this is gona be interesting
You managed to get in the first comment? .. Well, there's only one thing I can say to that.
You're in my spot, sir.
Only a couple mins into this one Spoony, but I wanna throw out my interpretation of the film.
Obviously spoilers but honestly I don't think you should be here if you care or haven't seen the film yet.
It was all a dream, even when we thought it wasn't a dream. That is why many elements are unexplained, because you can chalk it up to dream logic. And I'm not just talking about the ending. Remember the foot chase, where Leo ducks down a alley and the wall gets really really narrow like its closing in on him? Who designs a alley like that? Then Ken Wantanabe shows up and saves the day. That dream narrative.
Think about how the constantly say 'how did you get here' and when they can't answer they are like 'ohhhh its a dream', we are doing the same thing here. We are sort of thrown out into the middle of the narrative, and we fish out information as we go along. But we never started at the beginning did we? Its hazy, like a dream.
This is my comment after 7 mins of your video, if you hit on this I apologize.
I have to disagree that this is like the Matrix, because honestly when you really boil down what the Matrix is all about, it's a Marxist dream of a film. Can you really call Inception a Marxist film? and how exactly would you make that argument? I guess maybe in some extremely roundabout way that might make some sense since the main character is trying to make a return back to his normal way of life, but with the Matrix you're talking an in-your-face style that you just don't see in Inception. That being said, obviously I'm not saying The Matrix is a bad movie, I'm just saying these two have only the vaguest of connections and the idea that one is heavily borrowing from the other is kind of grasping at straws. I mean they say that there are no truly original ideas, that everything borrows in some way from something else, but where do we draw the line for what is an inventive use of an old idea and what is just ripping an idea off? I think if anything Inception is an example of an inventive use of old ideas to create a new idea that is entirely original, if only based loosely on old ideas. Sometimes people read so deep into these things that they miss the forest for the trees.
I've been waiting a lot to see Inception but it's not really an original idea. The movie Paprika have a very similar story and it was released in 2006.
Not really a similar STORY, but the concept is very similar.
I started laughing when Spoony was saying that the dreams were a wasted opportunity and there should have been monsters. The whole point of the dreams being realistic is that they are realistic to the target, so they don't realize they are dreaming or their subconscious attacks.
Moll was the monster
I don't know if this is going to seem like a cop out or not, but in regards to your comments about some of the explanations being up in the air and the sudden appearance of this dream technology, I remember hearing some possible explanations that potentially the movie itself is a dream to the audience, and much like how it's explained that people dream in media res, so too is it for the “dream” that is the movie itself.
Actually sometimes you CAN have a dream within a dream. I've had it happen a couple times. The only I remember really well is having fun with my girlfriend and friends then waking up in a dark room and seeing Kayako from JU-ON in my face. She attacked me and THEN I actually woke up. So yeah, it is possible, just doesn't happen that often I guess?
Re: Dreams within dreams
I think the reason Cobb's team could do this was because they were a fundamentally invasive force who are aware that they're in a dream. I just think it's kind of nitpicking when you say, “Well, Ellen Page can manipulate matter in this dream state, but I'm not buying that they can do layered dreams!”
As for the vagueness of the technology, I actually thought that was one of the movie's strong suits. Considering we're not even really sure what the purpose and function or dreams are NOW, I find it hard to believe anyone could come up with a reasonable scientific explanation around this otherwise incredibly awesome concept. The last thing we needed with Inception was a Shyamalan-esque, “the Trees are disabling our self-preservation instincts,” level pile of pseudo-scientific bullshit.
Another interesting aspect of Inception was how vague it was about its setting. We're given absolutely no clue as to what year this takes place in. The movie barely shows any technology — the calculations are all done on paper. I thought that was fucking brilliant. This movie may never feel dated. Even Blade Runner, a movie that has held up incredibly well, will feel dated once it hits the date it specified as its setting (it's only real flaws right now are some of its advertisements — Atari, Pan-Am, etc.). Inception managed to avoid any kind of Escape From New York-style “distant future” miscalculations. (I stole pretty much everything in this paragraph from an article posted in Roger Ebert's twitter feed. You should all read it.)
I loved this movie, and I can easily see it being a Sci-Fi staple for years to come. I would compare it to Blade Runner, mainly because of the amount of effort put into making a believable future world, similarly great performances, beautiful cinematography, and just general uniqueness that each film possesses.
I’ve kind noticed this too for a couple weeks before the release but it makes sense coming form that that analysis. Also, it’s the criminal underworld and given these guys seem to be freelance thieves, seems like they were also always on the move. Perhaps a gun is more important then a laptop for an Extractor? Maybe it’s currently impossible to calculate a dream with 0s and 1s. Interesting stuff.
pff, ive never been first, just got home from school and it was there
Okay you caught on to what I did, lol
I like the fact they didnt bring up the machine's history. thats because it felt more natural to the enviroment they were in. It be like in a hacker movie people talking about the history of laptops if they used one.
See here is the thing about having a fantastical and out of world dream… you know its a dream. If the Ellen Paige was to make more stuff like that, even in the mind of someone who dreamnt like that, then that persons sub conscience would instantly attack it. Remember the scene where Leo tries tell the business guy he is in a dream and all the projections start looking at him. that showed that bringing the slightest bit of oddity would bring about an attack. If really scary things happen, then the guy would have woken up. also it would seal away any information because the business guy would be scared.
I know I've certainly had a dream within a dream before, its not just something fictional.
Pure original screenplay? One word: PAPRIKA. And two more: Satoshi Kon. He's been doing reality-bending shit for years now in cinema and television.
Just finished the whole review, and I agree that it's definitely worth watching even if you don't like it. This has cult classic written all over it, people are going to be talking about it for years. Very entertaining. I thought the explanations of the film you found were pretty damn good, too. It all fits, it just depends on what you want it to mean really, and that's what I liked about it — the movie can be and mean whatever you want it to. It's very ambiguous like that.
Also, one of the things that bothered me, is that I walked away wondering about the theme. I couldn't find a consistent one. To me, it's just another Blockbuster with an interesting concept. 'Not to say I didn't like it.
I can understand not having monsters, but the most terrifying monsters (to me at least) are fellow human beings acting completely unrestrained
There will be a few spoilers in this comment, so be warned:
I don't really have as many problems with it as you do. Mostly because I'm either not as critical as you, or I just accept things more at face value when it comes to science fiction technology, and am more in it for the story.
Otherwise, I've had dreams within dreams. They do become more chaotic, and less ordered, which I think could have worked, with each layer losing a bit of reality, eventually becoming, on the third level, almost a mobius loop, and just impossible architecture.
I'd agree that more dream-like foes would be good, but I think that would be more for a sequel, where they go into someones' mind who has been going through chronic nightmares, and their nightmare has become their subconsious defense.
I like your ideas of more dream-like settings, too, but again, that's probably better for a sequel, based on the “I'd hate to see out-of-control” line, where someone's dream goes out of control, either nightmarishly, or when the architect (or anyone dreaming) dies in real life, while dreaming, and the dream begins to degrade, since they stop maintaining the mental imagry, but I think a lot of these ideas are more sequel oriented, since it requires the science fiction aspects brought up with the first movie.
That analysis is rather deep, but I think the alegory is a lot more of a subtle thing, and not ment as an alegory, but with the bits of “wink to the film-makers.” I also think the dream-like things in the outside world is ment either as a dream, or contrasting reality to dream.
I think the whole top thing is there for an “out” for it to be an open ending, and it's a fairly good one, since his wife knows the secret of the top, if she's alive, and his reality is a dream, and she's in 'real life,' and Ellen Page's character knows the secret, and Arthur also knows, so it could be any one of their dreams that he could be in, if he is in one.
For things to do with the sequal: Focus on Ellen Page as a focal point, as a Dream Master, of sorts, being sort of, the best dream architect in the world, and known in certain underground circles as that. It will then, explain her totem's (The gold chess piece [a Bishop, I think]) secret, and she'll be aproached with another inception job, having rumors circle about her being able to have performed inception before. So she pulls the old team back, and manages to wrangle back Leo DiCaprio's character back, perhaps (mostly for name value), and proceeds to start dealing with new dream realities, as she has had time to perfect her craft. With this, she manages to create these dream-like realities that still seem very real, but more like what you said, with something like books, or other concepts. However, the target has an unstable mind, and has chronic nightmares, so it makes the inception much more difficult, and instead of the normal subconsious attackers, you get the faceless guys, or more mythological, Jungian nightmares, drawn, both from the subject's mind, and from the setting. since the dream levels get less and less ordered, and more chaotic as the levels increase, eventually at the lowest level, it becomes a physics warped hall of mirrors, in a sense, but the mirrors show different horrors manifesting from the various horrors that torment the subject. At some point in time, someone comes along, and kills one of the dreamers in real life, and they fade from the dream, and the mirrors begin to crack, and the whole world becomes an M.C. Escher Painting, and the real challenge now becomes not simply planting the idea, but keeping grips on the situation, as the physics gets even more messed with, and camera tricks using the mirrors mess with the essence of reality.
In fact, I know there has been at least one occasion that I had a dream where I kept waking up from dreams I was having within the dream. (confusing, yes)
Stay away from predators Spoony!
It is a terrible, awful, bullshit movie
I really can't agree with make the subconscious projects into monsters and other supernatural creatures. By making those dreams fairly realistic it does make the blur between reality and the dreams very ambiguous. The only thing that show us its a dream is the gravity shifts and Cobb's additions but other than that it would be hard to tell if you're in reality or a dream.
Personally I never wanted to even see abnormal things, even after seeing it a second time I was still okay with the somewhat reality-based dreams.
I think he was saying that the monsters would be part of the psychic defense, so it wouldn't be them who are creating the monsters, but it would be the dreamer's subconscious, and they wouldn't realize anything was particularly wrong, since it's their subconscious, and thus they wouldn't see it as anything beyond the ordinary
Actually, no, it doesn't only happen in movies. I've had dreams within dreams. I doubt it's nearly as uncommon as you think. When you take into account they are augmenting the experience with some sort of undisclosed chemical compound, I roll with it.
Uh no. It's not. You are just of a generation that has no appreciation of a balls to the wall action movie.
Did Scarlett say “if you don't agree with me you're not going to get any booty tonight”? lol
O god Spoony, this was the most hilarious thing since Dr. Insano ran for president.
In all fairness Spoony the complaint you spent the most time dwelling on boils down to “I'd like to see more” and assuming that's what you're most hung up about you kind of have to admit that that's sort of in the movies favour.
Insofar as interpreting the film as an allegory I sort of saw it as a moderately nihilistic observation of the nature of a stoic and rational masculinity being subverted by the irrational and emotional parts of ourselves. Though understanding it as a commentary on filmmaking itself is both perfectly valid and perhaps a little illuminating as to the process Nolan goes through in creating films.
I find your comments about the lack of unbelievable dreamlike imagery a little strange. Should I assume you were in the bathroom for the hallway fight scene and the disintegrating city?
Also @Thom_not_Tom although I agree that it was for the best to not bother with an explanation of the specific technology the basic idea of the machine isn't that far-fetched. It's basically technology induced psychic powers which would require (at least in the context of the suitcase device used in the films) remotely given and very percise fMRI scans of each user in the dream and a very powerful computer to interpret and put out the corresponding stimuli. It would probably function much like a computer network with the dreamer acting as the host or server with everyone else logging on to interact. Michio Kaku P.H.D. has written about very similar implementations on of this idea and it's variation before (his book Physics of the Impossible is a must read) and I'm sorta assuming Nolan's a fan actually.
wow if you think nolan would ever make a sequel to this your nuts
It's far from a balls to the wall action movie. The preds play grab ass with the humans. It was outright bullshit, just like the AvP movies, they were BS as well
Noah, in the future, you have to remember this: “If I have such a problem with what they give me then I should make my own movie and give me what I want.” Your review seems to stem from the absurd notion that people around your age have, that seems to stem from this belief that what they give you is not enough and if they do not get it to you, then it puts you out. You want monsters? Mal is a monster. You want a nightmare? Ariadne being attacked by Cobb's subconscious and then having Mal stab her in the gut. That's a nightmare.
You want all of this stuff that would fit great in a fantasy film but not a sci-fi film about extracting ideas and putting them in people's head. It's not that your ideas suck per se but they have nothing to do with the movie, so why introduce them in the first place? If it's because you are critical then let me state emphatically that you are not being critical, you are simply looking for flaws, and these flaws generally have to do with your own perceptions then the film you are reviewing. You want a troll or a giant in this film. Christopher Nolan did not. Why even bring it up?
While it may seem as if I am being harsh towards your review, let me emphatically state that you are the man dawg, but this sort of stuff just bugs me. What really bugs me more than this review, your dismissing of the Matrix. Seriously, those films have more ideas about birth, life, and death in them then just about any film series not made by Jean Luc Godard. If you do not like that sort of thing that's fine but do not dismiss it as good, do not state that it looks like crap when you get home, because you know what it looks like? It looks like a serious of films that brought about a damn NINJA MOVIE and don't you forget it :D!
Yeah when I last read this comment the first time watching this review I agreed with your comment but having watched the review a second time and read your comment a second time I really think you’re being quite preachy. He’s saying that the film had wasted potential, not that it’s a bad film nor even that he’d have really done it differently, just that there was so much stuff that could have been done and he wants to see explored.
Paprika was 2006. Nolan proposed the concept in fairly detailed fashion to Warner Brothers in 2002. He didn't steal it. They just both had the same Idea. It's not his fault that he wanted to spend more time focusing on the characterization and logic of the dream world. It was to make it more in-depth, and emersive, not to steal someone else's screenplay.
Also to gain experience in making big budget films like his Batman flicks.
My question is: Where are you going to find negative reviews? As far as I can tell, up until you mentioned Scarlett at least, I was the only person on earth who didn't like this movie. People have called me shallow, lacking any attention span, and according to one guy who commented on my review of it I've basically ruined US and UK foreign relations.
Basically, and I know it's hard to hear, but I feel that Cobb's story bogged the movie down. I feel that the movie would have been better served if the plot centered on Cillian Murphy character and the Inception plot with Cobb being the primary subplot. That way it could have had the time to address some of it's biggest plot holes and the story would have felt more coherent. And it probably would have been the coolest heist movie ever made.
I understood which story Nolan was really trying to tell, and he stuck with it, but I wasn't emotionally invested in Cobb's story and there is just something about the whole “it's all just a dream” thing that just feels like a cop out to me. Just in general, like how people felt about the Patrick Duffy shower scene in Dallas, I guess. For me it made the ending of the movie very frustrating.
My other big complaint was the choppy editing style. Nolan's work almost always has this, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I found myself getting a little lost during some of the more frantic scenes sometimes.
I don't think he would. I'm saying what I would do with a sequel. Or even a set of books based in the same universe.
Both the director and the cast are saying no to a sequel.
But given that the concept of Mind Crime is too good to pass up: novels, graphic novels, radio drama, and video games is the way to go. Besides, we need an excuse for guys who dress up like ’30s speak-easy’s dishing out the latest in military weaponry. >_>
The theme is dealing with loss inside of your own head and how sometimes you have to create a team to deal with it. It's about loss at the end of the day and about moving on from it.
It’s fun that a lot of the evidence in this film can go either way on rather it supports what we experienced was a fabrication or that it was indeed reality.
Liked this review a lot. Hope you do a more spoiler heavy follow up review down the line when you've had more time to digest it.
I think that this movie is one where only you can tell if it's good. I saw it and loved it, but I'm willing to leave my suspension of disbelief at a bus stop in Toronto, and I probably enjoyed it more because of that.
Yes, AVP sucked but have you seen the first two Predator films? If you saw those two and thought they sucked then yes sir, I am wrong about you. However, if you did not see those two films and felt this way and thought they were still similar to AVP. Sir, you need a hug.
That aside, as a fan of those two Predator films to the point it makes me hate those bastard Alien bitches, I finally got a sequel. I finally got a sequel to two films that I love . That's what it's all about right there for me anyway.
The difference with this and the Dallas Scene, is that there a dream is just a dream. In inception, a dream is as real and as true as reality
I like this review Spoony, some of your reviews have a very negative aspect to movies I actually really like but here you sound like your at the same level as I am. I actually thought you would hate this movie cause I thought you would find plot holes in here I didn't even think of. I really liked this movie, I thought it was a very well crafted all be it a bit flawed like I think my major problem was with the score and understanding Ken Wantanabe. But all around those are very small gripes.
