Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, an elite thief who has mastered the art of stealing valuable secrets from people’s dreams and is given the dangerous task of trying to implant an idea into the mind of a corporate CEO.
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Towing the line between his mainstream and experimental affectations, Nolan pays homage to 'La Jetee' in this meta-narrative, hall-of-mirrors, Escher-esque, dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream premise. Whilst 'Memento' remains his greatest cinematic achievement, there is much of merit in a film where an ensemble cast shine alongside the intricacies of this carefully conceived Rubic's cube narrative.
Over-the-top praise for this film has obscured any real possibility for discussion. I don't place much value in the ambiguous ending, and I wish earlier parts of the film were infused with more mystery and imaginative disarray. The visual experience is enjoyable, but I never felt any attachment to DiCaprio's character.
Well... I probably liked it more than two stars might suggest but at the same time it didn't really grip me. I really like Ellen Page but here she was pretty much just used as Ms. Exposition which was disappointing...
Despite criticisms that his work is cold and mechanical, there's an emotional centre here that makes it work. For all its hi-tech adornments, it's really the story of a broken man building a system of artificial representations to keep alive the memory of a departed love. Cities are presented as literal labyrinths of the mind, but it's the decaying city, dying without love, that is the film's most pertinent metaphor.
Nolan's detractors tend to label his directing style as 'cold' and 'sterile.' Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. With "Inception," Nolan proved that the Hollywood blockbuster was in dire need of a more cerebral approach. While the script is a bit over-burdened with exposition, "Inception" provides plenty of imagery to dazzle the eyes at the same time the story ties the viewer's brain in knots.
Doesn't nail the pathos or character development that should've been present in a dreamscape "Heat." But the action, intelligence, creativity and class are in abundance. If films like this and "Insomnia" are any indication, Nolan should emulate Mann more often.
Why I didn't like this film:  Lack of human sense. Most of the characters just looked like an empty doll, "motiveless." No sense of human feeling.  The lack of urgency. I mean, what this film really wanted to tell about? The idea of planting idea on one's brain? The many levels of human consciousness? At the end, the only thing left was a same old question, or contradiction.
the complicated start explains itself in short time... it was easier to follow than i thought it would be, and i still got caught off guard because i was so enthralled with the storyline and visuals... a most impressive compilation of how and why as it unravels... the best 2 1/2 hours i've spent in front of an IMAX screen to date... Go Nolan!