Inception – Directed by Christopher Nolan

Inception follows Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his team as they steal people’s secrets and ideas from their dreams. His next big, thought to be impossible, challenge is to plant a new idea in the mind of a CEO, Robert Fischer, without him knowing. The word ‘inception’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as ‘the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity’ and this is exactly what Dom is setting out to do in Robert Fischer’s dream.

It is a high action, high drama film that definitely got me thinking. I always seem to go for the same kind of films, films that are very easy to watch and aren’t too emotional or scary. However I found this film really fun and almost like a puzzle in the way that I kept having to work out what was happening and what it all meant.

Inception
IMDB, 2015. Inception (2010) [21 October 2015]. Available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/

At first I found it very confusing whether Cobb was in a dream or not, and if not them was it reality or someone else’s dream; however I soon began to realise that it wasn’t necessarily important to know who’s dream they were in, but what they were saying and finding out. I found it very confusing when they went in a dream and then inside that dream, however by the time the last challenge was being tackled, I understood the different layers of dreams that they were all in.

I noticed a strong motif in Dom’s totum, the spinning thing, but I couldn’t work out why. However it was explained that it was a small, but heavy object that they would always carry around with them and when you saw his totum in a dream then it was his own dream, and it was the same for all the other characters’ with their totums. Another motif I noticed was the dramatic music that was continuously played. I’m still not completely sure why this music was repeated so many times and what it meant, however I think it was a sign that meant that one of the characters was in trouble in their dream and so it warned them that the dream needed to end or be resolved soon. Another motif would be the riddle that Cobb’s ‘wife’ kept repeating. I wasn’t sure what it really meant until Cobb said it when they were both lying on the train line.

One of my favourite parts of the film was near the beginning when Dom Cobb was pushed backwards into a bath to wake him up and get him out of his dream. I loved the use of slow motion in this and how the slow motion of him falling back contrasted with the fast pace of the water coming and drowning him in his dream. I thought the visuals of him falling in the bath and all the water splashing everywhere was beautifully dramatic and artistic. This scene has inspired me to think about the use of slow motion and speeding up scenes to create different moods or give the film an artistic feel.

I found it difficult to keep up with the quick scene changes, although it was always clear if the film had taken you into another dream because the styling of the characters and the setting would change. I found that whenever I thought that they were in reality, there would be another twist and it would show that they were actually still dreaming.

I noticed that the camera would be very shaky and unsteady when in a dream, possibly to represent how the characters felt uncertain and panicky about the situations they were in. I also think that if the camera was completely still and smooth then it wouldn’t have given the same tension because it would have looked too relaxed and stable.

I noticed that there was almost always music in the background or some background to music to reflect the mood of the scene. When the characters were trying to work something out the music would speed up in pace slowly to show that they were coming to a decision but also to show they were running out of time. I noticed when the scene showed tension and panic then the music would speed up, get louder and more intense and intimidating. When there was a loving scene then the music would be more calming and slow.

I thought that the special effects and animation were so well done and realistic. One of my favourite special effects was when they were all floating in the hotel room because I still can’t work out how they did it! At first I thought it could possibly have been a green screen, but it looked too realistic for a green screen to have been used and I feel like you can always tell when one is. I then thought that harnesses could have been used to hold the actors up, but I felt like they moved around too much and too freely for that to be possible. I then thought that the room could have been spinning in circles, so the characters could stand on all sides of the room and then the camera would have to turn to suit the angles needed. I think that my last idea would be the most probable. I just really liked that the effects weren’t really obvious and I really had to think about how they were achieved.

The film ended on a cliff hanger because you still weren’t completely sure if Cobb was in reality or whether he was still in a dream. On one hand I like how the film ended because it’s gonna keep people talking and thinking of how they think the film actually ended. However I also found it frustrating how the story wasn’t fully resolved because I was waiting for how the film would be resolved the whole time and then it wasn’t.

Resources:
Inception, 2010 [DVD]. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Warner Home Video

G.L., 2010. The Conception of “Inception” [21 October 2015]. Available from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/07/film_titles
IMDB, 2015. Inception (2010) [21 October 2015]. Available from:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/

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