That analysis of the movie is brilliant and PLEASE post a link to that site and that analysis cause I was really liking that way of thinking about the movie. I usually don't like looking at analysis, I feel people are some times looking for deeper meaning in a movie when there really isn't any (One of my big problems with Evangellian) I saw one for this movie about how it deals with Christ and how Leonardo DiCaprio is Jesus and is gonna wake us from our dreams, and that shit was just as dumb as it sounds. So PLEASE again post that link I think people would appriciate it.
Also one last note, if you want a movie that deals with dreams and deals with nightmares and the total fucked up shit you would find in a dream go watch an anime movie called “Paprika”. Yes it's anime but it is able to do stuff that live action movies could only hope to do with dreams. It's a fucking crazy movie that you should really check out and talk about as a follow up to this :)
Blegh, too plain. Can't accept it. xD This movie could have done so much more than “move on.”
I have seen the first 2 predator movies. First one amazing. Second movie was a bit meh but still entertaining.
Any additions to the Alien and Predator universe in recent memory have just been boring. Nothing to them, no substance to make me say 'YES! This is good! Good story, special effects, actors. I can watch this again'
Sadly they don't. Mabye I went in to watch it with too high expectations??? Mabye, but still I was bored while watching it, the story was not explained at all, the special effects looked like they were done with a stock package of adobe after effects and the predators looked like they were kids in halloween costumes.
I think the thing is, dreams ARE surreal, and trying to make this science fiction logic makes it plain and boring. Suspend your disbelief, people! Make dreams the vehicle for telling a story, don't make a story the vehicle for showing a dreamworld.Also, Satoshi Kon has been dealing with the boundaries of reality–not necessarily dreams–for a while. Paranoia Agent, for example, was released somewhere in 2004. I felt it was much more creative and had a stronger message than Inception. I didn't so much imply theft as doubted the whole INSPIRATIONAL GENIUS behind it.Also, if it takes you eight years to write THOSE characters… eeeeh.
Eight years isn’t that long when you’re working on a lot of the production work of other films, and especially since the whole movie revolves around the emotional and psychological motivations of each of the characters, mostly Cobb, but in a lesser extent to each of the other characters. Admittedly, they aren’t the deepest characters, but to get that far into the heads of at least 7 characters, and, considering that the story is completely based on the emotional subconscious of Cobb and Fischer, it’s going to be a rough task.
Also, the book Paprika was released in 1993. TAKE THAT 2002, AND YOUR FLIMSY SCREENPLAYS.
Carl Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious was published in 1912. TAKE THAT 1993, AND YOUR FLIMSY BOOKS. :p
The top starts to sound as if it's toppling at the end of the film, which had led to me to come to one conclusion: the end of the film is the beginning of Cobb waking up.
waking up in a dream is a common end result of lucid dreaming. you are aware that you are dreaming but your brain is basically halfway between awake and asleep. if you start waking up you wake up. if you start going back to sleep you wake up in your dream.
See, again, this responses makes me think that the old school way of doing things is lost on you. This does not invalidate your opinion or anything but having the Predators be in suits is a big deal. Having the effects be raw and not look like over done CGI is a big deal. The pace of the film is also very old school and deliberate.
Moving onto the Predators universe, yes it is expanded. We now know that there are two kinds of predators, that they have their own R&D planet in order to help them build better tech and improve their tactics. The best bit of business in the film for me is the army soldier they found with a hole in his chest, who basically set the same traps for the Predator as Dutch, but this time the Predator won. What we also got from this movie is an awesome character in Brody and the chance in the next film, that the enemy of my enemy is my friends. That's right. Tiny Predator and Human team-up! BOOYAH!
Actually, I've had quite a few dreams-within-dreams before, they can happen. ^-^
I've had it happen to me on several occasions. I've even died in my dreams too. I always dream in color. I've had nightmares in nightmares and a nightmare and then i woke up into a dream. Where I was like oh it was all a dream then like all this weird stuff was going on and I was like oh wait im still dreaming then i either wake up or take control of the dream. Its really fun when I can control my dreams. I have to be very well rested though.
Spoony, the Matrix is just Ghost in The Shell with a hollywood budget. The anecdote is the Wachowski brothers even described their intentions to the producer as real-life GITS.
As for revolutionizing sci-fi, man, dude. Just no. Maybe movie sci-fi, but you could've revolutionized that with a stale fart. Come call me when Dragon's Egg gets on the big screen, or The Last Question, or something that is honest-to-god interesting. Not mysterious-because-they-tell-you-nothing bullshit, but questions that will leave to you stumped or intrigued for days.
As for Inception itself, classic soft science junk but with some decent action scenes. Good, but not revolutionary. I mean come on, the dream architect? Let's just put that right next to Macro-viruses and Maldis on the big pile of stupid sci-fi shame and move on.
You might not believe it but i had a dream within a dream once. It was freaky so I still remember it. I had a dream that I fell off a cliff and “woke” up, then got out of bed only to fall through the floor and wake up for real. When I woke up I wasn't sure if I was actually awake at first. Crazy experience, like to have it again but probably will never happen again
What you wanted out of the movie didn't seem to fit Nolan at all. If some troll or storm-trooper just popped up screen, I wouldn't know what the hell I was watching.
…and honestly, Nolan's Inception sounds better than Spoony's Inception. =P
I've had similar experiences myself, but usually there's not much cohesion or length to the one(s) I woke up “in to”
It had some interesting messages, like how an idea can be so infectious and contagious.. like the woman who believed the only way out of the dream (which was supposed to be real life) was to kill yourself. And if you think about how cults brainwash people, it's not hard to believe how deadly an idea can be. It's also interesting to think about what more could be done with this idea of Inception (planting an idea in someone's head)… for example, you know motivational speakers? How when you go to one of those meetings, or say you had a one-on-one session with the speaker, suddenly you can turn your whole life around or get out of a depression? Well, imagine what they could do with Inception.. it's kinda scary to think.. but they could change your fundamental beliefs on anything (depending of course on how strong your ming is)… truly fascinating concepts in this movie. Only flaw was it was unnecessarily long.. and I agree, it went one layer too deep… the whole snow fortress should've been shortened at least.. the intensity wore thin after a while. And yes, I was thinking the same thing, aren't dreams strange experiences normally? Where was the strange, bizarre, dreamlike occurences? Far and few between. But maybe that was intentional and by design of the architect. Also, remember when that guy said “dream bigger” and pulled out a grenade launcher? Well, then could they do things like summon up a helicopter or something like that ala the matrix? Well, it was enjoyable over all, and I will definitely be watching it one more time to try to fully understand it.
Right, as someone else mentioned, Paprika the anime, takes this exact same concept and goes crazy with the bizarre imagery.
And yes, the Matrix was based on the anime Ghost In the Shell…
Also, I felt that Inception was way too similar to the Matrix.. and more confusing.. Like you said Spoony, you walk away feeling like they could've done more with the idea.
Just a quick comment spoony regarding your comment that it was the first time collective dreaming was put on film. It has been done at least a couple times before in the nightmare on elm street series. This was done however through mass hypnosis as well as one characters ability to pull others into their dream. From my understanding that isn't what happens here however just a note that it has been explored in movies before keep up the good work.
To further add to my previous statement you noted that each character had special ability inside the dream world. Again referencing the Nightmare series the members of that cast each had their own special “powers” such as strength magic agility. Comparative to this film it seems they took that idea and amped it up on a much higher level. The plot may be very different but the idea seems to be found before.
I'm actually excited enough about this film that I stopped watching this review as soon as you said there may be spoilers, an I'm normally able to enjoy films reguardless of spoilers. I'm going to see this film this week and honestly this is the first film where every single YouTube critic I know liked it so far.
Noah just to be clear I love ya to death, and appreciate every single laugh you have given us fans of the site. Regardless this was a frustrating review to watch due to not being able to retort your criticisms. Usually I prefer to refrain from calling a film great or a classic before seeing it atleast twice. Inception is one of those rare cases that I actually feel extremely confident calling it at the very least great after only a single viewing. The only other film I have felt that way with was Children of Men. This is the first time I have disagreed with almost every single point you have made.
Yeah, Mal was very nightmarish, as were the projected people who stared when something seemed strange… but what Noah was getting at, and I tend to agree, is that in dreams, things usually seem to behave/appear in an odd way.. or odd things happen.. things that are out of place or borrowed from a figment of your imagination.. like if you read a book or played a video game and then those things you saw or read, somehow appear in your dream, typically in an anachronistic way, where you have different realities converging… so what he was criticizing was essentially “how can a dream appear so normal” …and I think it's a valid critique because they never really explain why that is. Sure, the architect can construct a world for the dreamer, but his/her subcounscious fills in the gaps, so to speak… so then, why don't more bizarre things occur as a result of that? I think the answer is that, then nothing would make sense in the movie, and the audience would not be able to follow. But still, he has a valid point. It's not so much that he wants to see big monsters or strange things happen, he's saying that it doesn't really make sense and it makes you wonder and question why everything in the dream world conforms so closely to reality and doesn't stray. The bad guys are so generic and are always chasing them down with machine guns… what if the cillian murhpy character had a fear of spiders? Wouldn't then it makes sense that maybe giant spiders started to appear everywhere and attack them? Something like that.
Well actually the dreams in the movie are a balance between what the architect creates and the subject’s subconscious. If you remember when Decaprio first met Page’s character he challenged her to come up with a maze that would take more then 2 minutes to get through. The architect’s job was to make a maze to keep the full subconscious force of the subject from getting in the way, so the projections would have trouble finding them. Even in the dream world they make it clear they’re not directly in the subconscious otherwise we would have seen more random things.
Should I assume you were in the bathroom for the hallway fight scene and the disintegrating city? <– the hallway fight was a result of the free fall ocurring in the “upper layer” dream… so it's not so much dreamlike as it is a technical thing with how the dream layers work.. it's like your in a space ship and you enter zero-g and you float, not because it's a dream, but that's just how physics works. So the hallway fight doesn't really count as dreamlike, although I'd agree that it *appears* dreamlike. The disintegrating city, I agree, is dreamlike, but as far as dreams go, that's pretty tame, seeing as how an old crumbly building would fall apart the same way in reality.
I think what he wanted to see was for strange and odd things to appear now and then.. like freakish, random, almost inexplicable things (yet still tied to the dreamer's subconscious somehow, his fears and fantasies, etc).
You know, you missed the point of the movie, it's not about the technology, it is secondary. It is about the journey of the characters, and not about throwing sh*t at you every 5 seconds.
While I went with it and absolutely enjoyed it, despite the fact that I'm surprised these guys don't recieve psychological scarring for every time they die, but actually, this concept isn't new. If you've ever seen/heard of Paprika, it's literally the exact same concept, except in this case, they're trying to solve a psycho serial killer.
It was a pretty great movie. Sure, it leaves a lot up in the air. Then again probably one of the things that leads to some of the confusion, it relies heavily on dream theory, contemporary philosophy and mysticism. I personally loved it because that's most of what I studied. I also loved it because I've had dreams like the entire movie before word that the movie was going to be made even came out.
You may have never had a dream within a dream, which lends your unwillingness to totally buy the entire concept which is fair enough. However many other people, myself included have experienced such a phenomenon and the struggle to know what is real is, in fact, very real.
Im not sure if anyone has already put this but here is an estimate timescale based on the principle that the dream time is 20x more everytime you go down 1 level.
1 Second in real time =20 seconds on level 1400 seconds on level 28000 seconds on level 3160,000 seconds once you get to “limbo”
I think its safe to say you would never want to get that deep into sleep
A movie that came to mind when you said you hadn't seen a movie about collective dreaming.
Made back in 2000. I started watching it on tv at about 1/4 of the way in, and I was just awing at all the shit that they were doing that you could only get away with in a dream world. But it all comes down to some cops diving into a serial killer's mind, and all the weird shit within. I boldly remember the lusty corner of the killer's mind, where there was this like, ice elemental chick chained up. Boobs made of ICICLES. Yeah. Looked fun. So, uh. The Cell.
i'm actually very curious what spoony thinks about Predators. so many people give it a favourable review (imdb it!). i think that movie was f*ing horrible. from beginning to end. boring ass characters, ridiculous plot, coherence all over the place. just boring… aaaargh!
My opinion about allegory is this, it can be cool, like in that “Inception is Film Making” deconstruction, but it won't make a good movie bad or a bad movie good. In other news, Spoony, you could read a phone book and make it interesting, seriously, you have a great voice and awesome oratory skills.
I thought Inception was an extreamly good movie in that it didn't get bogged down in it's own minutia like some “High Concept” movies tend to do. The closest refernce i could think of was Psychonauts where people enter other peoples minds but that is just one of concept, ever since playing that game i have often wondered to myself; Why are there not more movies set in peoples heads?
I mean the matrix is another obvious parallel and whilst the comments on it changing Scienfiction are somewhat valid i think before that the concepts were explored pretty explicitily in Anime like Ghost in the Shell (something to creatos sighted as an influence) and it's really innovation was bringing to level of tech, complexity and high conpect from anime in live action movies that were bareable.
Inception draws more on the high concept stuff of authors like Phillip K. Dick in that it's very straighforward and natural in presenting something as extorindary as dream invasion. I was reminded slightly of Ubik and it's straightforward presentation of talking to the dead. It's a hard thing to do, not have you characters spouting exposition every 2 seconds because you are worried about the audience (something i wish FF13 would have sometimes done).
I have awoken from a dream in a dream, once, as far as I remember
As for “dreams within dreams” I don't think it's so literal as you wake up inside a dream as you jump to a different dream. Like Leo said, you never start a dream at the beginning, already in the middle. So a multilayered dream is more like starting from point A and going to point 5, if that makes any sense :p I've certainly had dreams that go on for so long and jump around so much I do think I realize that earlier parts of them are dreams while they're going on.
It's both exponential and geometric. Geometric growth is just exponential growth with discrete equal intervals.
It's both exponential and geometric. A geometric progression is an exponential progression at discrete equal intervals.
The Cell came to my mind as well. That movie has its flaws (such as having Jennifer Lopez playing the lead), but it's damn trippy, and provides a reasonable explanation for how and why the technology came to be.
Re: dreaming within a dream. I didn't take it to mean that everyone can have a dream within a dream, but that when these people can move around in and manipulate the dreams of others, it's fine for them to take in their funky dream briefcase machine and burrow deeper into the subconscious. While it's undoubtedly very intelligent, I still went with it as I would any sci-fi blockbuster that bothers to keep an internal logic going.
The matrix was a great movie, but it can barely be called an original movie. It blatantly rips off Dark City.
Any film that elicits this amount of thought from people is the mark of something groundbreaking; the allegory is actually well done and unpretentious unlike the “SYMBOLISM!!!!” in dross like Equilibrium which beats you over the head. I wasn't too hung up on not going into outer space or Middle Earth as these characters are meant to do a job, not go on vacation and accidentally dreaming up Bahamut or the Covenant is a really good way to make things more chaotic in an already chaotic world.
I'm always wary of movies or stories that employ dream logic. There is no logical and physical boundary and that's where it loses me. I'm a lucid dreamer, I tend to know if and when I'm dreaming, but even then stuff gets really chaotic or nightmarish.
I have dreams within dreams. This is kind of a strange coincidence (I've never heard of this movie), but I had one the night before last:
I dreamt I was in a building that combined the functions of a physiotherapy and massage clinic, an ornate Chinese restaurant, and a run of the mill Orthodox church. I was there late at night so I ended up having to sleep over, and as soon as I was out, I dreamt I was in this dark black void and all these whispy, shapeless ghosts were beating me, and biting me, and crushing my chest (I can be in some pretty acute physical pain in my dreams). I woke from the meta dream but, even though I couldn't see the ghosts, the assault continued while I lay there immobile; in other words, not only have I had a dream within a dream, but I've also had sleep paralysis within a dream. By the time I'd recovered control of my body I was frantic to make it stop, I stumbled to the Orthodox altar, went down on my knees, looked way up, and with broken, sobbing desperation prayed to God. The hallucinations stopped, but all I could see above me was a stern, disapproving priest looking down on me like I was a raving drug addict.
Of course, I have a lot of really strange dreams and something of a fixation with them so there's something of a feedback loop there. I've dreamt I was dream journalling. I've dreamt I was telling a dream researcher I was dream journalling within a dream. I've dreamt Sigmund Freud himself was in my dream with me interpreting it while it happened. And that doesn't even get into the some of the stuff that's happened in my lucid dreams.
I'm sure that seeing a movie like this would only be a disappointment for me.
I've had a dream within a dream, I don't remember the content of the dream within the dream, but I remember in my dream, I woke up and got shot in my face. It was some weird shit.
