Inception, Christopher Nolan’s latest offering, not only further confirms his status as a truly visionary director, but surely cements his place as one of the greatest British directors currently working.
Nolan has an unrivalled ability to combine the cerebral with the Blockbuster; The Dark Knight is one of only six films to gross $1 billion, whilst maintaining its artistic integrity and vision. His direction manages to consistently strike an even balance between the intellectually stimulating and the visually inspiring, satisfying even the most discerning film-goer.
Inception is a film which benefits from the audience’s lack of knowledge or insight. This is not to say it will not still impress on repeat viewings, but rather, much like Nolan’s earlier work Memento and The Prestige, the first viewing will entirely engross the viewer, to the extent that repeat viewings are almost a pre-requisite.
Inception takes place in a world in which it is possible to enter people’s dreams and to create the very architecture of the dream. Leonardo Dicaprio plays Dom Cobb, an extractor; he enters people’s dreams to extract secrets, often industry secrets for competing companies. Cobb is offered a business opportunity, which due to personal circumstances, is impossible for him to refuse; this opportunity provides the catalyst for the events of the film.
Once again like much of Nolan’s work, Inception uses a multi-layered narrative, aiding and enhancing the film’s depiction of its characters – who too, in the case of Cobb, display hidden depths. Importantly the choice of a dream setting ensures that Nolan is not limited by any attempts to adhere to realism; thus its set-pieces are truly inspired, and there are a number of intensely memorable scenes. Ellen Page’s character, Ariadne, remarks that the dream is ‘pure creation’, and there is a real sense that this is what Inception is for Nolan: an attempt to test his limits as a filmmaker and the limits of his imagination.
Nolan’s first original work since Memento, Inception is an ambitious, beautifully realised film with an admirable cast; Inception is another pitch-perfect film to add to Nolan’s already inspired back-catalogue.