In the movie ‘Inception‘, Leonardo Di Caprio says, “A single idea from the human mind can build cities”. I say, ‘Christopher Nolan took up a bare idea and built an entire world of overlapping real & surreal for us to get amazed’. The story, written and directed by the master himself, revolves around the idea of getting into the subject’s subconscious world through his dreams wherein you can either plant an idea or steal a secret.
The movie consumes almost half its running time to explain whats possible and whats not around the concept of ‘Inception’. Once, this framework is established, the plot kicks off. Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his team take up the toughest job yet of their lives. Their mission would be to plant an idea into the mind of a business tycoon so that it makes an impact on the decisions he takes his real life.
But now, life can never be that simple in a Chris Nolan movie, can it?

The job requires the team to get into 5 levels – each level meaning one dream inside another. Also factor in the concept of time dilation which means, every 5 mins of the first dream will roughly translate to 15 in the second and 45 in the third and so on. Just when they get started, they come under the firing of threats – people trying to kill the them in their dreams. As if this wasn’t enough, there is a dying man in the squad and our leading hero has his own guilt & psychological projections to confront at each step that threatens to sabotage the entire operation.

If you think, you were confused with ‘Memento’ wherein the same story was told back and forth in pieces. Wait till you watch Inception. Here you have 5 story lines comprising of the same people running in parallel at different locations and in different time frames. The complexity of the plot simply increases with each passing minute. But fortunately, every passing minute also pulls you further to the edge of the seat. And in the climax, you cannot help but fall back in amazement when everything falls into place perfectly. 

I don’t know what yardstick to compare this movie with. I can simply say that ‘Inception’ does to your mind what ‘Avatar’ did to your eyes. If avatar was visual spectacle, Inception clearly is intellectual opulence.
It’d be unfair, if I just ask you to go and watch the movie. Instead, I urge you to go watch it at least twice. The first time to admire the overall awesomeness & the second time to relish the details.

My Rating: 4.5/5

22 Replies to “Inception – Movie Review”

  1. Nice review!,one of the best I have ever seen in my life-has to be in my top 5.The most intelligent/complex movie ever made-coming from a genius of a director..this movie is such an in-depth puzzle that literally blew our minds..1 viewing is not worthy enough for this movie..needs multiple viewings..mesmerizing!..as the word goes-we all have been Inception-ed.! 🙂
    The Inception FAQ is going to be the longest ever.The movie made us look all dumb,has to be one of the most intelligent movies ever made.Even though things look clear,it still is a puzzle that would require some cracking to plug in every thread.

  2. I liked the movie, the narration, the effects, the concept.
    Still left me wanting for some more…
    This was neither Leo's nor Nolan' best.

  3. Well i disagree to the fact that Inception in anyway exhibited intellectual opulence.
    The second watching is more dull infact coz the movie which was covertly marketed as an intelligent mans movies opens up. The first watch keeps you on toes. Inception is a well made movie- a good thriller. But there is hardly anything that challenges ur intellect.

    There is a kannada actor who advertises him movie as ' ee cinema buddhivanthararige maathra' ie this movie is made for intelligent people only.
    No one would criticize the movie coz it will be like saying u urself are dumb and hence dint/cudnt like the movie
    Inception was no different. Sad to see the young critics following the herd to keep themselves heard. 😛

  4. @ Arjun:
    There are movies that are built around glamor, action, visuals, music etc. And then there are plots that are wound around ideas & possibilities.

    The latter genre usually garners higher acclaim as they let your intellect challenge the plot against the framework set by the idea (inception). This is what I meant by 'intellectual opulence'.

    I'm quite surprised someone like you who is Powered by Intellect, did not like the movie as much as many of us did.

    ps: I 4 one, strongly believe that following the herd will lead you straight to the slaughterhouse. Read the post 'Lil lamb learns his last lesson' for more clarity on my views 🙂

  5. Well I never said i dint like the movie. It was a plain and well made thriller as much as say Dev Anands Jewel Thief.
    But absolutely nothing to stimulate ur intellect which this critique claims to be.

    What I dont understand is why such a great movie critic (acknowledged by Masand himself)of movies has to get defensive and make veiled attacks against someone who turned critic of his critique.

    I recommend Masand type critics to read and comprehend Wall street Journals review of this movie. Surely they have got more intellect than Masand and his followers to differentiate Dal Makhni from lose motion shit.

    Using bombastic language and throwing eggs on popular bollywood movies and saying everything that comes out of hollywood is of gold dosent really showcase intellectual opulence of the critic.

