Hmmm, how to review a film where you really don’t want to talk about the plot because you might give stuff away…
First off all I guess I say, don’t try and find out about this film before you go see it. Just keep your mind open and go. Of course that is the way I try and see every film, so maybe it doesn’t mean much, but I do honestly think that knowing very little about a film is the best way to get the most out of it1
Okay, the briefest of plot outlines; Cobb’s job is to enter your dreams and find ideas that are hidden away. This is called extraction. But is the reverse, inception, possible? Can he plant an idea in someone?
There is plenty to enjoy about this film; it is smart, action packed while not being violent, there are no romances/sex show-horned in because that is what the audience expects, even the language is clean, with one exception. It is in many ways a “grown-up” film2, albeit one based on some pretty fantastical notions.
And Himself, whom I went to see it with loved. As did his friends. As have all the facebook comments about it. But, now, a few days after going to the cinema to see it I have to say that I don’t love it. I like it, and I enjoyed it, and I would have no problem watching it again. But I feel no grá for it. Probably because I didn’t engage fully with any of the characters. That’s a problem when you try and make their motivations a mystery from the audience. It means we are kept at a distance from them, and unless they are superbly written and acted, that keeps love at a distance. Show Spoiler ▼
Also, if you look too closely at a lot of the plot points, they don’t necessarily make total sense. And in many ways Ellen Page’s character was just an audience-proxy with very little to do. Or was she Show Spoiler ▼
As I said, I did like the film, the one or two action scenes with Gordon-Levitt fighting as the world spins round him were fantastically done. And there is so much to coo over. And there are many many questions to linger in your mind. Which is, of course, what the box-office likes, as you’ll go back again to see if you can find more clues, won’t you? :)
And of course, it isn’t really about the plot, is it? No, it is about the character of Cobb, and love and guilt and emotion and memory. And if the film is really about him, and I didn’t love him as a character, I guess it stands to reason that I didn’t love the film. Still enjoyed it, mind, and you should totally go see it too. And then let me know what you thought.