I've had dreams within dreams before, though the most vivid example I've heard about was one my dad had. He dreamed that these weird goblin things were chasing him across this moor and that they were going to eat him. He woke up in a sweat and then went to the bathroom on the landing to take a piss. When he turned around, he was horrified to see these goblin things were creeping up the stairs towards him. THEN he woke up for real.
To be honest, I've actually had a dream within a dream before, though I think it was only once in my life, and more than a decade ago at this point. I don't remember what I was dreaming, but when I “woke up,” I think I was in the house I used to live in before I lived in my current one. Nothing spectacular happened, except for the realization that I was still dreaming.
I'm glad someone mentioned Paprika, I would actually say that Inception was something of an unintentional spiritual sequel to that movie. I also totally agree to the “movie making” allegory idea, I really hope this movie inspires Hollywood to, well, y'know…. Make original movies. Movies that are fun, and engage the imagination. Movies that journey to the realms of fantasy as well as the dark depths of horror as the sun goes down…
I definitely remember having a dream in a dream few times, when I was a kid, it's more like shifting from one location to another, but for some time I definitely was feeling like I was woken up, pretty creepy I must say.
Synecdoche, New York. That is all.
I loved this movie because it left so much open to interpretation. It reminded me a lot of the game Shadow of the colossus, where all of the backstory of the characters, and the world were left up to you, though of course this movie was a lot less vague than that game.
I had heard a lot of intensely positive stuff about this movie before I went to see it and from people who normally judge films very harshly as a rule. That caught me off guard a bit and got me very excited to see it. I kinda got caught up in that and I'm really glad I did. Regardless of the films flaws, which in retrospect I will acknowledge, I had the most positively awesome and enjoyable experiences in the theater since the Lord of the Rings movies.
I can't help but think that my excitement going into Inception colored my experience on an already fantastic movie leading to one of the most enjoyable theater experiences of my life.
Maybe allowing ourselves to get caught up like that is what leads to that kind of feeling…so long as those who get our hopes up don't dash them. Great review Spoony, it was good to hear an even handed review of this one. That really helped.
I love the Inception allegory! It all makes sense now… Just kidding, I don't think it will ever make perfect sense, and I don't mind so much. Now that Spoony's mentioned it, I am a little upset that the dreams weren't more expansive in their scope. And yet, if they were set in far-fetched locations like The Renaissance or a Star Wars-esque future, would Fischer's brain figured out that he was in a dream more quickly? The dream locations used were plausible, at least. But then again, it's a dream. Things that look normal in dreams can be completely absurd when we wake up. But then again- Oh no, I've got cross-eyed!I'm going to be thinking about this film for weeks to come- and in terms of making a great film, that's how to get the word out. Instead of in-your-face ad campaigns, write an original film that fascinates its viewers. In fact, I haven't noticed much advertising for this movie aside from the trailer.
RE: That analysis you mentioned: are you a TV Tropes fan, because I saw that almost verbatim on their WMG page for the movie.
People living in a dream world and can't tell reality from dream? They're ripping off Plato!
I've had more than my fair share of dreams within dreams. Particularly when I experiment with lucid dreaming and deep meditation.
Dream within a dream has been explored. It has been done in Thirteenth Floor, a movie which made a nice premise but terrible execution. 13th Floor was not about espionage or dream fusion, but rather about a matrix-esque computer dreamworld which *SPOILERS* starts dreaming. Not as recommendable though, it was a small fun.THe movie of which I really want to sell is PAPRIKA. Yes, it is Japanese animation and for some a cartoon, but it takes most of what you already said: dream merging and huge monsters. Some things are nightmare-ish and some are really dreamy and surreal. That movie is great, for every and any age. Spoony, if you are reading this, see Paprika and thank me later. Really. That movie is a real masterpiece. At least watch the trailers and try not to get hyped….
I've experienced a dream within a dream. It was a scary dream, then I woke up and went downstairs to my parents and explained it ALL to them, but then… I woke up again.
This movie kinda made me think of Johnny Nmonic (and i know I murdered the name sorry >.>)
Can you give a link to that review you talked about? The one that mentioned the allegory? It sounds like a good read :D
I had dreams within dreams several times. I know it's real.
I had a dream within a dream once, but it was nothing like this movie thought this phenomena was. In the dream, I was in a grocery store and walked to the aisle farthest from the door. There I wandered into a Satanic ritual and suddenly a woman in a black cloak popped up and attacked me. This caused me to jerk awake – but I was still dreaming. When I woke up in my dream's version of my bed, the women in the cloak was there, grabbing my mouth and threatening me. This time I awoke for real. It does happen, I can attest to that.
But here's where Christopher Nolan is so wrong about how this works: I never fell asleep in the dream. It began with me in the store (there might have been more before that, but I can't remember it). There were not two levels of dreams going on simultaneously, it was just one dream with a fake awakening. I was not aware, even subconsciously, of the me in my bed dream while I was dreaming of being in the store. My mind created the bed and the woman and the fake awakening as I was experiencing it – it would be really hard to keep track of two different plots, right? When I was in the store, there was no bed, it came after. When you dream you create the world you're in as you move through it, that's why you can go anywhere when you open a door. The mind can do a lot of things, but unless you're an autistic savant I don't think you can dream in four layers.
Also, I think there easily could be an “Inception 2″ that explores all the possibilities this movie failed to.
I think Inception follows very close to the anime (yes I'm going anime sadly most 'originality' of RL work now barrows in away from anime.) Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer in which Mujaki (a dream demon who's life is in fact in a dream, he lives in other peoples dreams and its his job to build them.) wants to create one last dream before he retires but he only wants a pure dream something that could in fact last forever so he turns to this innocent girl named Lum whose only 'dream' is “to live in a world with her lover and all their friends” So Mujaki traps them all in a collective dream which begins to loop a single day over and over again until the more gifted characters figure out that time is in fact repeating. Once they become aware of it the dream begins to change and the world becomes a post apocalyptic out look of their world in which only this small group exists and are forced to live within this waste land close to Lum (because being its her dream what ever she wants happens: having endless food, water, fun…ect) Mujaki had fallen in love with her and so he is systematically 'removing' their friends from her dream and trapping them into their own. What I think this movie does better then Inception is that its fantasy dream story not Sci-fi what that does is give the antitheses a more whimsical believability because he is in fact a demon that exists in dreams.
Who is scarlet? Does she do reviews?
Spoony, you're great, I love your reviews, but never compare Chris Nolan to Michael Bay ever again. I will hunt you down, and give you a stern talking-to. :D
I love your reviews Spoony, but you are definitely in the wrong about the dreams in dreams thing. They're called false awakenings and they happen to me and many others all the time.
Meh… I still like Paprika more, Even though it shares some of the same problems as Inception.
Of course whenever I see a cool movie I look it up on Tv tropes and someone said it was like an anime like Paprike combined with the Matrix. I kind of agree, but it's still probably the most original films I've seen this year. After experiencing the A-Team it's definitely a refreshing break from silly summer blockbusters.
I completely agree. Now that you say it, it would have been friggin' sweet if they had designed the sets in really weird settings and shit. Or how you know that if you watch a movie or read a book or something and then you dream about it? I've done that a lot of times before and it would be really funny if they were in the sets that Ellen Paige's character had designed but with characters from a certain setting or a certain movie.
I can only imagine the hilarity that would happen if someone tried to invade my dreams. Especially since I once dreamt I was Deadpool.
Hey, who knows? Maybe if this turns out to be enough of a cash maker Nolan makes another one. Maybe not a sequel but something set within the same universe.
i wont mention the other points but i totally agree with the point about the underused imagery in this film, in terms of the stuff they should have been able to do apart from just have guns.
its particularly annoying when the British artist/actor character is helping the guy out of 'brick' and 'third rock from the sun' to shoot mooks, and turns to him and specifically says “it helps to be more creative”, before pulling a grenade launcher out of no-ware and firing it at the last mook.
that really got me down, because it suggests the extractors have the power to do almost anything in the dream, and it wont effect the operation as fisher will take it as face value..yet that's the only time we see any of them attempting to use the powers of creation to fight the projections
i mean the least they could have done was to have the van turn into an armored truck or something, if being shot by a projection means they're out of the game you'd think they would do more to even the odds against this army they're fighting.
im not suggesting they started having super powers but as spoony says that kind of thing would have helped it to distinguish itself from the matrix, though this film did cost a lot already , but it could have helped to show ellen page bending reality or something, i mean these people are supposed to be creative.
apart from that i loved the film, and dont see how people found it hard to follow, the thing about a number of characters doing different things in different locations and swapping the focus between them is a common staple of heist films, and if you don't spend too much time questioning the sci fi and treat this film as just that, a heist film, its much easier to follow.
the only thing i thought that kept this film from being a classic was an iconic element, perhaps if the universe is expanded upon in a book series like spoony says an icon will develop, but at the moment, as great as the film is, i don't see it as being remembered for much past being the best thriller of 2010, too early to say best film.
though i have to say i haven't seen a better heist movie, it is better than the Italian job , but the Italian job will always be remembered, because of the iconic mini's
It might not seem like the most obvious thing to leap to mind but: How is the brain of the dreaming person processing that much information in so short amounts of time? Of course it's possible in the first few levels, 1-2 maybe three but, as somebody already posted, 160,000 seconds for one? About 44 and a half hours of experience being processed in one second? I have a hard time believing that a normal human brain can do that. btw I haven't seen the movie yet ( will though ), so if there is any explanation for that I apologise.
But then again It seems to me that's one of the minor problems you can have with this movie.
Anyways. Great Review. I really like you style although I rarely agree with you (and I can't say I have always time for your longer movie reviews)
I think enjoyment of this movie might also depends some on how the person watching it dreams and how their mind works. It all seemed to flow really well and naturally to me. Not sure what that says about me psychologically.
There were some logic problems but for this movie more then most, you can use the 'it's magic' argument to wash it away in that, 'it's a dream, it doesn't have to be consistent or entirely logical.'
There were those parts where you were never sure if the 'real world' wasn't just a dream. There were several times when I thought it would turn out he was in a dream and it ended up being the 'real world'. I like to think that the inception mission, at least, was real. Otherwise it makes the movie pointless which would be a shame. I'm looking at you Super Mario Brothers 2.
Hey Spoony, glad you liked Inception and I'm also glad that you credited the movie with being original in its plot. Nowadays its really hard to come up with an original story since people can easily claim to see similarities or parallels in other films. For the most part Inception did have some really interesting concepts. I think my favourite scenes were when Di Caprio first introduces Ellen Page's character to the dream world and explains the workings of a dream. I honestly thought this was clever writing and up to that point I had never come across this type of writing in a film yet. That is unless someone can point out a film which has already explored this territory.In the case of similarities and parallels, people will inevitably accuse this movie of ripping off The Matrix which I think is incredibly unfair to Inception and Christopher Nolan. Just to dislike this movie because it supposedly rips of The Matrix is ignoring the other positive aspects of this film. Watching Inception I thought nothing of The Matrix or any other Sci Fi film and it was only coming out of the cinema and reading the other reviews that these so-called parallels came to light. Other films may have covered the concepts of dreams before but I thought that Inception took the concept to a new level, which will be hard for other films to beat.Someone in these comments also mentioned that the story was reminiscent of a Philip K. Dick story and I definitely drew upon this whilst watching the film since the concepts of dreams and reality was prevalent in many of Dick's stories such as The Man in the High Castle and A Scanner Darkly. One reviewer of this film even went as far as to compare Nolan to Stanley Kubrick if Kubrick made an adaption of a William Gibson story. I wouldn't go that far since both Nolan and Kubrick have different styles of film making, but Inception is still an example of a good and solid Sci Fi thriller/action film which is both clever and original.Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were great films but Inception has solidified Nolan as one of the best directors out there. Furthermore Inception is a perfect example where a film doesn't need 3D to be good, but the characters and the story are the focus and not the effects. At least thats what I thought, anyone agree or disagree?
Spoony, I've had a dream within a dream, within a dream. I had a fever and my mind kept tricky me into dreaming that I had the energy to go to the kitchen to eat.
When they got down to limbo, the Cobb (leo) was the architect because he had already been there and his subconscious still had a lot left over. I also agree that the dreams could have been more imaginative, but that would really break down the fourth wall and make the movie just seem too corky. Too much like a nightmare on elmstreet instead of a thriller.
To bring logic to the Grenade Launcher scene (to the best of my ability)… I think this was done because although he pulled it out of nowhere, they don't want to have superhuman powers because they still have to play within the environment of the dream and what makes “sense” to the dream itself. Otherwise whoever is the one dreaming could come to their senses, realize it was a dream and wake up, or interrupt the dream or whatever happens when you're dreaming while sedated. I think completely changing a van into an armored truck was too unreal… but you could rationalize that they kept that grenade launcher somewhere.
She is Spoony's Girlfriend.
There is an Anime film that explores collective dreaming as well. Called Paprika. I'd recommend it, but it's up to your :P
To answer why we only got gunman instead of true nightmares… I remember one of the characters mentioning after running into those gunman that Cillian Murphy's character “Militarized his mind” or something similar to that to combat people messing with his dreams. Otherwise I might have questioned that myself.
And Ghost in the Shell.
The reason the dreams are so realistic is that the architect forms the shell of the world, and the dreamer only brings the projections. You held that it should have had more warped, nightmarish elements, but that would be wrong. It is only in waking up that the images in your mind deteriorate and become warped and nightmarish. I'm sure that Scarecrow was looking out the window at the end thinking “Was I just being chased by a mountain before I jumped into a river? That's it, no more sleeping on planes.” I think that one way to have established this would have been to show the twisted visages of the whole operation from Murphey's point of view during the closing credits.
Excellent review, Spoony, one of your best. The allegory theory is especially intriguing, although I'm not sure that's what Nolan was shooting for. But it fits. I myself loved the movie(it's in my top five now), and I'm going to see it again tonight, so I'll definitely be analyzing the hell out of the movie in the theater.
To answer your question, it was not filmed in 3D. It wasn't transferred either, like The Last Airbender, so it's not available to watch in 3D. It can be viewed in IMAX theaters though, and although I haven't been able to experience it myself, I've heard it's remarkable.
I agree with you, Inception is awesome and I think you need to see it again. I saw it once, once was good enough to work out that I think its a good piece of worl and hangs together. It makes sense that he has been lying to himself and the different layers of dreaming are prone with the lie he is living. I think its important to look at the thing as a way to lose the self, he is still trapped with a nightmare of his own cretion and everyone we have met has been a fabrication. He breaks the rules he sets and as rule he cant function in the real world he would, rather live in a dream.
I think the guy you mentioned that connects the idea of Inception to the purpose of making movies was MovieBob. He's a big guy over at The Escapist. At least, he's one of the people who have made this connection. I loved this movie. It could have done more, but IT MADE MY BRAIN MUSCLE TWITCH. Not something a lot of movies have the capacity to accomplish, although Nolan has a decent track record with me: Dark Knight, Memento, etc. Leaving this, I was physically and mentally drained. I literally had a Mindgasm when the metaphorical dominoes fell, at the end.
I've actually had many dreams within dreams before. It's pretty damn weird.
I've actually experienced at least 3 different dreams within dreams in my life.
Also, the reason why all the dreams looked the same (ish) was because they wanted the guy to think his in the real world. I don't think that anyone would think Azeroth is in the real world…
I know this makes me sounding like some Call of Duty gamer, but during the snow dream sequence, the outfit Dicapro was wearing, his sniper rifle, the snow mobile. It feels like Modern Warfare 2.
But the whole thing about what Cobb does in the waking world seems like a dream starts kinda making some sense because of the context. Or it could be just the script itself to make plot convenience.
Actually the dream invading thing isn't entirely original. There was an episode of The Prisoner where number 2 attempted to invade the guys dream in an attempt to figure out why he quit.
First I have to say fantastic review for Inception Spoony.
But the only problem I have with it is the allegory. I am not saying the allegory of the moving being about Movie making is wrong, it's about allegories in general. Unless the creator states it was in fact an allegory for something, when you break it down almost everything in the world can be taken as an allegory for something else. It's all about what your perception of this single idea or concept is. Let’s say I have two different people look at a stained mattress. One of them will view this mattress as only having a stain on it, where the other will see Jesus Christ. And yes I know how big of a leap it is from what man a saw to man b saw, but let’s face it who hasn't heard of a story about someone has seen Jesus on some object that you can find in your home. It’s for that reason why I take allegories involving movies with a grain of salt.
I’m not trying to denounce people coming up with allegories (actually I think it takes a small amount of imagination to do it which I applaud). But what I don’t like is when a person ends up hating a movie/book based off an allegory they came up with and then chastises it later to others.
