Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Uncategorized “Whose Subconscious are we Looking into Right Now?”

“Whose Subconscious are we Looking into Right Now?”


 This film will be often imitated but never copied. So seldom has a classic been so named almost as the film has flipped off the spool. The dawn of a new action sub-genre is upon us – cerebral action if you will. Christopher Nolan has shown earlier fascination with time as a concept (and perhaps a bow to the artist M.C. Escher) and this is no, erm, exception.We are placed in a near-distant world where a one’s mind is as freely accessible to a thief as is one’s home. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, along with cohorts Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine and eventually Ellen Page plus Tom Hardy) plays such a thief who can enter a person’s (“the mark”) subconscious mind and take information; an act known as extraction. This is a skill prêt-a-porter in the field of corporate espionage. Japanese energy tycoon, Saito (Ken Watanabe) adds a twist by employing Cobb to place information into the mind of a competitor, Robert Fisher (Cillian Murphy). This is a dangerous game but the twist is that Cobb, a wanted man, has an opportunity to gain freedom and return to his home and family if the mission is successful. Thus we are thrust into a fresh format of the crime caper. The first thirty minutes or so leave you bewildered as all of this information, along with some necessary character development of Cobb, is imparted at a rate of knots. You are left wondering if it’s all a little too dense. However, before you finalise this conclusion, it suddenly all becomes clear and you are swept along via some ingenious plot mechanisms like a leaf in a babbling brook. The resultant obstacles, which our team encounter, take us on a journey into several levels of a Fisher’s unconsciousness each having a different backdrop and timescale. They are beautifully created and you find yourself constantly saying in your own mind “oh, I get it!”.The fact that Nolan uses CGI only where mechanical effects are impossible (the latter being clearly evident via some jaw-dropping imagery) means that you feel their intensity – the hotel corridor scene with Arthur (Levitt) is a masterpiece. The acting is excellent with DiCaprio once again displaying his maturity as an actor who can successfully over-expresses anxiety with the same skill in which Colin Firth (A Single Man) under expresses it. Tom Hardy continues flex his talent-muscles nicely and Ellen Page plays it as a non wise-cracking Juno but that is indeed enough. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a proven actor of worth is,if anything, underused although this is understandable with such a complicated character arc of the protagonist.With this film, Nolan has successfully achieved what must have looked for so long impossible during its own inception – a thrill of a movie which is redolent of the silver screen generation. An action movie for the intelligentsia sells it short; as it is simply a film which realises the audience can quite capably deal with complex subject matters.

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