Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inception - why I'm giving it a poor review

"Taking someone's mind and changing it is a trespass. A violence."
-Kristin Cashore, in Fire

*Added a bit at the bottom

I went to go watch this movie with my boy Gan Yi Quan, as was originally promised, after a very long wait. Major spoilers whitened out. For those who would rather die than read all of this, go to the summary in red at the end.

Okay, we all know Inception was awesome. Very, very good mind-bending movie. And the main question of it all! Really, it's great that there's a movie so complex you need to keep your mind strained to make sure you keep up with it all.

But there are a lot of websites out there commenting on that part of it, so I'm going to step away from this sci-fi, mind-scrambling part of it, the theories and what-ifs, and move on to the other aspects I look for in movies. Please don't kill me, Inception fans - keep reading, if your blood pressure allows!

Morally, this movie was not sound. To me, la. I mean, isn't stealing people's ideas a violation of a human's right? It's a violation, a gross violation, to steal someone's privacy like that. Of course, this movie wouldn't exist if Dom and his team weren't thought-snatchers, but it doesn't even give out a hint that it's wrong, just plain wrong, to do such a horrible thing. There are movies, like Ocean's, who are thieves, but there are carefully scripted lines that show that they aren't happy with what they're doing, and they do it honourably, and give back money where necessary. Like in Leverage, or A-Team - honourable thieves. Doing it for a reason. Whereas I feel Dom & Co is just plain old mercenary. They just steal ideas blindly for this corporation, not caring about the impact it has on the world - that could be as bad as helping to build mass-destruction weapons.

Emotionally, I didn't feel any tie in between the members, either. It was horrible, the way Dom just plunged his team into the three-layered dream, without bothering to tell them of the heightened stakes. And he refused to take the blame - instead, he made a big deal of Arthur not doing his job properly. Okay, Arthur made a slip - DOM just totally played his entire team. The whole time I was on the edge of my seat for Saito, and thinking daggers at Dom. It's not just Dom, either - the chemist knew, but he shut up, because of the money. Mercenary once again!

And this time it could be just wholly me, but I think Leonardo diCaprio didn't carry his acting off well. I blame it solely on him that I feel nothing in the sense of the Dom-Mal relationship. Nothing! I didn't even cry! The tears came, but they did not flow! Now, that is seriously a defect. This movie failed to make me cry. And am I the only one who finds Mal's continuous popping up everywhere annoying? She's just a bloody projection, because according to Arthur she was lovely in real life, but she keeps ruining everything. And it's all Dom's fault. Someone oughtta sucker-punch that guy in the face. He has to stop getting everyone on his team killed, just because a figment of his brain keeps coming out of nowhere and sticking knives into people.

Mal's nuts, btw, and since Mal's all in Dom's head, Dom's nuts.

The part when they showed all those people sharing a dream, because it was the only way they could dream, just chilled me to the bone. That was addiction, pure addiction - the whole practice of sharing dreams had become a drug to them. It was the same with Ariadne - she came back, because she'd had a taste, and everything else was flat for her. She's so young - I can bet you she's ruined for normal real-life architecture after this. She'll end up like Mal, mark my words. Dom was guilty, but for the wrong reason, in my opinion. How could you expect your wife to just leave a life where she has everything, and come crashing back down to reality? When you live in an alternate life for years? It's like Philip Pullman's theory - you can't live in any life but your own. Doesn't anyone feel that both Mal and Dom wrote their own doom the minute they decided to play God and live a false-life for goodness knows how long?

Usually I'm all for the father yearning to return to his kids. But in this case, I just felt... emotionally detached.

And the movie is a very well-made one, but there are the how-could-they-have-missed-that's. Like, okay, I don't get it, if you wake up from a dream, and then see ALL those people who've been in the dream with you sitting in the SAME plane with you, don't you smell something fishy? If you've been trained to expect that people can pick your brains and all that? Plus, Arthur's bomb-rigging would've taken much more than a few minutes, a thought of mine also shared by the IMDB people.

Coming back to the HUGE Inception question, *highlight if you want to read major spoiler*
Whether or not the WHOLE movie is a dream because the top never did stop spinning, it doesn't make much of a difference to me. Like I said to Hui Jan, this question isn't particularly mind-blowing to me because there are TOO many possibilities. Maybe Dom is dreaming, maybe he's not. Why is he dreaming? Could it be this? Could it be that? This question is too open-ended to impact me much. It could be anything under the sun, viewers, take your pick!

In the end, the supporting cast saved it for me. The arrival of Ariadne made me sigh with relief, because I thought I'd be stuck with screwed-up Dom and oil-slicked Arthur for two and a half hours. Then I managed to look past Arthur's very bad hair do, and appreciate his very cute facial expressions and awesomeness at rotating-corridor and zero-gravity navigation. I was so happy when he kissed Ariadne! Almost the minute the two of them had screen-time together, I felt the chemistry, something Leo diCap could learn from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Funny Eames and poor Arthur was another relationship I enjoyed. I also loved Saito, haha, and Yusuf (when he was driving). Basically I loved everyone but Dom and Mal.





Notice the poster I chose way up there does not have Dom's face in it. (Y)

Summary of why this movie is good but not nice:
1) Morally unsound mind thieves.
2) Selfish, no-team-spirit Dom.
3) Bad acting and poor chemistry by Leo (my opinion)
4) Undermining the negative effects of addiction.
5) The big question too open-ended.
6) Several outstanding goofs.

I shall now sit back and wait for the wrath of the Inception fans to hit me. This scares me, that I'm like the only one of my friends to see it this way. Everyone says it's awesome, except those who don't get it. So, since I am saying it's awesome, but only conditionally, does this mean I don't get it?

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