Thursday, July 22, 2010

Movie review - and then Mrs Stuffy woke up and ... It was all a dream - Inception

There have been many films over the years which have addressed the challenge of the world of dreams. Perhaps it's because I very rarely remember my own dreams that I've always found these efforts to be less than satisfying. Although "The Matrix" did it well "What dreams may come" did it amazingly appallingly, "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" was, for me, dull and "The Cell" was quite silly and quite unpleasant.

I do like Christopher Nolan films, thus far without exception, and judging by the packed cinema there was a high expectation that this movie would be very entertaining. Sadly I found Inception a little curates-eggy, I enjoyed the visuals, I liked the cityscape folding on itself, the Escher staircases, the arrival of the freight train but I didn't enjoy the vast amount of explanatory dialogue, the unnecessary levels of complexity, the overlong action scenes.

The ski section would be great in a James Bond, but it was too long and and felt too indulgent, by contrast the weightless section in the hotel was genuinely novel and masterful movie making. The cast was impressive, Cotillard, Watanabe and Di Caprio, were workmanlike and although this role was wrong for Ellen Page both Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were outstanding and engaging.

The problem was the tale, the structure, the storyboard, it's a story, it should unfold, we don't need to have everything explained in advance, but, it should be a story that's followable. Dream's and the psychology of dreaming are complicated things.
When the world was much, much younger I remember spending hours with my English teacher, Mr Webb, known to the class as Caliban, who encouraged us to spend entire lessons arguing the idea that this world, the mundane, might be the dream and the night-time world the reality, it's not a new idea and I didn't feel that Inception adds anything to the genre that hasn't been explored before.

I've heard that people have been confused by this film, I can only assume that, like Mrs Stuffy, they slept through the bits where interminable (and flawed) explanations and expositions were delivered...

Oops, nearly forgot the Haiku

Woke from endless dream
but to find the dream went on,
on, and on, and on...


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