“Inception” is one of those clever, suspenseful movies that
delight the sci-fi-techno crowd, but is truly frustrating to the more linear
thinkers, who want their story lines clean, clear, and chronological.
Leonardo DiCaprio play Cobb, a dream weaver of the first order.
He, in collusion with his team of anonymous inventor geeks, have
figured out how to insert themselves into another person’s dream.
This has great implications for the highly-nuanced field of corporate
espionage. What if you could
somehow enter the mind of your competitor, thereby both stealing secrets and
planting the seeds of doubt, confusion, and paranoia?
Sounds absolutely devilish.
Actually, the nascent technology hasn’t turned out all that great
for Cobb himself, who managed somehow to plant the seeds of doubt in his own
wife, appropriately named Mal (Marion Cotillard), who’s now the nemesis
that keeps appearing in his own dreams as a projection of his guilt over her
terminal confusion. Sound
complicated? Wait until they
start talking about administering strong sedatives so the participants can
descend into the second and third levels of dreaming, where time slows down
and mental functions speed up, and physical danger becomes an adrenalin-rush
unreality because we are somehow still aware that we can just escape by
It’s an interesting role for Ellen Page, of “Juno” fame, to be
the neophyte Ariadne on Cobb’s dream-weaver team:
she still appears to have that wonderful guarded openness, so
perceptive and adaptable that she catches on very quickly; so quickly that
she notices the inherent dangers the others don’t.
It seems Cobb is working through his own back story, which he brings
with him to the project, of course, because it’s a prominent part of his
Michael Caine has a nice little cameo as Cobb’s father-in-law;
he doesn’t even have to pretend to act any more;
just being himself is screen presence enough, and we don’t forget
which character he plays, either, even after an extended absence. Cobb
is trying to work his way back home, and we know that somewhere he’s going
to have to make some hard choices, while still fending off the minions of
bad guys in the dream state, projections of other’s natural defenses, and
letting go of his unreal fantasy of his beautiful, beloved, Mal, and
reluctantly accepting the new reality that to choose her is to be forever
consigned to a Limbo of un-being.
At the end, Cobb tells Ariadne that she’s going to need a
“totem”: a physical trinket
that enables her to distinguish reality from fantasy at any given moment.
Actually, seeing this film, we’re all going to need one.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace