Saturday, 26 February 2011


We watched Inception on DVD tonight. Or did we?

Yes, we did.

Inception is essentially a cinematic experience of course, and watching it on an old television does not do it justice. having said that, the good thing about watching a film like this on a small screen is that you are not dazzled by the effects in the way you are in a cinema. You see the plot more - and the holes therein.

It has been likened to The Matrix for obvious reasons, but the movie I was most reminded of while I was watching was The Sting. It is after all a kind of heist movie, and one built up on layers of artifice. But I'm not sure it was as thought through as either of them.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. There were lots of things about it that were great. DiCaprio was very good in the lead role. I liked the fact that the labyrinth maker was called Ariadne. Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos who helped Theseus kill the Minotaur. The Minotaur was replaced at the centre of the labyrinth by the less subtly named Mal (DiCaprio's dead wife).

The scary elements in the movie were not brought out as well as they could have been. The idea that the incidental characters peopling a dream will resent the presence of an intruder and rise up against them was excellent, but having established it, they sort of wasted it with 'trained' projections running around with guns. The children, only ever seen from the back, were very effective.

Mal was very creepy. That was a movie in itself. What a great idea- that this resentful, malevolent ghost would haunt DiCaprio's dreams. It's just a shame that this more compelling personal story was buried under the special effects-laden blockbuster. The Where Eagles Dare layer of the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream was frankly a bit silly.

So not a bad movie - more a frustrating one. There was an absolutely fantastic movie in there, trying to get out: one which understands that dreams are rarely blockbusters in which cities are turned upside down, but are more often strangely skewed versions of the mundane.

That is the disturbing thing about them.

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