"In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset."I say therein lies just the beginning of what is a brilliant piece of film combining stunning visual imagery with an imaginative plot which continues to evolve throughout the film. At its simplest, Inception is a story of what would happen if different individuals could share in the same dream experience. What would it be like to live in someone else's dream world?
We all know that in dreams virtually anything can happen. We can fly. We can be in places we have been in the past and places that exist only in our dreams. And it is through that concept, that anything can happen in a dream, that the film's visual effects reign supreme!
Much has been written of the film's special effects and computer generated images, and they don't fail to impress. In fact, it is perhaps one of the best uses of modern technology on film yet. Usually, modern visual effects have an unreal quality, which is why they usually don’t work. However, in Inception, they are part of the very expressive dream logic.
In Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio's character says that "when you are in a dream you don't realize that it is a dream. It is only when you 'wake' that you realize that things were 'off' and different than reality." And it is through this axiom, that when we are in that "subconscious state" we don't realize that it is a dream, that Inception's plot transforms. Within the "dream" it is real, everything that happens is just as real as our "conscious" state.
The endless maze of life. The puzzle in the brain. The complexity of the thought and where it begins and ends. It doesn't! Can you ever really think of where you begin in a dream? Where the story starts? No you can't. You start in the middle of it already happening. Don't all dreams end before you find out the ending? As vast as is the universe are the hallways of our brain. If you think it, you have lived it.
It is within the dream within a dream that Inception introduces the concept of the 4th dimension - time. In real time we may dream for only 20 minutes, but within the dream it may seem like hours. And with Inception the dream within a dream is not mere hours but days or months, so that in our "real" time of 20 minutes, our dream within a dream has experienced a complete year of time, further complicating the question of what "reality" is.
It is the incorporation of "string-theory," the developing theory in particle physics which attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity, that takes Inception to its fullest. In Inception, Leonardo's character experiences a life-time of events with someone in the span of mere seconds in his awakened state and raises the question of what would happen if we become trapped within that "reality." What if we choose to stay within that particular reality and not want to go back to the other realities?
String-theory proposes the possibility that we are "stuck" in a 3+1 dimensional (i.e. three spatial dimensions plus the time dimension) subspace of the full universe. So is our dream state the true "reality" or is it the state when we are within this fixed 3+1 dimensionality (our "awake" state)?
If the universe is eternal and extends into infinity, then why could we not have an infinite number of realities? And what then really is time?
Think of Inception as a painting by one of the Great-Masters - it is the creation of visually intriguing scene from the painter's mind, much like a dream scene. It is the celebration of the colors, the images and the complexity of the whole which draws us in and allows us to become part of the painter's world. Inception is such a work.
Rex Reed disagrees. Rex Reed called the picture an "assault on rational coherence" that "is the kind of pretentious perplexity in which one or two reels could be mischievously transposed, or even projected backward, and nobody would know the difference." I think Rex Reed in his own pretension tries vainly to stay relevant and I am not certain in which reality he lives.
Fascinating concepts brought to our 3+1 reality by Inception. It is well worth seeing and experiencing.