Warning: spoiler-y territory ahead. Well, why haven’t you seen this yet? It’s your own fault for being too busy for movies.
Also yes, I know there’s more than 10 Crazy Jumbled Thoughts about Inception here. I lied, in order to gain your confidence, so I can deeper infiltrate your thoughts while you dream.
1. What if Charlie Kaufman wrote this movie? Would it be funnier, warmer? Messier? What if Inception had a baby with Synchedoche, New York? Wow, that made my head hurt.
1B. What if Michel Gondry directed it? (Answer: It would be waaaay more twee.)
1C. …and what if Christopher Nolan made a James Bond film? (Oooh.)
DON’T DO DRUGS AND SEE THIS MOVIE?
2. The BF feels there’s a relation between the slipperiness of film’s core concepts and the things you think/dream up while on hallucinogenics. I think the film is too workman-like, runs too much like a clock, to be terribly related to the wild worlds one encounters on psychedelics… although it paradoxically manages to be both surreal AND real.
3. There is an insane amount of art and architecture references rippling through this film. A few minutes into this movie they make a Francis Bacon reference? What!? This is a summer blockbuster! Crazy!
M.C. Escher certainly makes an appearance. Los Angeles’ DWP building (pictured above) is quoted. Cobb & Ariadne walk across Paris’ Bir-Hakeim bridge. Cobb’s home looks and feels like a classic Greene & Greene California bungalow. Huge portions of the film’s surface are covered in those most modern of materials, glass, cold steel, and lots of mirrors.
4. (Slightly spoiler-y) There’s something downright Citizen Kane-esque about Cillian Murphy’s big cathartic moment. This film’s Rosebud is again a simple object from childhood that grows grandiose in stature, fully imbued with serious emotional meaning.
4B. The Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge sequence feels like another Welles’ reference, when Ariadne locks herself and Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) in a Lady from Shanghai-esque hall of mirrors.
4C. Kubrick’s ghost also slips through the film – everything that waits for Fischer behind the safe’s door is a big visual reference to 2001. Whenever Kubrick’s influence pops up in a movie, it gives me the chills (imagine my fan girl glee sitting through There Will Be Blood).
THE LITTLE SPARROW
5. There’s a double dose of Piaf in this puppy – Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien” echoes throughout the film, and Cotillard herself won her Oscar for bringing Piaf to life. Cotillard’s character Mal manages to be even more hysterical and frightening than the often volatile and larger than life Piaf herself. Mal is pure femme fatale, actually – her manipulative neediness has plenty in common with the spider women of film noir past. (And yes, I know that Malmeans bad in French. We get it, Christopher Nolan! She’s a bad lady!)
YES, VIDEO GAMES
6. Come on, you can’t tell me that 3rd level in the dream state (”the snow level”) wasn’t like something out of the Call of Duty video game franchise? Hell, the whole idea that there are “levels” to progress through, layered one on top of another, is a big reference to video game architecture itself. They could make a video game out of this movie, it would be a lot like Heavy Rain with action sequences. Although, it would be really frustrating to get stuck in one of those repeating stair-loops. (Press B! I *AM* pressing B. Keep pressing B, I guess.)
SALACIOUS THOUGHTS ABOUT BOYS
7. Oh I like that Tom Hardy fellow. I have a very woozy weakness for British action heroes. I hope I get a chance to see him shoot a gun again. I’ll have to check out his appearance as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in the meantime. Oh, that sounds just lovely.
7B. Nobody will ever remember that Fred Astaire walked on the ceiling first, now that Joseph Gordon Levitt has done it. The next time someone does ANYTHING on the ceiling, people will shout “poseur!” until their throats are sore.
7C. This is the first time I think I’ve taken DiCaprio seriously as a man-MAN. I know he’s considered quite the sex symbol, but for example, in the Aviator, I just didn’t think he felt old/experienced enough to play a character like Howard Hughes. I thought he still felt a bit baby-faced even in The Departed, or perhaps Matt Damon just made him seem younger in that film. But in Inception, I fully bought it that he was a man old enough to be haunted by his past.
MAYBE IT’S JUST ME, BUT –
8. I don’t like Hans Zimmer! The score was the most distracting part of this movie for me. The score was doing it’s Zimmer-y thing of going, HEY, don’t forget ABOUT ME back HERE with all these DRAMATIC! BOOMING! MOMENTS! It’s too much. Something more subtle could have worked just as well, but that’s just my taste preference.
MY FRIEND DAVE LEWIS WILL WANT ME TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT ELLEN PAGE
9. Dave loves Ellen Page. When confronted with the choice, Cotillard or Page, DL doesn’t think it’s an easy question to answer. Page’s character in the movie was not as fleshed out as the others, so it’s not entirely her fault that I don’t find her appearance in this film extremely memorable. Still, she does manage to hold her own against the veterans and…um, her complexion is quite dewy in places. There, Dave, are you happy now?
WHO TAKES A KID TO INCEPTION?
10. After our screening, we watched a 10 year old little girl emerge from the theater with her father and brother. Right in front of us, with an anguished look on her face, she asked “WHAT HAPPENED?!” I feel like this movie could give a kid nightmares.
“Mommy…are we real?”
If you have crazy jumbled thoughts about Inception too, hit the Comments box.