  6. Well Well,
    I have watched teh movie once atlast.
    To speak the truth, I am not sure what was so out of normal comprehension. The movie was good, different; a wonderful Idea and some awesome scenes especially where the girl starts manupulating the dreams, the mirrors that change a square of streeets to a single road and the scene where the road makes an u-turn and sits upon itself.
    But I dont rate this movie better than dark knight or prestige. It is better than momento.
    This movie misses those intellectual dialogues and very charismatic Plot. The plot is different, the idea is different but the story kind of follows a formula like regular movies, I felt it was unneccessary to bring Cobb's wife into the picture. That screwed up the story for movie.
    Its all in all a very good movie but not the best by Nolan :).

  7. @Arjun: I never generalized a thing about Bollywood or Hollywood.. did I? And also, where did the poultry and bullion come from? Lets restrict the discussion to the theme of this movie.

    I still hold that there was much food for my intellect. Lemme give U few examples…

    The part where the DiCaprio's wife not having clarity between real and surreal… Think about it… I think of various implications, if I could not distinguish my real world from the dream.

    Sedatives for concentration… Think about it; Brilliance of Nolan to use sedatives for concentration.

    The time dilation when within the levels-of-dreams. I am still wondering one this. If I could be aware of my dream at the first level, while I'm in 4 the level… Can I still believe that I am dreaming ??

    Does the INCEPTION provide one a chance to live 3-4 times as much in one life span ?

    I can go on with this list… But, I'll interrupt to answer you.

    1. Going by your comments.. You either claim to be the ALL-INTELLIGENT and Wise-ass for a movie like Inception (or) too dumb to have watched the chase sequences and thought that was all about it. I'm curious to knw, which one.

    2. Masand, Dal and whatever you said.. was in horrible taste. You shld admit that !!!

  8. @ Mudd:
    In my opinion, Cobb's wife is the central theme of the plot. All the while, Inception is portrayed as a cool tool/technique… her character builds the other half of the case. She is the conclusion and the anti-climax.

    Without her, Nolan would have missed half the points he wanted to make in the movie.

  9. Nolan is a brilliant director, no doubt!
    The fact that he fooled many a novice critics and movie goers alike who are still awestuck by him proves that.

    He could neatly potray a slew of imaginations in a veil of intellectual stimulation and sell it to masses.
    Too great an achievement, i must admit.
    Dark Knight was the other way round. It was a simple Superhero movie but with so much depth in the story that only a few could analyse and comprehend. But many a people did. and rightly so.
    When Inception was about to release, tHe wannabe intelligent movie goers had predecided that this is the chance to declare and showcase their intellect and loudly. They all followed but sadly it was too many of them and it made them a big herd which u rightly say only leads to slaughter house.
    THe herd never tried to think anything beyond something that was not obvious. And here the obvious was a matrix of intangibles devoid of intellect and reason. The herd never understands that though.

    Think over it.!

    How does potrayal of a dream sabotaging wife , the ephemeral kids and blurred overlapping half told storylines challenge the intellect? THe director says u die in one dream and u wont come back – u will be in a limbo.
    Without reasoning and without questioning the herd applauds. I just say wow Nolan, i got to learn things from you. How did u manage to fool all the people all the time through the movie.
    HOw everyone ends up in one single dream event where you have some characters thinking and acting independently while others are playing around with their power of imagination.
    THe herd and the movie critics self moulded for the herd whistle and applaud. Every one is happy.
    I have no complaints about the herd but my question to Nolan remains same- how man ?how did u manage to do that? I take a bow!
    And i eagerly await ur next movie- the next batman franchise. Also await my Fav actor Caprio's next- Man u are incredibly capable, ur next role must get u an oscar, its high time!
    Cheers,
    —–

    P.S. I have raised a few qs in the above para. Explain them if you can else decide yourself which category you want to put me in.

  10. Phew , interesting chain of comments going on.
    Well, to start off, Jay I am disappointed (to say the least) in the fashion you chose to write about the movie in your review

    A critic's/reviewers powerful tool is too praise/degrade the movie without actually spilling the beans. I must admit, it is easier said than done (and hence I refrain myself from posting my reviews on movies), for a person with your caliber and accolades from Masand itself, it shudn’t be that difficult. You gave away more than half of the plot in the review, which I feel is injustice to the movie itself from a critic’s review

    And yes , I agree with your comments that the movie wouldn’t have been even half good as it was, if not for the plot of Cobb’s wife. In fact it would turn out to be another adventure flick b/n the good guy vs the bad guy without it
    But I would have to disagree with your opinion on 2 counts
    1) Watch the movie twice and
    2) Inception clearly is intellectual opulence.

