Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Cobb and Arthur use a special device to transform themselves into someone's dream and steal an idea from him or her. Tycoon Saito hires them to do the opposite, implant an idea into Fischer, who inherited a large energy corporation, so that he will not continue with the policy of a monopoly. Cobb agrees and hires dream architect Ariadne, Eames and others. On a plane, they sedate Fischer, and implant a dream-within-a-dream, until they plant the idea and Cobb meets his deceased wife. In exchange, Saito stops an arrest warrant against Cobb, who returns to his kids.
Director Christopher Nolan used a great style to camouflage the basic, ludicrous plot, but overall, it is still ludicrous at its essence. A director can resort to the technique of transforming a story into a puzzle, but by cocooning one preposterous subplot into another, and then cocooning that preposterous subplot into yet another, and another, does not mean that those three ludicrous subplots equal a great story. However, one can forgive Nolan for "Inception" because time travelling and/or dreaming often proved to be a slippery rope for movies, who would often trip over their own feet due to huge inconsistencies resulting from thee. Some tried to find fault in character development or actors, but one has to be fair and say that the basic idea was simply bad: the hero, Cobb, steals ideas from people when they are sleeping? One just has to look at one dream report collected by scientist Calvin Hall, who wrote this about someone's dream: "I dreamt I was hungry and began to scratch my nose. All of a sudden a steak supper appeared in front of me. I ate this and after a while scrached my nose again. Suddenly I was dressed in the finest of clothes. I began to wonder if my nose were magic." This illustrates how pointless it is to steal someone's idea in a dream - because everything is distorted there. It would be as reliable as if Cobb and his team would go to get the guy's nose because it was magical in his dream. In one scene, Cobb also reads some documents in a dream. It is another misstep - because people cannot read in a dream.
The main plot, however, is even more insane than that: Cobb has to implant an idea into Mr. Fischer, so that he would not pursue the policy of monopoly from his deceased dad. In order to do that, Nolan resorted to a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream. Leaving aside the inconvenience that implanting an idea to someone who is dreaming is entirely unreliable (because people sometimes do not even remember their dream), "Inception" contradicted itself again by sending the six protagonists into an action adventure while in a dream. It is simple: if they can use their machine to create a dream, why not make themselves into Supermen and thus invincible to shot guns? And then again, if they cannot do that, how come Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character can press a button and activate a bomb in that dream? Why would a bomb get activated in a dream? Why would they have guns in a dream? Why would there be any danger in a dream if they can create it? This demonstrates that "Inception" fell into a catch 22 - it cannot apply logic to a dream and be illogical at the same time. If you fancy a van falling from a bridge for 30 minutes (!), Joseph Gordon-Levitt floating and tumbling around a hotel lobby collecting floating people for 30 minutes and the rest of the team attacking a snow fortress James Bond style because they forgot to create a pleasant and warm beach instead, you will probably find some sense in this, while the rest will perceive a huge plot gimmick and even predict the "plot twist" already somewhere near the start. If you want a real feeling of a lucid dream - because this is too neat to be a dream - watch Ruben's "Dreamscape", because despite its flaws and lack of a huge budget, it was plausible. If you want a philosophical movie about the nature of reality and possibility of an alternate world, watch "The Matrix", or even better "The Truman Show", that said so much about life in such a harmonius way.