I apologize for the length of my two cents on the subject (I think my explanation might be as confusing as the “layered dreams” sequence from Inception) but seeing how an allegory almost skewed your opinion of the movie it sort of got me on a tangent. ^_^;
I have dreamed within a dream though it tends to be hard to tell if it's a dream in a dream or a different dream.
Want to know why this movie bored me? The setting, the flat characters, and the convoluted mess it became at the climax. That, and the final shot of the movie made you question everything that happened, which always pisses me off. Choose a damn ending, damn it!
I would've been blown away had I not seen a Japanese anime movie a while ago called “Paprika”. I fucking adore this movie. There's actual psychology in the plot and the tech for dream-surfing isn't too unbelievable (you have to let somethings slide, and the point about the tech didn't bother me for Inception…much). Every character is fleshed out and memorable. Every dream relates to the dreamer's fears and fantasies. The settings, the dreams themselves, are fucking nuts, too. They start out kind of kooky, but towards the end it just goes ball-to-the-wall insane with imagery you'll have stuck in your head for a long time to come. Based on a famous Japanese novel (or is it novel series?) of the same name, Paprika gives everything you want from a movie dealing with dream-invasion without too much exposition.
I don't give a damn, mates. I'll come out and say it: “Inception” should've been a novel. The only medium that lends itself well to so much exposition is the written medium. As a movie, Inception is boring and long and confusing. As a novel it would've had the time to stretch it's arms and legs, to show you all of itself AS the plot develops. True, it's a matter of opinion in the end, like with EVERYTHING, and I prefer Paprika's “famous dream psychologist and detective chasing after a killer dream” (originality? Check) to Inception's crew of Ocean's Eleven dream-hoppers. Still, no matter if they love it, hate it, or find it boring, anybody who says Inception works better as a movie instead of a novel is a moron.
Spoony, I think you are missing the point when you say that Inception should have used more elaborate or more surreal dream imagery. Part of the concept for the film is the question, “Have you ever been in a dream so vivid you couldn't tell a dream from reality?” If there had been gruesome monsters attacking Cobb's team instead of just regular people it would have destroyed the whole “blurring of reality and the dream world” storyline that Nolan was trying to achieve. Also, in order for the ending of the story to remain ambiguous the audience, and Cobb, needs to be confused about what parts might be real and what parts are fantasy. Placing Star Wars Stormtroopers or knights in armor within the dream world would have established a clear delineation between reality and the dream.
Please, PLEASE, check out the movie Solaris. Probably best to start out with the George Clooney version so you're grounded in the material, but then finish with the nearly 3 hour Russian version. I know, it's long, but I feel the whole Cob/Mal sub plot is heavily influenced by that Polish Sci-Fi. Plus, the Russian version's flipping back and forth feels very similar to Inception's use of dream layers.
And besides the Matrix, Inception had elements from Dark City and The Thirteenth Floor (all three were from 1999!).
dreams within dreams are a real phenomenon, I've experienced it before, so I know it isn't a Hollywood invention. I just know it isn't very common. btw, I LOVED Inception, if it doesn't win awards, I will be shocked.
I was totally thinking that too, crazy huh?
Oh, and while I'm glad you came around to the possibility that the whole thing was a dream in the end (thus negating the need for further exposition of the dream machines), I'm disappointed in your strong desire to see more fantasy elements when the characters were so grounded. It's like saying that 2001: A Space Odyssey needed a few more laser shoot-outs and complain you couldn't see the strings. And even though Star Wars was heavily influenced by the art of 2001, it was still Flash Gordon.
But perhaps this is a movie like 2001, where I've heard many comments that people haven't liked it until much later. I think Woody Allen said he didn't see the greatness of it until his 6th viewing at least a decade later.
The only things I have to add is A)The dreams can't be surreal; if they are, he'll immediately be aware that he's in a dream. Followed by B) Dreams within dreams do happen, and they happen frequently. I've had one once, and so have a lot of people. But I agree, the movie plays hard and loose with reality; and isn't that why we should embrace it?
It's probably already been said, but I think the reason Nolan didn't bring out any monsters or aliens or what have you is to keep the audience grounded. They ARE dreams, so they could justify it, but I'm not sure people would buy it or they'd chuckle. It feels like Nolan only used as many elements as was necessary to get across the point or points he had in mind to begin with, and no more than that. He knew what he wanted and pursued that.
And in a way, the enemies they face are faceless by virtue of having faces. Do you remember what any of them really looked like? They were nondescript non-persons. If they'd had no faces or something, they'd have stood out and been memorable. The movie seems determined to have no villains and not play by action movie conventions, and if the “projections” had too much personality, they would be villains.
For me, The Matrix is definetly the worse of the two movies – The Matrix (3/4 stars) had me wanting more – Inception is pure brilliance, as a film (4/4 stars).
hello i don't post here often but i hope you read this. and im not looking through 140 comments to see if what i say is mentioned so i made it easy to figure out what im going to say.
eurekain the sifi show eureka there is an episode in season 2 i believe episode 6 that had a shared dreaming plot. i don't know if you meant that in movie or in anything si fi thats filmed. you may want to look into the show, its pretty interesting.
dream in dreami can say that i have, multiple times, the ones that stick out the most are the ones i had when i has high fevers though. because those ones were like torture. because when you wake up from a dream, you kind of take it for granted that you are now awake, so before when you were dreaming you are “rolling” with it, you are, as far as you know, awake now. so i woke up, and than im walking around, and no one is helping me and my door wont open, it never dawns on me that im looking down on myself, but im sitting there crying (im 6 at the time) because i cant get out of my room its dark and no one is coming to help me. when i finally wake up i have to wonder if that what im experiencing now is a dream. thats just the one that pops out the most for me because it was the first time. and no one will believe you as a kid that this happened, or that you experienced it, which will always make you wonder in the future if this is really a dream or reality.
now there is another kind of dream within a dream i have preoticly, where ill live inside the dream for, i think the longest was about 2 weeks. now before anyone calls bullshit on that think of it this way. try to remember your day a week ago… go on try. you only remember the highlights, thats more or less what the dreams are, they skip to the highlight moments, and i “sleep” in them, well, i go to bed, close my eyes and wake up, so its like a time skip, and like i said, i could have lived weeks in those dreams. and its not like i don't see the dream like things in them, i do, because they are all fantasy worlds. at any given point i see dream like things and chose to ignore it because i hope with everything i have that its not a dream… now moving on
game within game moviethis movie sounds allot like this movie i watched years back but cant remember its name at all. but it was about a vr game that these people played, and they sis shit, i believe one guy made a gun out of chicken bones, i was really little at the time i saw this so i cant remember a whole lot, but at the end, they are about to kill this guy who asks them, are we still in the game, and the movie ends. if anyone can elaborate on what i said here, or tell me the name of the movie email me at eqalidan(at)gmail[dot]com with the subject “your spoony comment” so it gets passed my filter.
and thanks to anyone who read this whole thing.
There an anime film called Paperka- which theres a device which allows people t go inside peoples dreams. They start using it for theorpy reasons. But then through cercanstances all the dreans start molding together and start comming through into the real world.
I dunno if thats the same as interception but… it sounds simular to me,
I got into a short debate with my wife in regards to the “dream within a dream” concept. I wondered if the idea which I've experienced repeatedly of waking up and then still be dreaming really counted as “popping a layer off the dream stack” or if it was just a continuation of the same dream while the sudden change of location to you waking up tricked you into thinking you woke up. My wife was very firm in believing in the pop-stack stating she's had dreams where she “fell asleep” and later woke up to the point that she experienced an entire year of her life to only then wake up and discover it was only a single night.
As for the more nightmarish and fantastical elements not being in the film… yeah. I have to agree, it would had been more accurate to dreams to include those. And although this was a pseudo-controlled situation, it would had been much better to see. There were missed opportunities. The concept of the film opens a door to such a wide number of possibilities, to not see them go “all out” is disappointing, but yet what we did see was so refreshing. It was like getting just a small slice of the greatest cake ever made. YOU WANT MORE!
I'm going to just hope that the movie's concepts and styles are expanded on further. I don't know if a sequel should be made to something like this, but if it is crafted with the same plot intricacies and care, I think it not only could work, but it could move further into what was started here.
“Leave the audience wanting more.” Damn. This movie qualifies for that.
I've had dreams within dreams. To me, they were separate dreams happening in sequence before waking up.
If Cobb's kids are his totem, it makes much more sense.
Fantastic movie that I saw normally and in IMAX. The after-movie discussions are better among friends and family.
While I completely agree with nightmares playing a factor in these controlled dreams, I would think that the term “dream” is used to explain the state of their surroundings. Otherwise, if it were an actual dream, then there will be crazy stuff happening. Think about any dream you've ever experienced. It's never been a mundane thing with extraordinary situations, given the person in question. I can recall that any dream I can remember vaguely where crazy things happen in a crazy world.
While I did enjoy the film, I'm probably with the group of people who wanted to know just what that device was and how it worked. If it were summed up in one line, I probably would have been satisfied. And I liked the ending for what it was. If it were anything else, then it wouldn't have left much an impression.
While I haven't seen the movie, I just want to say I as well have had dreams within dreams, and for some reason, whenever it is a dream in a dream, the first dream is a full dream, then I wake up, go through my morning routine, and something oddball happens, like REALLY weird, than I wake up for real. It does kinda mess with your head for a few minutes.
I was thinking it felt more like James Bond.
I have actually had a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. It made me question existence for about three months. I haven't been the same since.
I really liked this movie for what it did do, rather than hate it for what it didn't do. It is unique & much better than a lot of the sequels and recycled crap that I have seen recently. Everyone should see it to judge for themselves. & great reference to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, That has it's own set of rules as well & gives you some interesting material to talk about like Inception does.
Inception could only be a film, it only works as a film. The reason it is uniqe is because it uses cinimatic devices to portray dreams. Like cuting to a new scene, every time it cut to a scene already in progress, You woundered wether it was a dream or just editing.
It really was a filmmakers film and used film making tools that tied in strongly with the story! As a book this would have been terrible, boring. Just pages and pages of descripton. And the plot, characters, and twists would have been uncoverd in secounds. This really is a master work in directing a film making, and thinking that makes me a moron, then fine, i am a moron. It just would not work as a book.
Alright. I retract my statement on “those who think this film is better as a film than a novel are morons”.
However, if what makes this movie spectacular is the visuals, and if the story can’t work on its own without the aid of music (which was fantastic, forgot to mention) and special effects, then I’ll go so far as to say this is a visual work of art.
But, it’s a very shallow work of art. Story is the most important part of a movie, not it’s looks and sounds.
Maybe you are right, and those are some intrestinf opinions you have. I way i enjoyed the movie is i looked at it as a whole peice of art. The acting, writing, visuals, and music was all part of one thing and made one solide peice of unique drama. When you start to pick it apart, it maybe falls short, but i think the thing as a whole worked really well.
It appealed to you. I understand. This comment (though grammatically challenged) has changed my mind about this movie being better as a novel. I’ll retract that previously stated opinion as well.
No, everything is important to a film. Actually let me clarify that: everything is important to a GREAT film.
If only the story matters, and the visuals and sounds and editing and camerawork and acting don’t matter, why not just write a novel? It would be a lot cheaper, and it wouldn’t rely on a collaboration with a bunch of other people to get it right.
Film is not solely a visual medium, nor is it solely an aural medium. It’s a collaborative process between numerous people to create a single work of art.
…god I sound so self-important. I hate when I get this way.
I said “most important”. I never implied that a movie should be able to work without the collaboration of visual and auditory stimulus. I said that a movie’s plot, especially the plot of a movie that wants so desperately to be seen as a mind-bending intellectual mystery, should be able to hold its own without the necessary bells and whistles provided for its theatrical adaptation. If it doesn’t, than it’s a popcorn-movie.
Exclusions obviously being documentaries.
The last shot of this film demanded the audience see it as a deep film, when such a forced (and unnecessary) shot only makes it seem pretentious.
To be honest, Spoony I don't think they need to explain where they got it or how it works. That's not important to the story. And honestly I prefer this path to them doing the whole Star Trek fake-sciencey words horseshit
Well I can understand what you're saying Spoony, but I think that if shit got crazy then it would make Cobb's job tougher. It seemed to me that the architects job in this movie was to keep shit from getting too crazy. That the dream in fact had to be realistic enough so that they could steal the information that they needed. Yeah I thought that as first. That I'd love to see some crazy stuff happening. Two headed dragons, unicorns with laser rifles, Hunter S. Thompson as a lizard. All that would be great. Though I think that the mind would guard itself even more if it knew it was in a dream. The point of their job was to convince the mind that it wasn't a dream but in fact reality until the person woke up. That's at least what I think.
There's a movie that came out around 2006, called Paprika, that basically has the same concept. Except it is done for psychological healing reasons instead of espionage, but while the plot is dissimilar it seems that the overall arch of the production itself follows a lot of the same set pieces. Look it up, it was released by Sony Picture Classics. The reason I drew similarities was because Inception, I don't want to say rips-off, but the hallway scene that they showed in the trailer looks almost EXACTLY like the set piece scene in Paprika.
I actually had a dream within a dream. It was fucking weird, I “woke up” and realised I had cum in my pants. Then I really woke up and I didn't actually have cum in my pants. Weird.
Spoony, the term you're looking for is “suspension of disbelief”, basically, that we're willing to accept any break from reality a movie might have as long as it's consistent with the movie's internal rules and doesn't insult the film watcher's intelligence. Blatantly stupid behavior from characters and contradictions in plotting and the movie's rules kill your ability to believe in the movie's premise.
That's the reason, for example, that the new Star Wars movies receive so much shit, even though, from a technological perspective, they're light years ahead of the old ones. The old ones had better storytelling, a set of internal rules that made sense within the context of the films, and the characters were consistent in their characterization(pardon the redundancy). The new ones throw ideas at us that fly in the face of what was established before(the droids, midochlorians, the Sith), and that takes away from the enjoyment. By themselves, they're not bad, but taken as part of a larger narrative that includes the original ones, it suffers.
I don't think putting more information about the machine will help to understand the movie. If I can make a comparison with a movie is Videodrome, and I think you watched it(you have the poster in your room, so I presume you have seen and liked the movie). Cronenberg gave vague information about the reason why the character, Max Renn, have all this hallucination, how he can manipulate reality, or how a television signal create a tumour in the brain. Actually Cronenberg created a scene where a character explain everything; they created a night-vision google, but the machine was flawed, and created brain damage to the user and to them the possibility to deform the world through they own hallucination, or something like that. Why actually Cronenberg cutted that segment, was for the simple fact it was to much information, and so the world created in the movie become less flexible, and thus the suspension of disbelief was harder to perform. A plot hole is not this, a hole is when the segment can be explain and hurt the logic of the movie; this happen in the movie who go against the rules they created(borrowed if is a realistic film).
Nolan do the same, he gave the minimal information to be sure the world he create is believable and also flexible; which is the basis also for the dream in the film, the point is to create a world where the dreamer found like the real world, because the character of Dicaprio need to stole information in their spirit, he need a solid world along for this. If the world fall apart the dreamer will awake, and the information will be lost.
About the gunmen and the nightmares, I would say is from the perspective from the mains character. The character of Dicaprio is afraid of gunmen and the corporations, or from Ellen Page and being a young women she probably afraid that a man attack her.
My only problem is the time in the dream. I accept the fact that the time will seem to go slower when your dreaming(in a certain way is true), but the whole expansion by layer of reality…this was a case of to much informations, and raise question about the mental ageing and the consequences.
And the scene on the bridge was like one of the Specops missions you have to do where you're on a bridge that looks exactly like that, hiding behind a white van shooting at bad guys.
Loved this movie.
Can't understand how people couldn't follow this movie. I had no problem following it.
My impression of INCEPTION:
Oh no! A car is about to hit me! Dream dive…Oh no! A boulder is about to crush me! Dream dive…Oh no! A grizzly bear is about to eat me! Dream dive…Oh no! I've fallen from a tower! Wake up into a grizzly bear eating me, wake up into a boulder that crushes me, wake up into a car that hits me, wake up into….real life? Is this real life? Not sure…
I know! I'll spin my TOP! If it falls, then this is reality! <Spin the top>
Wait for it…wait….MOVIE ENDS.
RESOLUTION HERE, PEOPLE! RESOLUTION! WHAT HAPPENED!?!? Arghh…
Noah. Watch Jacob's Ladder. You will be glad you did.
I've seen Animes where they do dream stuff, weird stuff and new stuff. I also remember other films very similar, so I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say how it's all new, spoony. Oh well, everything came from somewhere.