    Let’s start with the first. This movie was advised by “people” to watched for two reasons. The first one being obviously for those dumb ass people out there who couldn’t figure out and understand the movie in the first shot. Second for the reasons you mentioned. Now this might be a heart breaker for you, but when I was “forcibly” taken for the second time, thanks to the hydel force that women are bestowed with (not going into further details and sidetracking the main theme line) , I didn’t cherish it much because , I had already witnessed and enjoyed the awesomeness of the movie and as far as relishing the details was concerned, I realized that I never missed out any details in the first place ( and I am not exaggerating this when I mention it)

    Moving onto the second point which seems to be a hot topic b/n yourself and Arjun, I would like to side with his views. To me intellect is nothing but the ability to learn and reason, along with the ability to think abstractly
    Now Nolan ( I needn’t add that this genius has a great capacity to portray situations that leave you in a puzzle afterwards) did a good job at this one by thinking “out of the box”, but there are many ends that he could have tied up. I agree with Arjun he coaxed people to believe that what Cobb’s had to say was the truth but I really missed those tying ends , for instance, if it is 1 level, if you are shot, it’s ok, you wake up normally, but if the level increases you land into a limbo if something happens to you. Another thing that bogs me is, if it is your dream and if you are dreaming AND everyone else is in your dream then how did they manage to be there? Let’s assume that part as an imagination, then tell me why couldn’t the others control it,. They were able to do everything like remember it after they woke up etc but they just couldn’t have any control over it. Now there is no explanation as such for that and that is what I was looking forward for. Now I do understand, that such topics require imagination, but then there is a thin red line between creative imagination and deceptive imagination and I have a feeling that the line was crossed by Nolan this time on more than one occasion unlike Prestige ( he crossed this line only once with that science experiment in the end)

    Now I wouldn’t like to take away the credit from Nolan for making people “dance on his tunes”. It’s a good movie, probably in the top 2 or 3 of his best movies and I am not debating about it. What I am challenging is your interpretation of this movie being an Intellectual Opulence, which I strongly disagree

    Just my perception. Peace dude !!

  11. Time for the author to declare which category he is in. a Pseudo intelligent wise ass or/(and) car chase applauder
    The above are the only 2 categories he fits people in.
    The audience deserves to know this!

  12. @ Arjun:
    'Nolan fooled the novice critics and movie goers alike' … I don't think, he ever intended to fool anyone. He in my fair opinion, portrayed only the possibilities around a concept.

    Challenge NOT the storyline but the possibilities around Inception within the framework set by the movie. (The mistake you seem to be doing). And then, I'm sure you'll find the idea stimulating.

  13. We cant debate whether he intended to or not. The fact is that most people (u know excluding who and including who) got fooled.

    Our imagination is constrained by the knowledge. and our imagination can go places within the barriers of our knowledge in milliseconds. And thats not 'Intellectual opulence' Its how human minds work.

    Intellect is one step ahead. its not just imagining things. Its analysing your imaginations. This is something you missed out.

    Still in your reply I find something missing- After scathingly categorizing people you dont seem to tell which one are you in? Am as curious as you to know this.

  14. @ Mitch:

    1. Yes, I admit to have given up more of the plot than than I usually do. But that was a conscious decision.

    2. You'll most certainly miss the point as long as you consider MOVIE to be STORY. You'll have more to take away from inception if you see it as what is possible and otherwise.

    I hope U understand, watching the A-Team & Inception isn't the same thing. U'd miss the point if you did so 🙂

  15. So you chose to ignore my questions.
    Rightly so, coz u don’t have answers.

    For your convenience I thought of some points that might help you.

    A critic has no right to dictate to people as how they should percieve the movie. No one told the audience – Don’t watch Shawshank as it is a prison movie.

    The critic should admit the logical fallacies of the movie. Blindly praising a movie dosent help.

    A critic should be open to criticism. He should accept the view of others.
    His job is not to take things personally and make DENOUNCIATORY PERSONAL ATTACKS by calling them dumb on people who point out the flaw in his analysis. THe critic should have the basic courtesy to ADMIT that APOLOGISE for that if that happens.

    Its not a critics job to impose his ideas on others. The audience decides that.

    A critic shall under no circumstance consider himself to have a moral or intellectual high ground over the audience. Its the otherway round.

