Ah. Well, I was reserving the title of this post for a followup post to an earlier post about physics research. But, the film I went to last night at the wonderful Vista theatre was so engaging, and so excellently done – on the themes of dreams and memory – that I thought I’d use it.
Christopher Nolan has done it again! Inception (both written and directed by him) is yet another (remember my discussion of the Dark Knight two years back) example that shows that it is possible to make a big budget Summer Blockbuster that does not treat the audience as idiots. It tells you from the opening frames that you’re going to have to pay attention and think during the film, and that interesting ideas and themes are going to be explored, and it certainly lives up to that promise right through to the end. It is thrilling on all sort of levels, and for those who don’t care about ideas, there’s plenty of stuff blowing up and crashing into stuff to keep them happy.
I am going to say absolutely nothing more about it (more or less) since one of the things that usually helps me enjoy films like this to the max is that I’ve no idea what is coming. I hardy watch TV commercials at all and don’t follow online chatter about movies, and so have not been overloaded with (what I’ve heard has been) a lot of hype about the movie. I had essentially no idea who was in it (beyond two of the leads) or what it was about when I went in. That helps, since then the whole conceit unfolds marvellously for you from beginning to end. If you can, try to do that – so definitely ignore reviews, that tend to tell you way too much. (A good bit of advice I heard on Kermode this morning: Make sure you don’t have to do a toilet break. If you do so, you might as well just not come back in and instead wait for the next showing since you’ll never connect where you return to to where you left…)
I loved it. And people around me in the hugely packed theatre did too. You could hear people delighting in the working out they had to do at various points. Look… Penrose staircases were featured – what more do you want?! Alternative laws of physics? Ideas about Design, Architecture, and Psychology? Well… go along and see! Think of it this way…. if people who like their films not dumb and dumber support this in vast numbers, it might send the signal to studio heads that they don’t need to separate non-formulaic idea-entertaining thought-provoking writing and filmmaking from the big budgets. They are (not surprisingly) not mutually exclusive!