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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » August 26, 2010
Film review
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August 26, 2010   
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After the smash box office success that was The Dark Knight in 2008, Hollywood producers gave carte blanche to Christopher Nolan, the man who revived the flagging Batman series with Batman Begins and made such memorable pictures as Memento and The Prestige. Nolan could finally revisit an old idea to make a movie set almost entirely in people’s dreams.

Dominic Cobb (Leonardo di Caprio—Titanic, Blood Diamond, Gangs of New York) is a skilled thief in a highly specialized field—he steals secrets from people’s minds. Together with a team of trusted accomplices, he breaks into the subconscious of a person he robs by dreaming the same dream. Cobb’s team includes a forger who can easily impersonate any character in the victim’s dream to distract them, a chemist and pharmacist who designs drugs to induce a nap or slumber, and an “architect” who designs the setting of a given dream. Together, they can create surrealistic universes in which not even they can be sure if what they see is a dream, a dream within a dream or something even more complicated.

Cobb is hired by Japanese financial tycoon Saito (Ken Watanabe—The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha), who wants him to break into the mind of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy—Breakfast on Pluto, Batman Begins, The Wind that Shakes the Barley), the son of a power industry mogul and the heir to his immense fortune. Saito’s company is the only thing preventing the Fischer corporation from taking over the entire global market. Taking advantage of Robert’s troubled relations with his dying father (Pete Postlethwaite—In the Name of the Father, Usual Suspects), Cobb’s people are supposed to plant an idea in Robert’s head that will bring the Fischer corporation to its knees. The only reason Cobb agrees to take on the job is because Saito promises he will use his contacts to clear Cobb’s criminal record. Cobb cannot return to the United States and see the two children he left behind because he is wanted for killing his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard—La vie en rose, A Good Year), a crime that he never committed. Believing that she was just dreaming, Mal jumped off a window ledge, trying to convince her husband to jump with her so they could live happily ever after. Her psychosis resulted from experiments she conducted with Cobb on the human subconscious. Plagued by a sense of guilt and responsibility for Mal’s death, Cobb keeps seeing her in dreams—his own and those he dreams together with the people he steals from. Predictably, Mal is one of the main hindrances as Cobb undertakes the final and most difficult job of his career. Before he can deal with the ghosts of the past, he will have to explore the uncharted waters of dreams within dreams, where anything can happen and where there are no rules. The thieves will be tested to the extreme, not only in accomplishing their mission, but also to wake up safely in the real world.

The crisp and imaginative script, coupled with a $160-million budget, allowed Nolan to make a movie that could have the same impact on the sci-fi thriller genre as the Wachowski brothers’ The Matrix. The difference is that Inception is a far more interesting piece of entertainment.
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