Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling

Opening with one of the better lines from the film was an easy choice. After seeing the initial trailers, the clip that includes this line made me think "I'm definitely going to see this one!". I didn't even need the prompting of Mark Kermode to make that decision, though his subsequent review just reinforced the desire. So, finally, I have.

Quite simply, I loved it. Much has been made of how Christopher Nolan decides to do an anti-Michael Bay and actually engage the intelligence of his audience, and I was expecting to come away puzzled, baffled, and wanting to see it again to make sure everything made sense: I didn't get that feeling at all. A second viewing would have it all making more sense, I'm sure, as the action-thriller side of things would take a back seat to the more intricate details becoming clearer. But, generally, there wasn't anything that wasn't explained either before or after in the dialogue or the various lessons about the dreams themselves and the self-imposed rules the characters follow (or otherwise).

Either I'm a lot cleverer than I give myself credit for, as I 'got' everything, or I'm much dumber than I think, and everything made sense only in vague layman's terms while I missed the grand picture. It was, at times, an exceedingly complex set of events, threads and ideas, but the film takes you by the hand, leads you through it, then jumps into another level of depth (or two) and dares you to follow. I dared, I followed, I enjoyed.

It's well written and well-directed, with great acting from a great cast (DiCaprio is very good and Ken Watanabe always gets two Japanese thumbs up, while 'Tommy' from 3rd Rock has all growed up into a fine actor) and great special effects that sit very nicely with the rest of the film, rather than their effect being jarring on the eyes. A few too many uber-loud bass notes of d00m for me in the score department, but when an eternity in the limbo of your own mind awaits, that's certainly cause for dramatic mood music.

The Matrix, eXistenZ, Mulholland Drive and Open Your Eyes/Vanilla Sky have all been mentioned as precursors and influences into this type of film-making, where dreams and reality are explored, and Inception definitely stands proud among that list of great movies.

I'm definitely going to watch this again, either on DVD or one of the various movie channels, and hopefully won't need too much prompting as to who's subconscious we're in at any particular point.

Note to Hollywood: being confused for a moment, a minute, or even an hour in a film is no bad thing.

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