Sorry Spoony but I'm rather disappointed in this review. You came off way too confused on whether or not you liked or disliked the film. Which wouldn't be a big deal only your reasoning for disliking it came off rather childish to me.
You complained about the length of the movie. Really? The length? I thought you were above that kind of shallow nit-picking. Especially since you made it clear you were enjoying the movie up until you talked about it with Scarlett once you left the theater.
Your complaints on lack of fantastical elements, while not ungrounded, were out of place. I mean really, does the movie score lower just because we didn't see stormtroopers riding unicorns? Yes it's in a dream but does that immediately mean things have to be completely random? Not to mention the whole reason why it was based in more modern real world settings was because they wanted to subtly plant an idea into the mind of Cillian Murphy's character. Had a dragon flown by it would have ruined the whole plan.
As for explaining the tech, again, seemed out of place. You admit yourself that it would have bogged the movie's pace yet you come off as using that as a reason to give it a low score. Plus many movies don't explain tech or elements and it doesn't hamper the story. Look at the original Star Wars movies, we got little background to how lightsabers work or the force and it didn't take away from the narrative. In fact when the prequels tried explaining it that only ruined the ideas, it didn't enhance them.
All in all Spoony maybe you should have figured out an actual stance on this movie before posting a review since you go back and forth so much and your reasons for wanting to not like it seem almost like desperate attempts just so you can hate it.
They explain how time works in dreams as going deeper and deeper into mental functions. So the deeper they went the faster the mental functions became and thus time moved faster as the events were playing out faster.
I agree. I remember reading some guy's allegory on Children of Men, claiming it was one big anti-homosexual message.
You may not have ever had a dream within a dream Spoony, but I have a feeling more than one of us have. In fact I have had several before. It's definitely weird, and when you complain about that causing the movie to fall apart you have to remember it's kind of hard to argue with dream logic, mostly because in dreams anything is possible. Actually, give it a few days and I wouldn't be surprised if excess thought about this movie possibly might spark even your own.
As for the rest of the review, it feels like most of the stuff that your criticizing is more nitpicking. For what the movie did, I think everything was really fantastic and imaginative. I do like the thought of a nightmare quite a bit but really i think the movie wouldn't have flowed as well and it would've really got in the way of the thesis “What is Reality?” Cause that's really kind of the whole point of the movie.
I think it if you see it a few more times, you might see how even though its kind of grounded, it works better for what it's aiming at. Before seeing it the second time, I was still unsure of where it sat on it on my list of movies this year and after I was blown away and was certain that its the best movie of the year so far.
I disagree with you about the movie needing “dream-like” imagery. The characters don't invade someone's dream to find information – they create a dream for their victim -and then enter it – so they can find the information that they want. The point is that the dream is as realistic as possible so the victim isn't aware that they are in a dream.
Also, I think another reason why they don't add more fantastical elements: The extractors are seeking specific information; by creating a realistic setting it is much easier to locate the desired info. In a realistic setting, “special” info would probably be kept in a safe, etc. – so the victim subconsciously puts the “special” information in a safe in the dream setting. Also in a realistic setting, you'd imagine “security” to be dudes toting guns, not giants or orcs. If you threw the victim into “Lord of the Rings Land,” what represents a safe? The extractors want the environment to be as predictable as possible to accomplish their mission. So, I think the dreams had to be in a realistic setting for the sake of the plot.
I'll add another of what I'm sure are a litany of comments assuring the Spoony One that dreams within dreams are real and quite common for a lot of people (I've had them).
I can appreciate what Noah is saying about the missed opportunity to use surreal imagery, but I'm of the opinion it would have hurt the film. It would be fairly simple for Leo to figure out what's real and what's a dream if all he had to do was check to see if there were any faceless trolls in the crowd. Plenty of movies have done across the board surrealism, I think the restrained, Kafka-like quality of the visuals was a better way to go than with showy, overbearing creature effects.
“It's his wife's top so he wouldnt know”
Ok I am sick of this bullshit. He held it while in real life, while he was training his architect. This means he knows and the only other person who knows is dead and only exists in his recreation of things. That means its a perfect totem. No one else knows. Drop it.
I've never commented before, but, I have had a dream within a dream once. It was weird. I was 14 or 15 and I dreamed I was going to soccer practice and I had a heart attack at soccer practice for some reason. And I closed my eyes during the heart attack and died. Well then I woke up when my eyes closed. And then I went to soccer practice, sure enough, heart attack, but this time I knew I'd die if I closed my eyes so I made sure I didn't close them. And I made it to the hospital in the dream and eventually I woke up. But it's a really bizarre feeling. I didn't wake up that day questioning reality or anything. But it's certainly possible to have a dream in a dream.
Spoony who was that reviewer that explained it like that? I'd really love to read the review for myself and follow him as well.
I’ve “woken” up from a dream before and found out I was still dreaming. One time I woke up from a dream and Dad came in, turned into a giant penguin, attacked me, and then I really woke up. So I can buy the different levels of dreaming from my experiences.
I tried to have a discussion about it with Dad afterward. As soon as the credits rolled I asked, “What do you think happened?” And he replied, “Does it matter?” And it took me awhile to get him to talk about the movie after that. And then it was more of a “What I think is right, who cares what you think?” sort of thing.
I disagree with what you were saying about what could have populated the dream world. Christopher Nolan is very hyper real so it was a style choice to have everything realistic, and I liked that. If you took away the realism of the dreams the theme of not knowing what is a dream world is moot, it would be so obvious for the audience which world is real.
I don't think they needed to explain any of the dream technology – the story wasn't about the technology, it was a bout the people. We don't need an in depth history of the tool that allows this story to be told.
Warning possible TL;DR incoming.
Am I the only person who didn't find this movie confusing? That said I “got” Memento first time round too, maybe I just “get” Nolan's creative style. I dunno.
The biggest issue I have with Inception was that it spoiler-ed itself with the first 5 minutes. The second I recognized that beach again, I knew the best part of the ending. There where enough twists within that ending to make it a worthwhile watch, but the suspense was gone. I knew what was going to happen to DiCaprio's character long before the movie explained how, and while getting there was fun, it wasn't fun enough to hold the film.
I actually felt parts of the film where over explained. Blatant scenes of exposition are not very enjoyable. Actually it was one of the better exposition scenes in cinema. Of course, imho, that's like say “one of the better Uwe Boll films.”
Yeah, I went there.
I think it hurt my opinion of the film that I was expecting something brain-twister-y and thought provoking. It isn't. It's certainly deeper than your average summer blockbuster, but, again, not saying much. There's nothing particularly complex or indepth here. The plot devices range from over explained to bafflingly inserted with no reason.
That said, the overall premise is pretty interesting (if easily dismissed as a giant plot hole with a brief examination of psychological methods, well, depending on with psyc theory you subscribe to anyway) the cinematography and effects are excellent, and the acting ranges from above average to excellent.
Lower your expectations going into this film, and prepare to suspend disbelief and you should enjoy it well enough. Just don't expect to re-evaluate your outlook on life over this. It's a summer blockbuster.
You make some great points. My mom and I loved the film, but you were write about how the worlds could have been more dreamy. Mom personally loves the Train, and the dream aspects were definitely a nice touch. You were right about wanting more though, because that's what I wanted. It would be horrible to try and sequel such an awesome film, but in some way wouldn't a sequel be good just so we can see more of this dream world?
I have dreams with in dreams all the time. I also can feel pain in my dreams but not to the extent of what pain feels like in real life. I have also had dreams where I am assuming the ground is rotating in some way because I can't keep my footing and keep fallin about but it wasn't because in reality the room was actually spinning so I can't explain that. Also, I never die in dreams and wake up it is always I am about to die and wake up, not actually die. Sometimes in my dreams I can figure out there dreams and wake myself up by simply closing my eyes real tight in and when I open them I wake up. Here is something really wierd or just a coincidence. Me and my ex-girlfriend were sleping at her moms house and she was on the couch and I was on the floor right next to the couch and we both woke up at the same time laughing. We kind of just stared at eachother for a moment and asked why we were laughing. Here we both had a dream where we were both in it but couldn't remember the dream at all just that I was in hers she was in mine. She thought we shared a dream and went into detail about how it was possible. So maybe we shared a dream and something funny happened and we started laughing and our sub-concious like found out we were sharing the same dream and made us wake up. She explained it some how and it was weird and this was 2 years ago.
bla bla bla bla bla bla bla 30 minutes.jerk
“Dream within a dream” is really not a movie concept, it happens. Not a common occurrence, at least to me personally, but it did happen to me a few times and it can be genuinely unsettling.
Spoony, I'm just not with you on this one. Your points are mostly valid, but a bit on the nitpicky side. I think the movie was rather smart, and pretty consistent as far as its internal logic goes. The exposition was done very well, the execution was near-perfect, and there were no loose ends in sight in the end; every single confusing bit can be explained with repeat viewings. Most importantly, there was no Matrix-like smart-assery; the movie never pretends to be smarter then it is nor it looks down on its audience, which I vastly appreciated.
I do agree that the dreams weren't really dreamlike, though; almost every single thing done by Lynch is a much closer representation of a dreamlike state then what Nolan does in Inception. But I think this has more to do with artistic vision then with it being an actual fault with the movie; if the dreams were more “Lynchian” on one level the movie would perhaps be more visually interesting, but it might hurt the actual story and plot (and the movie requires the viewer to follow carefully as-is).
Dreaming within a dream, that happened to me a few times.
Thereby, this movie isn't really about dreaming and what's real or not. It's about creativity, ideas and coming clean with yourself. It's totally not interesting if the world is real or not in that film.*spoiler* The ending wasn't about reality but if Comb accepted his new ideas, his own inception.
FYI star wars wasn't far future, it was a long long time ago :)
I wish you had cited that critic's article you were referring to at the end, it'd be interesting to read for me.
Personally, I think it was more about guilt and loss and acceptance, especially in how Cobb saw their faces and then walked away from the top he had already started spinning.
He made the conscious decision to live and exist in this world, dream or no dream. There's something uplifting about that.
I've had dreams within dreams at least once in my life… and that one time that I remember most clearly, I woke up from a nightmare into the same nightmare scenario four times over in one night.
I think i found it
I don't understand why people get confused by this movie, I thought it was pretty straight forward.
I keep hearing things about how it wasn't really sci-fi/fantasy but thats really not what they were going for the guy is a refined businessman it would seem weird if he's dreaming about stormtroopers and…guys with long bows. Just because this movie isn't the movie that you would have made or having the setting that you would like doesn't make it less good than it was.
That being said the film was fun to watch as long as you don't think about the fact that it was complete bullshit. The longer it got in the more bullshit it became if leo knew that you could get out of limbo by killing yourself why did he care. why did they do the wake up chain thing why the hell couldn't he just wake them up. So much of this was just total bullshit honestly but like i said it was pretty fun to watch as long as you dont care.
I have had dreams within dreams, and woken up from dream into another dream. I have to say that it is some of the scariest shit I have ever experienced in my life, and it does warp and meld you sense of reality. Around the age of 12 I was a very constant and lucid dreamer. Knowing you are dreaming, able to sense the conscious world around you outside of your bed, and still be unable to wake up for what seems like months is truly disturbing.
I have not seen the movie, and I did like your review. As for the whole dream layers, it is a weird thing, and you really have to experience it to understand it. I look forward to watching this movie.
I agree with you that the movie had holes and incoherences. It couldn't spend time explaining how the technology worked ; introducing such a complex concept, it had to avoid being slowed by exposition, so they only explain the elements that affect the plot, the dream structure and functions. And it's true, it remains pretty simple and mundane in its basic imagery. It doesn't twist the world and change it radically, it only turns it in different directions with the shifting gravity and so forth.
But I think this was to keep a consistent aesthetic. The corporate espionage motif keeps the movie coherent, and if things had gone into sci-fi or nightmarish horror, I think the movie would have been all over the place. This team of thieves know what they're doing, this is a familiar environment, so a lot of the details don't need to be adressed. The characters already know how the dream works, so they already know how to work them, how to work with them.
And I think that's really the idea behind this movie : it's the work of a virtuoso, it's a puzzle or a maze. Nolan couldn't have given us this complex, tumbling storyline if his characters had to discover everything. He couldn't explain it to the audience that way, because then he would have no space or time to tell his story : the movie would have been enslaved to exposition. The cold, “real” aesthetic creates a very cerebral playground : there is imagination, but Nolan doesn't let his universe go out of bounds. He has to rein it in, keep it consistent or otherwise he can't craft this magnificent puzzle. Things can't be virtuous if they aren't under control, and I think that's why he didn't just go nuts with the nightmares and the fantasies.
But here comes what you said about this movie defining an era, starting something. All those missed opportunities you talk about are ideas for other stories. Nolan isn't the first guy to tell a story about dreams. But if Inception has enough of an impact, maybe we'll see movies explore those ideas that he couldn't. This movie is great, it knew what it wanted to do and it stuck to it, did it manificently. But it also opens the door to infinite possibilities, to further exploration of these concepts.
All the holes and incoherences of Inception only make me more interested in it. I don't know if Nolan did it intentionnally, but I don't care : it's a story that makes me want to see and tell more stories, and that's the best kind of story there is.
To think on your point on dreams within dreams only happening in movies, I think there's a definite possibility that this is his idea. To look at, for example, the discussion between DiCaprio and Page's character's in Paris, where Cobb points out that in a dream, you don't really question how you got somewhere, you find yourself already there, he's really critiquing cuts to a new scene in movies. 'How did these characters get here?' is never really a question. They just are. And what are films but collective fantasies we all experience, or to put it another way “shared dreams”?
About sameyness between dreams. Well if you look at tre dream at the start with Watanabe's character's dream being infiltrated, it's very different to the other dream heist. The layers in that heist are quite samey because well, they're all dreams by the same guy. It's the same subconscious, and all the dreams have been built by Page's character, so of course there are common motifs. Get to the fourth level, and it's completely different, way more post-apoc earth.
As for a lack of nightmares…um, walking through the collapsing ruins of a city you built with your wife, being haunted by her ghost, a literal personification of the guilt you feel for your part in her death, who then tries to stab you to death isn't what you'd call a nightmare?
Guys with guns are part of the mind trained to fight off intruders, which is done by private security companies, who use guys with guns, so again, it's justified within the film. Another point – they don't take him to an unsettling landscape because they want him to have an emotional reaction to the dream, and his father's desires, not a “oh man, look at that spaceship!” reaction.
To move away from critiquing the critique – Personally, I reckon that the only 'waking' sequence was in Mumbasa, where DiCaprio comes out of the collective dream, spins the top and it falls, pretty much right away. For it to keep spinning like it does at the end, even if it was maybe wobbling a little, tells us this is a dream when compared with it's short spin in Mumbasa.
The whole walk in too someone`s dream thing reminds me of the 1980 movie Dreamscape. directed by Joseph Ruben.If anyone hasnt seen its about two research scientist who hire a powerful psychic to go into the subconscious mind of troubled minded patients, alot of very weird stuff happens in the dreams, like one guy is slightly old and not very attractive, but the guys wife is very hot, and in the dream the wife is cheating on her husband with alot of people right in front of their kids and him, so long story short the psychic goes in this guys dream with him and trys to fix the problem.
Saw this film the other day, loved it, really made you think and pay attention.
On your note of wanting more out of dreams, wanting them to be more dreamlike…I never thought about the henchmen so much, but there was one thing that stood out to me and bothered me. When they're in the warehouse with Fischer and they get surrounded, Eams says to not be afraid to dream big and pulls out a fucking grenade launcher. That was fucking cool. But that NEVER happened again. Why didn't they all just whip out grenade launchers or something when they were at the ice fortress?
Honestly Spoony when you say it's both remarkable and disappointing, you seem more glad for it, it's a great thing you want more but adding more to a film can often times make it worse or entirely change why it is good. The movie already set a bar what you are asking for is alternative content, ideas, and themes. I agree that with a plot like this Nolan could have taken any path and creative freedom.
