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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I suggest that the purpose of the film not to explore the dream life but rather to use the idea of exploring the dream life to justify creating a complex narrative experience for the viewer. That is the purpose of the film; the dreams operate as alibis.
[When the van begins to fall over the bridge,] it dawned on me that Nolan has elevated exposition of new premises to the main form of communication among characters. Discussion of their personal relationships, hopes, and doubts largely drops out. As the Russian Formalists would say, exposition, usually given early on and at wide intervals later in a plot, becomes the dominant here.