardo DI Caprio fan, but I found his performance of the troubled leader of the Inception team compelling.  His supporting cast was also excellent, with Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Ellen Page delivering outstanding performances, but equal praise should be given to Tom Hardy in the role of the forger Eames, who provides comic relief as does Rao’s chemist.  Look for cameos by Michael Caine, who plays Cobb’s former mentor and Tom Berenger, who plays Peter Browning, Robert Fischer’s godfather and CEO of Fischer’s father’s empire. 

I highly recommend Inception to anyone.  You will see this one on the nomination lists next spring, I dare say.  I do suggest however that you be ready to THINK on the points discussed in the movie because this is not a true “popcorn” summer movie.  It is long too, clocking in at 2 hours and 28 minutes, so it’s not recommended for kids attention spans.