There is indeed so much to say about this movie, personally I came with a few different “layers” of interpretation for the film but what I'd like to comment on is on something else, on that the fact that some people decide to concentrate on small and unimportant details and base their appreciation of the movie on that instead of the whole psychological and philosophical aspects that are being presented to them. When the comparison to the matrix was done I thought, yes, this is exactly like the matrix, not in the sense of it is the same story but in the sense that the matrix was also misinterpreted (and subsequently ruined) like that. The matrix is NOT a story about the perils of building intelligent machines, is NOT a story about the perseverance of mind kind, and it is definitely NOT a story about Neo sent from the heavens to save us all. The Matrix was a great (not just very good, and not perfect but indeed great) movie because it was able to “popularize” a great philosophical question (the questioning of reality and what this means to us as a species and as individuals) and being “cool” about it, it used the action movie disguise and the special effects escorts to caught your attention and then when you were not looking it made you think. For that alone, the matrix deserves recognition. But some people just didn't get it. All they could see was 500 continuity errors on the movie, all they wanted was to see Neo being a bad ass superhero. That line of thought fueled two sequels, video games and some other media that could only focus on the characters, that needed to use and reuse the formula attempting to make more profit and they ended “dumbing down” the whole franchise. And this doesn't mean great stuff can't be done, the animated shorts from the Animatrix is a great example of good use of an existing universe full of possibilities (not nearly as deep as the movie but interesting and fresh). Now Inception could be facing the same fate, this is also a smart movie that invites you to reflect on more that the special effects you are watching on screen, it almost begs you to see beyond the suspense plot and into yourself. Yes, a new and vast universe has been created, where those star wars, medieval or nightmarish scenarios could be presented to us, but just like with the matrix, that is just a sub product (as cool as it may be) of a great work of art. If you are looking for just an action movie, or a visual treat, or a complete logical argument; you will have a good time but this may not be the best choice of movie for you, if you can see past that you might find that on a movie that bets it foundation on philosophy and psychology, there is no “right” answer it is all for interpretation and discussion (as Spoony can testify) and that, is always a marvelous way to spend our time.
How do you know that he held it in real life? What makes you 100% sure that that was real life and not a dream?
I have experienced a dream within a dream. A very small one but anyway. I woke up in the dream and went to drink water. Suddenly I REALLY woke up. And felt kinda weird.
I hope you were about to refer to Eraserhead!(I can't stand Inland empire but Mulholland Drive is an fantastic film). Great thoughts as always and I liked that filmmakiing allegory, amusing enough to say the least.
I've had a dream with in a dream before and it sucked, I was stuck in a nightmare trying to wake myself up only to wake up and realize I was stilllll dreaming… finally my girlfriend woke me up because I was screaming in my sleep. Hopefully, not all dreams with in dreams are like that.
I love this movieBut I can also see what Spooney was talking about seeing nightmares and wondering how those devices let go into people's dream.
I disagree about the nightmare part, it would have been a pretty pointless subplot (although cool) it also might have increased the silliness factor or just something strange like that, i don't think it would have worked.
I wish they had tackled dreams of significance more i think, like suggestive dreaming or very clear lucid dreaming, in a lucid dream you can control just about anything, however that isn't really the point of the movie.
They are trying to create their own suggestive dream, they are trying to get information or change peoples minds and there is really no practical reason to showing those really insane moments, although one could argue that the “training” scene is more like a lucid dreaming concept.
Overall i was super please with this movie but what would you expect from a Matrix fan ;p
Nice comments on the film but one thing you said is bugging me… Why is it that everyone thinks that because Mall touched the top it won't work for Cobb ? It isn't a magical item or anything like that. If you touch it, it still acts like a totem, but an architect who touched it could reproduce it and lure you into a real-fake dream (remember the carpet-Saito scene) and make you think anything. Cobb is the only person alive who knows its exact characteristics, therefore it can perfectly grounds him to the reality when he needs it.
Yeah, I've also had dreams within dreams, usually when I'm trying to wake up from a nightmare and I end up waking up in another dream, but I've also just had regular dreams where I “woke up” but was still dreaming. It's been extremely rare though.
Also, the idea of going into dreams doesn't seem that original, especially when you've seen “Paprika”, where their dream technology makes more sense, and they end up having to stop someone misusing that technology to wreck havoc in the collective subconscious, which bleeds into reality and becomes indistinct.
I have actually had a dream within a dream. I really don't remember anything about the second level dream, though I do remember waking up from the second level to the first level, and then waking up to reality, and also what happened in the first level.
Fantastic review Spoony. I LOVED Inception. It has so many ideas that I see in video games now that it made me love the film even more. Level designs, certain ideas from games like Silent Hill 2 with DiCaprio's character and an action set piece that reminded me of Shadow Moses in MGS or a level in CoD: Modern Warfare 2. I wonder if Nolan knew about those games?
Btw, I've had a dream within a dream a few times in my life. So it's not a purely movie thing. It's weird and surreal but also a very cool feeling if you've ever experienced it.
I think you guys are pushing the allegory idea a bit too far. See, I saw this movie as a classic heist film. Saito is the money-man, the financier. Cobb is the idea man, the guy who comes up with the job, the leader. Aurthur, of course, is the pro, he puts all the pieces together. Ariadne, Yussef and Eames are the specialists.
I don't quite get why you would want an explanation on how the technology of it all works, since none of it's real you know for a fact it would just get the “Star Trek” treatment with endless amount of techno-babble that I don't think would work here with the amount of exposition the movie already has.
How it worked on the outside was what mattered, we needed to hear that stuff in order to understand WTF was going on in the third act, and that's when this movie was at it's strongest.
As for the argument of delving into fantasy, I don't quite understand either what would be the point of a gremlin or stormtrooper popping out of nowhere, as film geeks we'd appreciate the reference but in the story like this it's unnecessary and would come across as being cheap since it wouldn't mean anything.
Something along the lines of faceless projections on the other hand would, and I agree a detail like that would have made the film even better.
I've had dreams within dreams. Several times, actually.
I have only seen this movie once, but as I think about the movie, it all seems to point to one thing: every thing from the beginning to the end of the movie was all one dream.
Why do I think this? I remember every single scene beginning suddenly. Cobb is suddenly talking to his father or suddenly meeting his friend. Strange things happen in the “real” world (such as the technologies that make going into dreams possible) without explanation or question. Ariadne (Page) doesn't even ask how this stuff works and she had just heard about it. The meager explanation that was given was vague and glossed over.
Also everyone has just a first name, for the exception of a few characters. And those characters are Cobb's family and the Fischers et.al, whose names were possibly based on real people gotten from any newspaper if they were as big as they supposedly were, you know, owning a large “energy” company and all.
The biggest clue for me was the coincidences that came up, such as Cobb accepting a job that only he has ever done, and at the same time conveniently exercises his issues.
All these things lead me to believe we have never seen anything outside Cobb's dream.
Even though I haven't seen the movie yet, I found this video really, really interesting, and I'm certainly going to check out Inception sometime soon. What strikes me about this review, however, is how intelligent you seem, Spoony. Not implying that I thought you were stupid before, only that it is a side to you that you seldom show in your vids, and that it is nice to hear you analyse and talk about the things you discuss in the review. You really raised my curiosity for this film.
Oh, and thanks for not spoiling the ending, that was very considerate of you. :)
Hm. People keep saying that you have to really pay attention to this movie otherwise you'll get lost, and I don't see that. I mean, yeah, you have dream within a dream within a dream within a dream sequences, but they're pretty well explained before and after they go in what's going on and what's happening and what layer they're in and so forth, so idk, I found it far less complicated than everyone says.
Agreed that they don't explain any of this technology, but honestly, there's almost no way they could that would make it any kind of plausible. What got me was that when they go to recruit Ellen Page, and then again when the infiltrate Cillian Murphy's mind, that this tech, apparently, isn't all that secret. Page's character just sort of swallows it from the beginning, and you find that apparently it's fairly common for powerful CEOs to be trained to resist this sort of thing. So that leaves you with the question like, well, does everyone know about this or not? Is this supposed to be our world or some sort of alternate universe where tech like this exists? I found that pretty irritating.
And yes, yes yes yes, this whole movie was a waste of a very intriguing concept. I was really disappointed that they had this great idea, in-movie this great tech, and used it to…steal businessmens' secrets. I mean, really? Was there no more interesting application for this that Nolan could think of to put on film than corporate espionage? It really made the whole sci-fi concept very boring for me. And then they went and turned the film itself into a sort of Ocean's Eleven-style over-the-top caper film, with even less at stake. Like you said, there was so much they could have done with this film and the concept, and they just didn't go there. That is my biggest problem with Inception as a whole. Well, that and the pretentious working-out-Cobb's-issues melodrama.
lol brazen plot holes indeed, what a great description for that. Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think (or at least hope, otherwise Nolan would get knocked down a few pegs in my book) that the hugely unbelievable issues, like Watanabe's magical phone call of freedom, are all evidence of the whole thing being a dream. I'm inclined to see it that way, just from reflection and discussion with other people. Actually, when you think back on it like that, all these huge plot conveniences seem like really obvious clues that it was Cobb's dream.
Anyway, interesting review. Glad to see someone not caught up in the Inception-worship, tbh I thought it was pretty overrated, pretentious as hell, and a damn waste.
About the “dream within a dream” thing, it's not a movie concept at all. I've had quite a few dreams were something disturbing is happening to me and the normal way of escaping from it would be by waking up. It's just that I wake up inside the dream instead.
Also I'm sure everyone has had that conscious dream were you understand you are dreaming and none of that is real, and maybe force your way into waking up in the real world… sometimes I ended up waking up in another dream, losing the awareness that I'm still dreaming. I thought that you realize you are inside a dream when the things you experience are pretty ludicrous and make no sense, but that isn't the case… I've dreamed pretty crazy shit and thought to myself: “Wtf? Maybe I'm dreaming?” so I took a look around the dream, saw impossible things and landscapes, but my mind still accepted it as real. I even scraped my fingers on a highway and could feel the heat and gravel beneath my fingernails :| It was only when I woke up that I realized what I had seen made no sense in the real world whatsoever… so you definitely cannot tell if you are dreaming or not, unless you have those conscious dreams for some reason.
And btw, those ppl being projections of your subconscious in your dream, that is so true! I've had this girl walk up to me in a dream and started telling me everything I hate about myself and other stuff only I knew, like she knew me really well! I guess it was the darker part of my subconscious kicking my ass ^^
Oh the irony of my profile pic :o
Only some words about the “dream” concept of the plot: Dreams -or dreaming ability of the brain to be more accurately- is the platform for the designer -or the architect; however you wish to call Ellen Page's character. There are certain rules to populate this dream environment or mechanism related to the task in hand: Trick the victim (Cillian Murphy's character or somebody else). The technology allows them to populate this dream platform with everything including Star Trek type of futuristic environment (or Renaissance Italy, whatever!), yet this wouldn't fit the task. Similarly, if some monstrous creatures or not-suitable-for-task type of “unrealistic” faceless men were popping up within the designed environment, again, this would ruin the operation.
For this aim, Leonardo's character (Cobb) defines how much ingredient should be involved. For instance, memory is not allowed for a good reason: Victim can see himself having a party and that would really ruin the operation too. Brain was roughly separated into three main sections: Conscious compartment (one can evaluate environment and relations with being aware of what's going on depending on inputs and outputs, and make decisions); Subconscious compartment (full of information on shapes, faces, colours, voices and their billions of combinations); and finally Memory compartment. Memory is not allowed for the task, but as we can observe in Cobb's private dream, it can be added when it is desired. For the job however, they only needed Conscious and Subconscious compartments.
If we go back to designer (or architect), he or she doesn't design only the environment, but also allows certain type of subconscious elements to involve the environment. That is to say, if guns and human figures are allowed, dreamer can not see monsters or faceless characters as it is prevented by software. It's like a designed computer game if you like; you can not see monsters if game designer doesn't allow you to see it in -let's say- a car race game. Not because software technology doesn't allow it; it's because it's against the concept of car race. Something like that. So if your brain starts to feel some defence, the triggered characters must take the form allowed by the type of “dream”: Guns are allowed, people are allowed, so your fear will take these forms. Simple as that.
So they don't want you to experience your free dreams: They use the dreaming ability of your brain and populate it with carefully selected parts of your own brain, plus their designed environment to get some information.
OMG I saw this for the second time yesterday and I can't believe I missed out the single BEST, MOST BADASS, NERDIEST ONE-LINER EVER UTTERED IN ANY MOVIE!!!
Tommy from 3rd Rock grabs this guy's neck and the stairway turns out be an architectural trick and he just goes:
Before letting him drop to the ground.
BRRRR INCOMING MESSAGE FROM THE BIG GIANT HEAD: Tommy, you are freakin' awesome.
I dont know if anyone mentioned this movie im not going thru the comments to look, but check out the movie Dreamscape.
I've had a dream within a dream. the first one was scary, and it started with me waking up in bed and scary things happened. then I “woke up” inside the dream and I thought I was awake but then the same scary stuff happened again but that time it was even more scary because I thought I had woken up. then I woke up for real.
Carl Jung wrote the book on collective consciousness, so nothing new there. And Satre dictated the existentialism inherent in a subjective reality which no one can verify from an in-universe perspective (e.g. you cannot confirm that the people you see are not projections of your mind, or that your memories weren't implanted into your head five minutes ago). Hell, Magritte painted the damn paradoxical contradictions of reality and suggested the variable nature of a dream. So it's not like the idea is original. In fiction, Ian Banks and Philip K Dick have been writing about this stuff for decades (past tense for Dick). I mean, you want to know the meaning of mindscrew, read VALIS, Players of Titan, or even just Ubik and you're never going to read a book or watch a movie without looking at the possible paradoxes and falsities of a seemingly concrete reality.
So, original it may not be, and the entire collective-dream-machine thing was just hand-waved, but this movie was really good. The first line of connection I drew was with the matrix, but that's okay, because it didn't rip-it-off. This movie took an old idea and it re-packaged it to illustrate it in an entirely new and creative way. Personally, I have had many dreams within dreams where the entire time you're just trying to wake up from consecutively bizarre scenarios, and I spend most of the time trying to figure out what is real and identify what isn't, but that's just me, and my nightmares are always pretty damn fucked up. However because of that I can really understand and believe where the creators are coming from. On closer inspection, the entire thing does kinda fall apart, but BECAUSE it's about dreams, you can somehow feel like that's okay, because dreams don't necessarily make sense.
I mean, a lot of this movie relies on ideas and concepts that just sort of tie it together, and I agree that there was a lot of potential for imaginative nightmarish mindscrew that was missed, but still, it was pretty damn good, and the minimisation of any out-there components did lend itself to blurring the lines between consecutive versions of reality, encouraging doubt on the nature of not one but all of them. It was enthralling, engrossing, character-driven, showed the depths the human mind can succumb to, and warped the boundaries of perspective reality as observed by the viewer. Compared to something like rape-your-mind-Twilight where you could slowly feel your brain dying as you watched it, this was the fucking Mona Lisa on crack. Was it ground-breakingly brilliant like the matrix? Not to the same extent, but it did explore new areas and ideas, and its execution was top-notch. Again, it explored the idea that the nature of reality does not matter as long as the subject accepts the reality presented. As long as the belief of reality is in place, the reality cannot be falsified or vindicated within the eyes of those that perceive it, and hence whether it is a dream or a simulation, as long as it is consistent to the individual, the objective reality is in fact irrelevant. It was definitely one of the better movies I've seen this year – maybe even the best.
And yes, I know I have ranted on for way too long, but this review was really good, the movie was really good, and both got me thinking… so, uh, there.
//end rant (woah… I really went on for waaaay too long…)
One time i had a dream that was 6 months long… it sucked. I got to know a ton of people and my dog died. So i can only imagine that there is some factual basis to the concept.
Hi, Spoony, I just saw this film. I can confirm that I have had dreams within dreams. I've dreamed that I went to sleep and woke up and was going about my normal life, and then suddenly realize it's a dream and try to wake up and dream that I again wake up, and am again going about doing normal life stuff… and then wake up again. This happened one time when I unintentionally fell asleep while waiting to go out with someone, and so I think that caused me to dream that suddenly the person was there and woke me up and I went about doing things like I was expecting. I've also dreamed that I was having an out of body experience — I saw myself sleeping in my bed, got up, and went off to explore. So, I didn't find the dream within a dream part of the film weird. I've also had the dream where a stranger comes to tell me that I'm dreaming and that he has to tell me some secret (common theme in dream movies, I think). I've also dreamed false memories and that I'd been doing stuff for a long period of time — kind of a feeling of expansion of time, without really having it. Time does expand a *little* in dreams, but not that much. What I really had an issue with in this film was the idea that dreams within dreams can expand time exponentially. That just seems ridiculous and without any foundation. Also, the extreme details of the dreams was something questionable to me. For me, dreams are usually vague emotions or ideas, and not extremely specific. All the details are kind of blurred over. Regardless of the dream science problems, though, this was a really enjoyable, engaging movie.
