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[1] 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.

IMDb ; My friend Amy ; Girls can play ; Cinematical’s Likes and dislikes ; and there is a full on spoiler warning for the Metafilter discussion

Linknotes:

  1. parts of this really reminded me of Solaris

  1. Unless it is crap. If it is a rubbish film you should be told this in order to lower your expectations and then you may possibly enjoy some aspects of the awfulness in front of you 

  2. In the positive sense 

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8 Responses

  1. She says:

    I was just thinking about posting about this one. I saw it a coupla days ago and really liked it. I understand what you're saying about the plot holes, but I think this film was a step in the right direction. I just feel as though there has been a lack of… intelligent blockbusters that actually make you think. Ah well, I'd like to see it again to see if I can pick anything up that I missed the first time around. I think I'll wait for it to come out on DVD though. ;p Did Ellen Page's scarves bother you too?

    Also, I think it was the first time I've ever been in a theatre where at the end of the film, the entire audience let out a collective "Whaaaaaaaatttttttt….?????"
    She´s last blog post ..Teaser Tuesday

    • Fence says:

      Yes, it was a perfect intelligent action film! Hopefully this will prove to studios that we don't really want the likes of "the end of the world in a stupid and pointless way but with big ole explosions" and instead would prefer an engaging well -told story, that in many ways, makes sense.

      I wasn't bothered by Page's scarves, but I have a soft spot for her, so I may be biased.

    • Fence says:

      Hee, just checked my referrer stats and some people are getting here by googling "inception ellen page scarves"
      Fence´s last blog post ..The Passage

  2. anne says:

    Ha! When i went to see it, the audience burst out in a collective giggle, which was lovely and awesome.

    I really enjoyed this, but didn't love it either.

    Or as well?

    You know what i mean.

  3. Kathleen says:

    I really want to see this one and your review hasn't made me want to see it any less. I have a feeling I will be talking and thinking about it for awhile afterwords and those are the best kind of movies.
    Kathleen´s last blog post ..Back to Civilization

    • Fence says:

      It is Kathleen, and I really like that about it, there is so much to discuss, and it is one that can be rewatched to see if you change your take on things.

  1. 1 January 2011

    […] as there were a lot of duds in my opinion. The stand out ones, from what I remember were Whip It!, Inception, Precious and maybe The Blind Side despite its corniness. Oh and Solomon Kane was just pure […]