    This critic in particular seems to suffer deeply from the symptom of Falsum in uno, Falsum in omnibus. You can not dichotomize everything under the sun. Other than your self perceived 'intellectual ' and A-Team crowd, there are other varieties of audience. The audience who actually think and who do not get fooled easily.

    ——
    Going by your logic I can prove that the hindi movie Gunda had more scope for intellectual action for the audience than this.
    But i chose not to, will give the critic another chance.

    Also keep your 1 star rating ready for Dabanng and 5 star for Nolans next, I know what can be expected in the review.

  16. @ Arjun: Phew… U've spoken of all things under the sun but the point that mattered.

    Lemme conclude this discussion thats leading to nowhere with couple of points…

    1. A good argument is one in which discussion is kept to the point. Read though all that you've dragged in between. Gold, Poultry, Masand and more will clearly go down as deviation tactics. Making the puddle larger, so that the discussion can never end.

    2. A movie, like a recipe cannot be made to the perfect taste of everyone. There are always the dissidents, who beyond a point of reasoning are better to be ignored.

    3. Please read this thread again and decide for yourself who was being judgmental and who was discussing the topic.

    4. 'It's not about how much water there is in the river. It's about how much you can drink'. I suppose its the same with inspiration and intellectual stimulation. It's how broadly you perceive the concept than how fool proof you can analyze the the plot was.

    5. I doubt if Nolan thought, lemme see if I can present a plot with loops as a masterpiece and fool the audience and the critics alike. He is more likely to have told himself, "Lemme work around the concept and present both sides of the case. And let the audience draw their own conclusions".

    And lastly.. YES… I admit that you're the All-Intelligent, Infallible and WSJ Savvy, Neo-Age sarvagna 🙂

  17. Now when the movie reviewer cant defend his stance, he decides to ignore the questions raised asking for explanation of the points that he made without much basis.

    The critic fails to understand the rules laid before.
    'I doubt if Nolan thought….' Its not your subjective thinking about the actions of the director that was being discussed. It dosent really matter if you doubt or u suspect or u imagine things. We are not in the dream event created by you in the third level to fall into that.
    Self thought intellectual high ground Alert!

    The critic on one hand despises the argument of providing analogies because it goes against him by dismissing them under the veil of their synonyms as bullion and poultry, and on the other hand gets into the same act by mentioning about River and drinking water.
    Hypocrisy Alert!

    The critic first starts making the puddle larger by deviating from answering the questions based on this incorrect analysis of the movie by getting personal 'Someone like you who is Pow..' The same when it goes against him is not tolerated.
    Cry baby alert!

    I have numerous other things to quote from the style of argument thats followed by the critic.But i stop. For the authors interest.
    Few points to ponder.-

    1. The author is a strong advocate of not following the herd. But here he very much falls into that. The author should analyse how someone hijacked his own plot in his own forum by not being the part of herd and blindly praising the movie. The author had no choice but to get defensive.- Preaching is easy Practising isnt.

    2. The author should be open to ideas. And have the sagacity and sharpness to know when the rug is pulled down under him.- Easier said than done.

    3. And finally inspite of so many posts the author has not given a convincing answer about where the ''intellectual opulence' showcased in the movie. -Doing homework helps.

    In the end I would like to answer the question which the author constantly likes to poke his critic with. (because he dosnet have a ground to defend and because he assumes that if his critic is on the other side of the 'intellectual' line, then all his arguments fall apart ).

    Well I am very much a part of A-Team crowd.
    That dosent really put me along with the great movie critics who see superfluous intellect in the movies such as Inception, but yeah it helps me not following the (self declared)intellectual herd everytime.

  18. I watched the movie "Inception" once. As Jayanth mentioned, it kept me thinking, it kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm going to watch it again. Yes, I didn't understand some parts of the story. Does that make me a dumb-ass? I don't know. Was I fooled by the car chases and the running around? I'll tell you what. Those scenes were the only scenes when I was mildly bored and let my attention wander.

    What I loved about the movie (immensely), what was phenomenal about it, was the idea that Nolan presented. Whether the story was consistent to the minutest details, whether Nolan screwed up in presenting the concept and its flaws, these kinds of "analysis" is nothing to me when compared to the awesomeness of the idea that dreams can be hacked into.

    Really liked your review Jay, though it was a tad biased. I agree with you, though. The comparision to Avatar especially. Apt.

    Speaking of comparisions;Oh my God, did someone compare this movie to the Jewel Thief??? Apples and rather bland Oranges!!

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