Sunday, July 18, 2010


"An Idea is like a virus." Christopher Nolan's reverence for ideas is the subtext of his latest movie, Inception. All his previous movies, with the exception of Batman Begins, began with one featured idea. Following and Memento each put a single idea on display more blatantly and proudly than what the industry was used to, and then The Dark Knight with it's new take on the Joker.
Whatever spark Mr. Nolan had 20 years ago that led to this movie, it turned into a fireworks display. Every minute a new amazing idea or image is up on screen: slow motion that is necessary to the story because it deals with relativity, as opposed to style; or the image of two lovers laying down on a railroad track together, with hope. Each time the characters wake into a new dream they have to come to bearings. Inception has the freedom to cut from a character in a hotel to that same character on a snowy mountain looking through a sniper rifle scope. This concept is such a gift and Christopher Nolan took full advantage of it and he didn't pander to any precedents concerning dreams in movies (no pretensions, no unicorns).
I like the comparisons to Kubrick's 2001, only because this movie is a wake up call of the same vein - No 3D, no obvious CGI, no pre-existing intellectual property. Well, 2001 was based on a novel but it's ambitions align with that of Inception's. It's too bad this movie has similarities to The Matrix because I don't think they should be compared at all, Inception is elegant. I've heard people try to sum it up as a heist movie, but it's actually a con movie. This movie's closest cousin is The Sting, and The Sting is one of the only movies that can square up, with confidence, to this picture.
I really hope other directors rise to the challenge. We are at the cusp of a new decade and this movie is like a mission statement.