Nolan’s Labyrinth: A Review of Inception

As some of you are showing an interest in Christopher Nolan’s Inception I will add some reading for you. To start a lengthy discussion of the film by Gary Westfahl from Locus Online.

Like the architects of dreams in his film Inception, writer-director Christopher Nolan has constructed a world in the form of an intricate labyrinth and challenges his viewers to make their way through its many corridors and dead ends to finally escape, having solved all its mysteries. With only twenty-four hours of real time to explore and ponder this convoluted creation, I cannot say that I have completed the journey through Nolan’s maze; but I have gone far enough to be sure of one thing: that this film is not really about what it claims to be about.

What Inception claims to be about requires no critical acumen to discern, given its subject matter and numerous lines of dialogue. Nolan envisions a world in which individuals can employ a device, carried in a silver suitcase, that enables them to enter into and impose patterns on people’s dreams; although the technology was initially developed, we are told, as a way for armies to train their soldiers, it is now used by surreptitious operatives who are hired to either obtain information from people by manipulating such “shared dreaming” (“extraction”) or, more rarely, to plant an idea in someone’s brain (“inception”). An influential tycoon, Saito (Ken Watanabe), has allowed such a team, headed by Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), to attempt to get data from him through dreams as an “audition,” and then recruits Cobb to make Robert Fischer, Jr. (Cillian Murphy), the son of rival Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlethwaite), come up with the idea of breaking up his father’s business, thus allowing Saito to continue competing. With the help of his regular partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a new dream architect, Ariadne (Ellen Page), a forger, Eames (Tom Hardy), a chemist, Yusuf (Dileep Rao), and Saito himself, Cobb proceeds to develop and implement a complex plan, involving dreams within dreams within dreams, to give Fischer the idea to destroy the powerful empire he is inheriting.

Read the rest here.

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