I am fan of all of Chris Nolan’s movies. I loved Memento, The Prestige and both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. He always brings thought provoking concepts to his movies including blockbusters. For instance, the concept of anarchy promoted by The Joker was truly frightening and novel. In a summer movie landscape where movies have been dumbed down to the extreme, his movies have always a beacon of hope for the thoughtful moviegoer also looking for massive explosions and fantastic special effects.
In other words, I went to see Inception with high expectations. I was not disappointed! The movie’s plot is very intricate (but logical), the special effects are dazzling and the concept of dreams within dreams is innovative. The movie is not without flaws. The various parts don’t quite neatly tie perfectly together. Somehow, I did not feel emotionally attached to the characters. I was also disappointed by the deliberate gimmick of leaving the movie open ended.
That said, go see the movie! It’s very good, well-acted, visually stunning and thought provoking.
SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE
Was it all a dream? The totem not falling at the end made every moviegoer wonder whether Cobb was still dreaming. Nolan actually left it open to interpretation and you can make convincing arguments either way. The totem wobbles and if you listen carefully you actually hear it fall after it goes out of view suggesting that he is in the real world. However, there are a number of elements suggesting he’s still dreaming: the kids have not aged and are still wearing exactly the same clothes as in every sequence where he dreams of them. The ending has a dream like quality. Moreover, he’s actually not using his own totem, he’s using his wife’s totem. He very well might have learned to manipulate it and make it fall or not. The polls I have seen suggest that viewers seem evenly split on this one, probably as Nolan intended.