I've actually seen the movie 3 times just so I could understand every bit of it.The first dream with the rain was Yusuff's dream and then the hotel was Arthur's dream and the snowy hospital was Eames' dream. Finally the fourth level wasn't actually a dream at all. It was shared dream space.The reason the projections were attacking them was because the target or subject was Fischer and he filled it with his subconscious.Another thing, dreams within dreams is possible. Now I don't know about four dreams but still.And yes, the dreams in Inception were not like the dreams we have but that's why it's a science fiction. There were rules in these dreams and Nolan was very consistent with these rules. You know how, in movies, something really confusing happens but they just pass it off because they're dreaming, He doesn't do that and I think it was a good thing.And no offense, but you're kind of contradicting yourself. You said they didn't show anything nightmarish and then you said Cobb squeezing through than ally way was just like a nightmare. You said you wanted more from the movie and then said they were pushing the complexity too far. Finally, the point was that Cobb no longer cared whether he was dreaming or not as long as he saw his kids.(P.S. The whole premise isn't actually 100% original. Nolan even said some of his inspiration came from the anime movie Paprika.)
Chiming in with having dreams within dreams. I’ve had several, but the one that had the greatest impact on me was one where I just kept waking and waking in the same place, which was the place where I was actually sleeping. I got up, felt something was not right and decided to walk out of the room, but just before I reach the door I awake where I started from. I can’t tell how many times this happened but at one point I remember being actually conscious (?) without being able to fully open my eyes or move my body at all, before blacking out and eventually waking up for realsies.
My 'russian doll' dreams have often been characterized by this very strong link to actuality, where the setting of the dreams is the actual place where I’m physically sleeping – which makes them quite unnerving. I wake up, walk around, experience something weird (seeing through a window a huge UFO slowly hovering over a nearby lake, etc.) go calmly back to bed, only to wake up exactly where I just went into bed in the dream! Was it real? WTH? Haven’t had these for a while though. Sadly.
As to Spoony bemoaning the way the movie limits itself to rather mundane dreams and consequently to very down to earth vistas and inhabitants: my initial thought after the movie was that this might have been what kept the experience so coherent throughout. The effects budget could thus be focused on the key scenes (and by Xenu were they convincing), while minimizing the risk that some sort of CGI-mongrel would kick the viewer in the teeth right through the fourth wall.
I’m almost certain the darker areas of the psyche and their potentially visually shocking manifestations were considered in planning, but were buried in the process in search of coherence. Keeping the visuals rooted in reality works to downplay the idea that you are actually viewing someone’s dream as a moviegoer. I believe this just added to the immersion – when you’re in a dream, do you really know that you are in a dream? No, it feels, sounds and looks real to you. This is why the dreams portrayed in the movie needed to be as relatable to the audience as possible, balancing a fine line between fantasy and reality – I say that was the whole point, to engage the audience on this tightrope act through this subtlety in presentation, all to elicit that powerful groan that pierces the silence of the theatre* as the final frame of the movie snaps into darkness.
Rotten or fresh, as mentioned, the discussions sparked by this movie have been easily worth the (pricey) admission. Apologies for if not sense in making of post time much of late.
*personal moviegoing experience
I know like ten people said this already but you can't underline it enough: If you liked Inception or at least were thrilled by the idea, SEE PAPRIKA. And I don't take any “but it's a cartoon/anime!” comments as an excuse not to. If you haven't see Paprika, you don't know what animation is.
I see your point about nightmarish imagery, but honestly I found pretty much every scene where Mal appeared to be utterly terrifying. I mean, the first time Ariadne encounters her, SHE KILLS ARIADNE. Second time she appears, she TRIES to kill Ariadne. Literally all of my hairs were standing on end whenever she appeared. Much more nightmare imagery and I would have died!
I really enjoyed this movie, despite some glaring inconsistencies, quite a limited sense of the subconscious, a simplistic view of psychology and supporting characters lacking dimension. It was still a very entertaining and engaging experience.
My biggest problem with this film, however, is its moral ambiguity. The entire plot circles around our supposed heros successfully committing a crime of possibly the highest level imaginable — violation of the mind. It isn't just some heist against a corporate jerk who had it coming anyway. It is the breach of the most basic human right. Free thought. We are essentially talking about brain control, here. And the motive for committing this unthinkably (lol) heinous crime? Money. Corporate power. In the lead character's case, it is to reunite with his children. But the others?
These are characters we are meant to support. At no point did I sense we were actually meant to question these characters' apparent immorality. Just as they deceive Fischer into believing that this scheme is his own inspiration, his own resolution to his inner turmoil, the audience is also tricked into the belief that what these people are doing is somehow righteous, somehow necessary and even beneficial to the target.
But regardless of the possible benefits, whatever inner conflicts Fischer character may have resolved in the course of the film, it all sprang from manipulation, lies, and selfish motivations. Do the ends in ANY way justify the means?
I would have less of a problem with this if I felt the characters were MEANT to be ambiguous, and we the audience were MEANT to be conflicted and unsure what was right and wrong, or who we ought to root for. But again, I only had the sense that these were likable characters, the kind of crooks we're supposed to relate to because they never REALLY hurt anyone.
By the end, they completely change someone's life and perspective by forcing an idea into his mind entirely against his will. Granted, when you think about it, you can actually implant an idea simply with words and actions. But in this case, it was a forceful entry into the most private realm imaginable and a manipulation taken far deeper than words can lead.
This to me is possibly the hugest opportunity missed in the entire film: really exploring the moral repercussions of penetrating and essentially controlling the mind. Is it really less egregious than taking life, limb, or dignity?
The reason the machine was hand-waved was because Nolan remembers the first rule of storytelling; it's the characters, stupid. There are way too many sci-fi works where the writer feels he just has to drop the mechanics of how his spaceships work into the middle of what should be an exciting climactic chase scene-David Weber, I'm looking at you-instead of just getting on with the story. If the characters accept that it works, then so should the audience, unless you're doing a really bad job. The dreaming mechanics had to be explained, but the way the machine worked was more or less irrelevant to the plot. You can sneak in stuff like than in books, but it's harder in films.
Honestly Spoony, I have experienced a dream within a dream before and it really freaked me out. This film is suprisingly accurate as to the emotional effects dreams within dreams have, especially when it comes to memory.
Spoon, that feeling you described about loving it but want more… we call that FANBOY-ISM. Ppl use that term very loosely these days on everything from graphic novels, to soul-less tween movies, to even video game consoles. But what you’re feeling is equivalent to what little pre-teens felt the first time they saw Star Wars in theaters; a feeling that there is an endless universe of potential material just awaiting to be traversed and explored.
But the thing that sets you and society these days apart from the older generation is that you’re all trolling cynics/critics, that and you’re smart enough to articulate great points of criticism.BUT not even you can escape genuine love for something in this movie, no matter how much your pessimistic intellect tells you not to fall for this sham.
These sort of things are brilliant in suckering you into something you believe is so expansive, when it’s really not as much as the writer originally intended to make when writing the piece. It really is up to the fans now to take it to new heights and believe it as such. It is because of FANBOYS (true fanboys, I mean) that we have fan-fiction and the endless amounts of novels and offshoot stories/games made for these franchises. I don’t see Inception getting as big as SW, but hey it’ll have its crowd and don’t hide away from it, Spoon because you’re in this now mwahahahaha!
Well, this is why I didn’t really mind the hand-waving of the machine. Because it was given a reasonable explanation and left at that, when obviously the movie is about the characters and their perception of a subjective reality and the true definition of an objective reality within the parameters of a universal consensus (well, when I say universal, I mean within this particular group of people… ah, you get the point). The entire movie itself is treated with a dream-like quality which ALLOWS for the ideas to somewhat fall apart under closer inspection. As I said, I really liked this movie and I can completely understand the reason why they hand-waved things the way they did. Personally, I would have liked to see more about the mechanics, but as I said above, it’s not a deal-breaker for me.
However, I have to disagree with you on the idea that “if the characters accept that it works, then so should the audience”. That only works when the setting and point of view are so consistently integrated into the characters and storytelling that their accepting the concept is relayed to the audience. There has to be an in-context understanding BY PROXY. Otherwise, you just end up with pretty much every crappy horror/slasher film or Uwe Boll movie ever made.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the concept of maintaining suspense and not interrupting it with a mechanical explanation (whether in books or movies), but I really don’t think Weber’s placement of exposition is THE critical failing in his books (although I haven’t read that many, to be truthful).
WARNING: THIS COMMENT HAS SPOILERS
If I had to compare it to other films, I’d say that it’s Ocean’s Eleven meets The Cell. I do kinda wish there was more lucid dreaming involved, since it seems like the only ones capable of that are architects like Ellen Paige’s character, or people like the forger, who was able to change his appearance and whip a grenade launcher out of nowhere. You’d think that a field of criminal activity that relies on going into people’s dreams would have more people who could change reality if they needed to. I was also somewhat disappointed that they had rules for the dreams, and that then they weren’t very consistent with the rules. for instance, why does the gravity in the hotel shift while they’re driving around outside, but that first dream doesn’t shift when the airplane moves? Despite all of that it was an awesome movie and I enjoyed it.
I really don’t think that the movie needed more explanations. I was expecting some about the technology but then kinda lost interest in it being so into the movie that I didn’t have time to think about anything else.
I felt that some scenes were pretty nightmarish : in the bar, but also when Marion Cotillard spots Page in the lift looking at her. But it’s true they probably could have done more in that direction, I guess Nolan wanted to keep an appeal for broad and large audiences (not always a bad thing).
You didn’t talk about the actors. I thought they were all pretty good. The fact that Cotillard was associated with the French song she sung in her previous movie was quite weird for me… Also, Di Caprio turns out to really be a great actor, but i use to hate him… Times are changing !
THIS IS SOMEWHAT OF A SPOILER:
The spinning top isn’t Cobb’s totem, that’s his way to physically remember his wife. He has his own totem, you just have to find it.
No…this film is NOT original. Paprika did this 5 years before. And I’m sure the idea was done before this, too.
And four layers of dreams is really not that complicated. Why does everyone think it’s so hard to follow? It’s simple. Why people think that this film is complicated, I’ll never know.
Yeah, that allegory is pretentious as hell. I hate it when people try to look into the deeper meanings of films, because it just feels like they are grasping. Like what you said in Scott Pilgrim review; honestly.
So, yeah…Inception was good, but not all that amazing.
I’m surprised. I’ve just searched (haven’t read all of them) the 241 comments and there’s no single mention of Sandman.
Spoony, I highly recommend reading it, Neil Gaiman’s master piece, but if you don’t feel like reading all the 70 issues of the comic, well, read issue number 1. In the end of the first issue Sandman curses a man to eternal awakening (or sorts, I’ve read it in portuguese), so he’s having a nightmare, wakes up scared and figures out he’s still in a nightmare, wakes up, and go on like this throughout eternity.
About the movie: Boring, long, noisy and unecessarily violent. All this only to cover the fact that there isn’t actually much of a story there.
Bad action scenes. Really bad. The whole snow scene is a mess, everyone is dressing the same (what makes sense but is a bad direction decision, that’s a dream, the director could have chosen anywhere else in time and space), no one knows what’s going on but at that point the audience is so tired, so deaf so bored (and that truck never stops falling -man, that’s boring!) that no one really cares.
Could have been great. But I agree that the after-theater discussions it has generated is definitely the best part of it
ooohh yeah I liked Paprika, but I can’t really remember. Saw Inception yesterday and I really loved it, even though it had small flaws plotwise. It did what it was supposed to do it entertained me and the whole theather and it got me thinking about the end. What I didn’t get is that the dude that was driving the van had to drive carefully because the dream was instable, but he actually drove very reckless, and I know that is because he had to escape from the projections, but why didn’t it became unstable.
I know what Spoony’s subconcious looks like: Faceless Stormtrooper Trolls with wings
You all watched this movie through?!
My respect, I only endured 9 minutes, and 16 minutes in a second try because I pushed myself to be interessted.
I think the reason they didn’t go “all out” with the dreams was (through the movie’s logic) if things are too weird, the person will realize that they’re not dreaming, and that it’s not their dream, and then they’ll wake up. I could be wrong, though, that how I understood it. Since they’re regulating the dream and can’t let him know that he’s dreaming, then they have to be realistic. But you have a point. It would be awesome if they made a version of Inception where they went into untainted dreams, just popped into the guy’s head while he was asleep and found themselves in the middle of the worst nightmare ever. Also, it was released in 3D, but I don’t think I could handle it. xD (I actually loved this movie, but that’s just me…)
I pretty much agree with everything in this review. Allegorical or not, I still think it’s a brilliant idea that fell short on execution with regards to the potential of dream-world surreality. They could have made much better use of dream-logic and the fact that for most people, dreams just make sense when you’re in them. You live in that moment and you don’t need any explanation for it because you just always have this sensation that reality is THIS and that’s how it is.
But you know, here’s a funny thing. When it comes to dreams within dreams… I had had those before once or twice in my life but nothing like the degree of stacking this movie portrayed. But dude… AFTER I watched this? I sure as hell did. And so to me the movie is successful if for no other reason than because not only did it captivate my curiosity as I watched it and after I watched it, it captivated my SUBCONSCIOUS and changed the dynamics of how I think when I’m not even aware or in total control of my thinking.
That’s some serious shit right there.
I mean, seeing this movie gave me a capacity to experience lucid dreaming — something I’d heard of and even researched and tried to do before but was never able to. Although my handful of experiences with lucid dreaming since then have worked very differently than this movie portrays the architects having the ability to do, hey…. maybe it IS like that for some people. And whether it is or isn’t… the very fact that just watching this movie changed the way my brain works… well, regardless of any other shortcomings, that right there is a jackpot ultimate A+++ success. A kind of terrifying one, because the dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams I had after seeing this were really very disorienting and left me feeling unsettled and paranoid for a couple of DAYS afterwards, but still, a success.
On the subject of the settings of the dreams: I think they really wasted a lot of potential there. Yes, it probably is more coherent with the fact that the subconscious manifests as figments of imagination that represent and parrot reaity, but at the same time they are just figments, they aren’t bond by the same rules and they should be much more influenced by the person’s psychology.
Now, i’m a great fan of lovecraftian horror, so i pretty much see a good opportunity to use it anywhere, but this, shit, this was the PERFECT spot for a handful of lovecraftian abominations. Think about it, first layer: everything is pretty much normal, gun toting guys in vans and that’s it. Second layer: everyone seems a bit off, they don’t act completely normal, they’re stiff in their movements, they don’t look completely human. Third layer: they pretty much alter themselves at will, growing fangs, extending arms, all in that very dream-like fashion of chainging without never really seeming all that different or alien.
Yes, it would have changed the tone of the movie entirely, i know, but it would have been fucking awesome.
Yes, because the perfect way to improve a (somewhat) original film is to place derivative concepts into it.
Instead of going for Lovecraftian horror they went went for Lovecraftian humor and failed at it.
I truly enjoyed the depth of this movie. I have no problem devoting everything to what I’m watching, and I did not find it hard to follow at all. Maybe I just blindly accepted whatever was thrown at me and immersed myself in what was happening with no fight, but to totally lose myself in a movie is probably the best compliment I could give.
An allegorical viewing or reading of this film is all well and good, but it limits the ability to perceive the full extent of the esthetic experience. Viewing the film as an allegory takes away the ‘fantastic’(here I refer to the concept used by Tzvetan Todorov, where the ‘fantastic’ is the moment when the reader or audience doubts wether the phenomenon is real or not) elements that are present in the film. The film could be best compared to some works by the argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. Works like the short story ‘Las ruinas circulares’(‘The Circular Ruins’) or the poem ‘Sueña Alonso Quijano’(‘Alonso Quijano Dreams’) explore the multi layered dream and the consequences that these present. Borges’ stories presents how fiction can have multiple even confusing narratives that do not add up in the end, but make for a wonderful and magical experience for the reader. This element that Borges presents in his works is Inception’s merit. On the other hand the film suffers from a few filmmaking issues. It relies too much on exposition to move the narrative along. The concept of the film made it a very inviting platform for the use of powerful images to tell it story. Most of the images seemed like gimmicks they were not that strategically placed to make for a better experience.
Not gonna like, I think more explanation of the technology would have made the movie more corny. I’m 20 years old now, back when the Matrix came out I loved the scene where Morpheus explained how the Matrix works. I watch it again now and I’m like “Huh, that makes absolutely no sense.”
i think the nolan brothers realized that in explaining the tech. less was more.
well, to respond to all the people saying “Pripeka” or whatever film it is, doing the same thing 5 years before:
in all fairness this movie was written before chris nolan did the first batman movie. he actually said he wanted to use the batman movies as practice.
and to be honest. i though he did a great job, even the actors did amazing jobs. i truly liked this movie a lot.
and i didnt think the action was bad, i didnt think the plot was silly, i though it was well written and directed.
