Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Inception movie review

Rating: 60/100

TLDR: Nice but too many inconsistencies in the script spoil the fun.

Nice idea (though not original, there have been other pieces with main plot revolving around people sharing dream), and fast paced. The movie keeps you engaged throughout. It also succeeds in making you talk about it while you are leaving the hall, but mostly because of questions that were left open.

The script has many holes however, which result in many inconsistencies throughout the movie -
1. Why does the effect of gravity not flow through levels of dreams?
2. How come the infinite staircase sometimes suddenly become disconnected? (This was probably thrown in just to show how a staircase may look infinite from a certain angle in real world - but is completely inconsistent with the storyline.)
3. Fine, they have invented a machine through which you can connect people together in a dream. How come the dreamed 'dream sharing machine' works, when you are already in a dream?
4. How does the 'limbo' retain what was built there before, may be by a different person?? (Cobb's creations are there in dream initiated by someone else.)
5. Why does the top fall when the old man spins it when the movie begins?
6. Why couldn't Cobb's wife simply spin her top to test if it is real life or a dream?
7. How did Cobb wake up from limbo?
8. Why does Arthur not wake up by the Van's freefall (the 'kick') but instead simply start experiencing zero gravity in the dream?

The movie also seems to throw a lot of ideas just for the effect, most of which are irrelevant or have no consequence to the story. Eg. Penrose staircase, and bending of the road in the constructed dream world by the student.

I liked a few of them though - for example the puzzle of creating a maze in two minutes that cannot be solved in one minute, or the idea that someone thinks the real life is a dream and wants to wake up from it.

Lots of room for improvement. At most this is comparable to Matrix 2, but not anywhere near as perfect as Matrix 1. With the concept, I feel they could have done a better job if they thought it through.

Leo's role was pretty much the same as Shutter Island. For others too, there was hardly any scope of showing acting in the movie, as it was mostly a chase.

I was actually debating whether to rate it 50% or 60%. I decided with 60% since it atleast kept me engaged, and the acting did not completely suck.

The movie was essentially a bunch of things thrown together to confuse people. This serves two purposes - people talk about it, and also people may watch it again in case they missed something, in the hope of some getting answers (which are not there).

Chris Nolan's imagination falls plain short of the idea of a dreamworld. If I were to implement it, it would not be lucid and perfect world with guns, explosions and zero gravity etc - it should be more like something that makes you feel you are dreaming. May be with a lot of computer generated images, imaginative creatures.

The reason it is being compared to Matrix is that clearly the intention was to copy Matrix. And it manages to fail in all levels in doing so.

1 comment:

  1. I know this review is about a year old, but I just watched this movie recently. A lot of your inconsistencies don't seem all that inconsistent from my point of view on the movie.

    1. In the first level, the van is falling off of a bridge. This creates a zero gravity falling sensation. In the second level, they are affected by the free fall sensation, and float. This floating does not create a falling sensation, so there is no sensation to be felt in the lower level.

    In the case of Saito being shot, the bullet creates the feeling of pain. In the next level, the same feeling of pain is felt. Since nothing has changed, the process continues with more pain in the next level. In other words, pain leads to pain, leads to pain, leads to pain.

    The same is true when the van was spinning. In that level, they were physically being spun around. This affected the next level. However, Arthur was not spinning with world around him, he would just fall depending on which side was down at the moment. This didn't have an effect on his center of gravity, so there was no sensation there to affect the next level.

    2. I'd just chalk it up to the architect designing it that way. Perhaps she purposely made it so it's not infinite. Perhaps it is infinite, but only in on direction.

    3. They know how the machine works, so they expect it to work the same way in the dream. They think it will work, so it does.

    4. Interesting point. Details like this lead me to believe that the whole movie had taken place in a dream inside Cobb's head.

    5. Sorry, I don't remember it falling.

    6. The whole idea that the top could work at all is flawed. Firstly, a totem only works if another person is in charge of the dream, otherwise your totem would work the way you expect, because you are in control. So if you think you are awake in reality, your totem will act as such.

    Secondly, why would a top continue to spin in another's dream. Do dream physics carry over from one person to the next? Why would the top be guaranteed to spin forever?

    I can't totally answer this question, because the Mal and Cobb seemed to believe the top could tell the difference. But even if she did try, it could only prove she was dreaming; if it spun forever, it's definitely a dream. It could not prove she wasn't dreaming; if it fell, she still could have been dreaming but subconsciously believed she was awake (which seemingly contradicts the notion that Cobb implanted the idea that she was stuck in a dream inside her deepest level).

    7. I don't think he ever escaped his dream. However, going down the notion that he did in fact wake up, dieing in limbo seems to bring you straight back to reality as evidenced by the story that Mal and Cobb let a train run over them which supposedly woke them up.

    8. The kicks were really one of the main points of confusion/possible points of inconsistency for me.