“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” – Inception [spoiler alert!]

inceptionI finally had the chance to watch “Inception” last week at the theater…long after nearly everyone else I knew had seen it. Luckily now they can all talk about it around me finally. Thanks to a lack of television I’d managed to avoid any hints at what the movie was about so I went into it only knowing the actors involved. If you’ve yet to see it, I’d recommend skipping this particular post of mine. I’d hate to spoil the movie for you. I’m not sure if I’d have enjoyed it as much knowing any of the plot ahead of time.

And now…on to my thoughts on the film.

Let’s start with the actors themselves. I’m not the biggest Leonardo DiCaprio fan but I have to admit that I was rather impressed with him in this movie. His character, Cobb, was an excellent fit for his acting and I’m in the process of revising my opinion of him as an actor. Cillian Murphy was the big draw for me as I’ve been a fan of his for years. He was wonderful in this film as the unknowing victim of the inception attempt.

Two other actors that I’m growing to love more and more are Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They play a “forger” and “point-man” respectively and the interactions between the two make me understand exactly why there’s so much slash fanfiction involving the two of them. Their characters are wonderfully fleshed out even to the point where the levels that are their own dream match their personalities so well.

The actor that was a surprise to me was Ken Watanabe. I had no idea he was in the movie and as such I had no idea that he would not only be the instigator of the inception job but was a part of the team as well.

From the start of the movie I was hooked into the action, always wondering what would happen next and even agreeing with certain things, such as how time moves much differently in our dreams. One part that still makes me go “wow” is the moment of the first “kick” with the van going over the side of the bridge. From that moment the characters know what has happened and on each level they realize how long they have until the next kicks have to happen. All of the kicks need to happen at the same time in order for them to wake up from each level.

Another scene that is visually amazing is the part where the van is thrown into a roll down an embankment. In the next dream level, Arthur’s dream, the hotel corridor is suddenly thrown into a spin while he is fighting one of the projections in the dream. They literally fight as the corridor spins and it looks like something that Spiderman only wishes he could do. Reading about how that scene was done I have some serious respect for Joseph Gordon-Levitt for actually being in that physically spinning set.

The climax of the movie hits all at once and I found myself holding my breath, wondering if everyone would make it out in time, if Fischer would see the false dream-version of his father and accept the idea that was being planted, if Cobb and Ariadne would make it out of limbo or not and so on. I admit to being somewhat teary during the suspense when Fischer pulled the pinwheel out of the safe. Even though I knew it was false, the emotion on Fischer’s face was heartwrenching.

And the end of the movie…how can I let that pass by? The happiness of seeing Cobb make his way through customs. The amusement at seeing Fischer’s confused face when Cobb walks past him. And then the tense moment when he sets the top to spinning, wanting to know if he’s still dreaming or not. Cobb walks away from it before he knows, unable to resist his children’s calls for their father. We see the top spin, spin, spin, almost wobble and then it cuts to black. In the theater when I saw it nearly everyone in the audience made a loud noise of protest. Apparently that’s the usual reaction.

With the completely ambiguous ending, the tense climax, the twisting dream sequences and so on the movie “Inception” can make you forget how long it really is…at least until you try to stand and walk after it’s over. I’ve only seen it once but I already want to see it again and I plan to pre-order the dvd as soon as I can. The more I sit and think about it, the more I realize I enjoy it.

I’m curious to know what you all thought about it. What was your take on the ending? Is he still in limbo? Is it real? Does it matter? Let me know!