(not to praise Nolan though.)
it was long but I didn’t feel it at all
was too interested in the action and plot
Overall I liked this movie, but the ending did kinda hurt it for me. Maybe I’ve just become paranoid and/or pessimistic but I saw the twist at the end coming a mile away. Maybe they felt the need to leave an opening for a sequel or maybe it was just to show that what we thought was reality was just another dream. Either way it just struck me as predictable and I hate “bad” endings. Real life has enough bad endings, can I at least have good ones in my fiction?
I dunno whether anyone else sort of came to this idea but kinda if you think of films like shutter Island, the idea that the WHOLE thing is something like Cobb’s own dream/reality and that the whole thing was his mind trying to come to terms with his wife’s death. Maybe I’m wrong but just kinda makes me think that perhaps thats what the ending was suggesting.
It would also explain things like why they have the dream sharing technology and other plot convenient stuff. Spoony did touch on this with the whole intentional plot holes bit.
I believe the Dream Within a dream idea. I’ve actually had one before. It’s weird to explain exactly what it was, but basically I woke up from a dream, and was still dreaming. It was kinda Trippe (Which is how I knew I was dreaming) and finally woke up after the second time….only to fall a sleep right away after waking up. It was a weird morning. I agree with you that the Subconsious defenses should be more reflective of the charactetr subconcious, but, it was implied that they have to make them feel like they arei n the real World. the Faceless idea could work for faded memories.
Hi, at the end of the movie when you mentioned the totem thing.
It is acctually Leonardo who created it, atleast that’s how I saw it, he created it for his wife so that she could understand that limbo isn’t reality.
That’s just my perception, I could be wrong.
Hello, I just wanted to interject and say that I’ve actually had numerous dreams within dreams (thanks to much practice with lucid dreaming) and they are indeed very disorienting and at times disconcerting. For instance, I’ll find myself in a dream where I know it’s a dream because of a detail like my haircut is different than it should be or I see something physically impossible happen or I realize I can fly and withstand incredible amounts of pain. Then I wake up, not knowing that I have merely awoken into another dream. In that dream most of the circumstances will be different but some will be the same making it really hard to sort out whether I’m still dreaming. I will find that I am in a different location at a different time with a different physical appearance but all of the people surrounding me will be from the previous dream only they won’t realize that they too are in a new dream. Very confusing.
Also, I really liked this movie but I share the frustration about not knowing the origins of the group-dreaming machines and I think the movie’s excuse is paper-thin. I don’t know if any of you have found this but I have found that I actually hardly ever feel pain of any kind in a dream which would make the military training idea for getting soldiers accustomed to pain a little weak. In some of my dreams I’ve been beaten up, stabbed, fallen out of buildings, had bugs penetrate and crawl under my skin, etc. and those things never hurt (In fact that’s often an indicator that makes me realize I’m dreaming AND yes, I’m aware that that’s some freaky shit ;-) ).
Firstly, Im a huge fan of most things you showcase on this site. You speak to the nerd in me with all this more or less unorthodox stuff at the same time as youre really just taking the piss and having a laugh, a match made in heaven :).
About this movie: I agree about the poorly used dream world. You have literally a universe of things that could be but theres still only same old same old, which gets all the more annoying as you layer down through the film.
About the explaining things I think youre right and at the same time maybe totally wrong. Firstly, the stuff the did explain was mostly general knowledge or nonsense. That use of a totem (everyone whose attempted lucid dreaming knows this) and some other things were central to a point ill make soon, however, the stuff they do explain about dreams within dreams seems cool but the effect of it is null and void. As far as I can tell it makes no difference whose dreaming, whose dreaming within the dream or whose mind they are invading in the first place. You can blame it all on there beeing an omniscient arcitecht or w/e but to control this inexplicable technology to that extent is just too convient to feel legit.
BUT, I must say that the whole dream within a dream is what makes this movie. Thats what is new and exiting so, IMO, they did, by having 4 layers, push it just the right amount to make the weight stick.
On to the point I said Id make soon, about how far to explain the inexplicable. The balance between explaining too little (with the rosk of the audince thinking its all just hot air) or too much (in which case youre gonna end up screwing yourself becouse it is, after all, not real so by trying to explain it down to a sub-atomic level will just get you into more and more trouble) is on the edge of a knife, the basic reasons alöready mentioned. Also, after finding the balance, you run into the problem of having caged yourself since you cant expand to far in either direction without screwing your own rules and thus invalidating the whole explenaiton phase. So should they have explained further…? YES!
Why? Becouse this movie managed to do something that not one single sifi movie has done in years IMO: properly challange the border between whats real si and whats fi. Alot pf sifi is about aliens or w/e and thats fine, it could turn out good in the end. But it doesnt challange your world view. This movie however took a quasi-scientific area such as dream walking or lucid dreaming and really pushed the envelope. In between mixing real stuff (such as totems and falling) with the complex sifi stuff like layering and training yourself to fight off dream invaders they really hit home. After all, who knows all that much about whats real and not in this movie? And are they just playing with their imagination or is this a realistic estimate of what the human mind is capable of? Or have they just scratched the surface? Thats the feel I got from this movie at least, which no other film ive seen in my adult life has been able to relay prior to this. But, maybe Im just gullible :) sorry if my writing is incoherent or outright bad, english is not my native language, and i may be drunk.
The internet was designed the same way the inception dream thing was – Matrix 2 and 3 tried explaining the matrix, best not to explain it too much. If its not scientifically understood today, then the more you try to know the more plot holes will pop out; the thing is a tool to get the story or concept you want out there the details of how it works will be technobabble BS. Dreams within dreams, sounds like Highlander’s flashbacks within flashbacks. Was it intentionally trying to confuse you and if so is that a legitimate excuse? None of this would work – its just a concept to explore – it depends on weather it’s an interesting one to explore. If they were dreaming in a van and each dream second takes a few days, surely the weather patterns would be crazy for a few years for them during the drive? As long as its internally consistent and fulfills its purpose. It sounds like your version of the movie would be final destination – would it be better to have the SITUATION itself as a threat, considering the world itself is a dream? the direct human violent nature of all the threats were boring surely some other “mechanisms” would’ve been better?
I’ve had a dream within a dream…
Watch Vanilla Sky and/or the film it was a remake of, Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos in Spanish). This dream stuff was done years before Nolan put it on screen!
along with Matrix Inception reminded me of the movie The Cell, in which Jennifer Lopez’s character, who is a psychotherapist, goes into the mind/dreams of a comatose killer.
I think Nolan was limiting himself by making it so you can’t change the dreams or else the sub-conscience gets pissed. I instantly compared this movie to Eternal Sunshine in that what Jim Carrey was seeing was incredible dream-like and surreal. The locations in Inception seemed more like locations in a Bond movie than a dream!!! Faceless people, claustrophobic situations, and nightmareish imagery could have been used, but it was really wasted. Other than that, it is a really great film, even if it is incredibly overrated!!(# 8 on imdb??? Really??)
donald duck did it all first
I know others have probably said this already but yeah, I’ve had dreams within dreams too. Many many times, I remember the first one happened when I was a kid. And I’ve had dreams where I get up, brush my teeth and leave to go to school or work or where ever… only to wake up again and realize that I’m still in my bed.
What I don’t buy is that time within those dreams within dreams would be even faster than in normal dreams. That makes no sense. But I totally forgive the movie for that because the idea is AWESOME. It’s so inventive and genius and it just works so well in an action movie. It was just plain kickass, period.
And yeah, I’m totally echoing others now but if you want to see a really cool movie about dreams, watch Paprika by Satoshi Kon. It’s just… it’s closest to what I’ve ever seen to what dreams really are like. Well, in fact, just watch almost any Satoshi Kon movie. Millenium Actress is amazing and very dreamlike. It’s that kind of a film where you have no idea what is real, what is memory, what is dreams and what is movie (within the movie) because all of those things mix in the main character’s (who is a big film star) life. It’s amazingly beautiful and well-written in my opinion, very subtle and very poetic. It’s… it’s just a beautiful movie plain and simple. And it’s a real tragedy that Satoshi Kon was taken away from the world so soon. We really missed so much with his death. He would have had so much more to give.
I can only remember nightmares. So, it’s weird that Ellen Page never has nightmares. I don’t know. I just can’t relate to that.
About these nighmarish images.. Spoony is wrong: Why have faceless people and Starwars monsters when you can make it nightmarish in a realistic way? What happens if the subject knows that he or she is dreaming, wasn’t it why it was so important to keep things at their places and colors etc..?
the first time i saw it, i was too confused to realize how boring it was
I can forgive a lot when it comes to science fiction movies. Matrix and Inception don’t make sense and are full of plot holes, but that is ok. The problem I had with Inception, though, is the same I had with Matrix: the movie had an interesting premise, but it all boiled down to shooting guns and kung fu fighting all over the place. The lack of imagination is really disappointing.
The other thing that bugged me in this movie was that it had too many rules. In a movie like this you want to describe the setup quickly so that the audience can immerse themselves into the world and follow the story as it develops. If you keep making up new rules as you go along and explaining them, it cripples the illusion.
I liked the movie better when it was Paprika. Seriously, came out in 2006 and deals with going into peoples dreams, except the dreams are actually dreams. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJzEW_eE1G0. Do yourself and watch it. Also I’ve noticed that with Nolan’s movies, he never takes it where he could. He lacks spectacle, I found his take on Batman lackluster. I will go into detail if people demand it, I will. Though he never lets it shine, he never pushed it. He would rather have just a pleasent drive.
Did you see Magnetic Rose? It’s a 45-minute 1995 film written by the director of Paprika (Satoshi Kon). Two men get drawn into fantasy worlds based on their pasts and another woman’s past. It’s part of the anthology film Memories. I thought Inception was more like Magnetic Rose than Paprika.
So when Spoony says he’s never seen this idea before, I laughed because I have seen it before. Twice.
I’ve had a dream within a dream scenario, and that was at my age of 8-10 something, rather said way before this came out, and that time it was seriously freaking me out.
I woke up in my bed walked over to the kitchen where my mom has already made breakfast, I was so tired that I didn’t really thought much through anything. After taking up my backpack I was in school studying.
There I suddenly thought.. “How did I get here?” – Panic struck me for a second before I woke up gasping in my bed (Like the way they do in all movies), I looked at my chest and noticed I had my t-shirt on and it was very hot.
I didn’t think much of it because I remember that I actually went to bed with my t-shirt on, before I realized slow one thing, the feel or the tension never really lifted, I still feel zombie-fied.
I then pinched myself in the arm and noticed nothing, then panic struck once more.
Then I REALLY woke up sweaty as fuck, gasping because I felt live I’ve had an anxiety attack or something, I looked around me, finally I was breathing air, the tension had lifted I could think clearly.
I then looked at my alarm clock, and saw I had to wake up in about 2-3 minutes, so I just turned off the alarm and decided to get dressed and take off that sweaty ass t-shirt.
Then I suddenly though.. Damn it I have to go to the school again, I’ve already been there in my dreams!
True story by an Norwegian Kid from Norway (Obviously).
Oh and I’m 18 now so this is like 8-10 years ago.
Easy way to summarize the movie is “Just watch the movie Inception ripped off, Paprika (Satoshi Kon) much like his other hit movie Perfect Blue (Black Swan)…
I love Spoony, but watching this review was maybe the first that left me in “pain” with a “come on man…” reaction.
There’s generally two kinds of Sci-Fi. Sci-fi that’s used to explore future scientific advancements, and Sci-Fi that’s used to explore characters and ideas that wouldn’t (or couldn’t) really be explained as effectively without the sci-fi setting. Yeah, this film is purely allegorical. If you can’t suspend your disbelief for the unexplained devices etc. in the movie, you’d probably prefer the first type of sci-fi more.
There are many interpretations (of course), but mine is that whether he was living in the dream initially is unimportant. The reality for Cobb is that he is responsible for his wife’s death and therefore one way or another he can’t return to his children (imagined or real obstacle is irrelevant). Almost everything in the movie points to him living within himself in a world of guilt.
Two interpretations for the ‘inception’. The inception is of course referring to the job that they were attempting to pull as well as the initial inception that Cobb performed on his wife. However, Cobb also underwent his own inception. At the deepest part of his subconscious, he convinced himself that if he continued to live within his imagined reality of guilt, that he would ‘die alone, as an old man filled with regret’.
Whether someone ‘created’ a job to put Cobb in the scenario to force him to face this truth, or whether it was unintentional inception, I think is irrelevant. Was he in a dream at the end or not? Irrelevant. For me, the point is that you construct your own emotional reality, whether you’re dreaming or not. And for Cobb, at the end, he abandons his guilt of his wife’s death, symbolized by her totem to be with his children. But that’s just how I kind of saw the movie.
My biggest problem with this movie was having too much knowledge on the topic. When you study cognitive sciences, you end up learning that you dream in real time. If you can’t ignore this information, the entire premise falls apart. In other words, if you count how long the dream lasted in the movie, they would all have pretty much awoken too late and died.
It’s a pretty Freudian-inspired film and the concepts are way past their expiry date.
That is contrary to how I perceive time when I am dreaming. I doubt that you can make scientific statements on that matter. How would you measure how much time passed in a dream? If you do your cognitive science (or your metaperception) right, you notice that your perception of time IRL is anything but reliable. It just is not reasonable to ask people who are awake (and don’t remember most of their dreams) how long they think they have dreamed.
Scientific knowledge is not right. It is knowledge which should be doubted and tested. This is what science is about.
Art as Inception makes us wonder if things really are as we think they are. One of the biggest subjects of Art is how our perception works and it is thanks to Art we don’t think that our mind is completely independent of our body – because it showed us what impact some impressions can have on our mind.
One thing about the dream technology: it’s a variation of the Ono Sendai “deck” in William Gibson’s novel “Neuromancer” (1984.) It plugs you into an immersive environment (the dreams in “Inception”; the virtual reality in “Neuromancer”), you can react to things and change them, and they both require your total attention. If you see the “Inception” characters’ minds as computers, then it’s pretty much the same thing, the only difference is that the Ono Sendai does not require you to sleep. Notice also that DiCaprio’s character is named Cobb; the protagonist in “Neuromancer” is named Case. The virtual reality of Neuromancer is called “the Matrix” (!)
Guess what’s number 5?
So, the genius Nolan lifted his masterpiece… from a Scrooge McDuck comic. And the entire world bought it.
I don’t know which of those facts is more retarded, but there you go.
Personally, I think the ducks’ version is better.
Yet Edgar Allan Poe was writing about dreams within dreams long before Scrooge McDuck ever existed.
There is no proof Nolan took the idea from Scrooge McDuck at all…even if he did.
However, it is more than possible that someone comes up with an idea that has already been done without that person knowing of the previous work.
He could have even been influenced by an episode of Aeon Flux.
a few years ago i had a dream-within-a-dream experience. it started with an unusually long and cohesive dream, it made much more logical sense than most of the dreams i remember. long story short, it ended when i fell off a balcony, presumably to my death.
i woke up in the dark, in my bed, with my sister also awake in her bed across the room. i asked her “what happens when you die in a dream?” she said “you die in real life.”
and then i woke up a second time, the lights still off and my sister completely asleep.
probably the scariest dreams i ever had, both of them.
as far as inception goes, anyway, i’ve never been the type to worry too much about lack of science, as the way it’s used is logical. so i just enjoy the great visuals, the fast script, a bunch of my favorite actors, all that stuff.
Existenz, Paprika, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. This film was an dim action film like the matrix.
Inception Dream Level is actually based on the Christian Body, Soul and the Spirit
The First Layer of Dream is the Dream of the Body
2nd Layer of Dream is the Dream of the Soul
3rd Layer of Dream is the Dream of the Spirit
Limbo is what is Beyond that
lol @ at all these kids bringing up some bunk cartoon that nobody has really even heard of.
Life is a nightmare and dreams/films is a form of escapism, but eventually one must return to reality. Without it, there is no dream.
Yeah, that was it. I think the whole reason the dream technology was never explained was because Nolan wanted you to question whether or not the real world was also a dream. In dreams, special tools or props seem to pop up out of nowhere, and the dreamer takes it at face value without questioning the rationality behind the tools’ existence.
The idea that Nolan wanted to make you question the real world would also coincide with why there wasn’t much weird, dreamy imagery like monsters or hellish landscapes. It there was too much weird stuff in the dream world, than that would clearly distinguish what’s fake and what isn’t. The film would have lost some of its ambiguity.