Aah! Just back from watching Inception and here’s the thing…but really, when we say that, what do we mean? ‘Coz where is ‘here’ exactly? Is it perhaps my Layer 1 dream or your layer 3; maybe we’re in a dream within a dream, the deeper layers; or maybe the both of us are in someone else’s Layer 4; or of course the whole damn planet is just God’s giant dream/illusion/fantasy (call it whatever) that he dreamed up just to amuse himself, watching us torture ourselves as we struggle to find meaning in his madness, order within his chaos!! Whew…see, that’s what a good movie does, uh huh…drives you up the wall, round the bend, until you’re unsure what to think and whether it’s even worth your while to think!
But first things first…today was an important first for me, and I must confess it had a dream-like quality to it 😉 I’ve never been to see a movie alone, ever! Maybe that’s not such a big thing for you guys but it is for me. But hubby’s off to Delhi for a week-long training program and if I don’t make the effort to get out the house myself, I’m going to be house-bound for the next week, which will not be pretty – not for me and most definitely not for those around me! So, much to Mom’s horror, which she did not bother conceal, I made plans to see Inception, a movie I knew hubby would rather miss. His taste for movies runs very much to shady Bollywood potboilers, which remain largely unheard of by normal people such as myself and of course, you, dear readers! (Ooh, interesting subject for a whole other post!) To do him justice, I don’t think he actually watches them, as much as sits with unseeing eyes glued to the screen, remotes at his fingertips, fast-forwarding every song and much of the movie itself, while enjoying his favorite tipple and a bowl of salted cashews!! He’s rather a dear…really 😉
Where were we? Yup…with Mom cautioning me to be careful like I was a 6-yr old (Will you be Ok in the theater all alone? Don’t talk to strangers! Don’t look at strangers! Do you have to go today? Don’t talk to strangers! Blah blah…) , after she realized, I was going to go through with it. All she did was make me more nervous than I already was under my bravado! Well anyway, I made my way to the theater and I can tell you, was pretty cool, when I asked for just the one ticket – “One aisle seat please,” I said with an assurance I was slowly beginning to feel. The rest was a cakewalk…no strange looks, no weird stares from fellow movie-watchers. With my confidence increasing every moment, I browsed the bookshop, bought a book, and armed with a cup of chilli-seasoned corn, entered the theater like the seasoned moviegoer I was :).
The movie began and I was lost to the world for the next 2 and a half hours. That’s not to say I always understood what I was watching. Indeed until Ariadne appeared with her probing questions and demands for explanations, I must confess, I was rather lost, except for vague notions, that ideas were like a virus and hard to get rid of once they took root (Don’t know whether I believe that. Would depend on the idea methinks.), but could be ‘extracted’ by people who were trained for this purpose. All of this I took to mean that nothing was safe, indeed your very thoughts, which one could argue, formed your ‘essence’, were unsafe, unprotected from mind-thieves, even in your subconscious, over which, in any case, you had no control! This from what I could gather seemed the basic premise of the movie. If one believes in ‘Extraction’ then I suppose ‘Inception’ or planting thoughts into the mind while it is dreaming doesn’t seem all that far-fetched! What’s tricky however is making the subject feel like he thought of it all by himself, ‘pure inspiration’ is what they call it in the movie. I don’t know whether that exists, but it’s a fascinating theory! By now my mind was whirling, and all the rest – the blurred boundaries between our dreamworlds and our realities, the actual mechanics of constructing such a world and all of that layering business…was like so much air over my head, until friendly Ariadne appeared and thankfully asked the same burning questions I had! Otherwise, this movie would I’m afraid, have remained very much in the realm of ‘I haven’t got a clue’ movies, along with the Matrix series, Minority Report and others like them 😛 My brother would have totally got this movie, though, enjoyed it’s spectacular production and explained the concept to me in simplified lingo, much like he did with the Matrix series 🙂 Then we would have argued and debated until the cows came home…missed him.
I’m still not sure I’ve understood the whole ‘Mal’ episode or the exact nature of ‘the limbo’ state, but I think I’ve understood enough to get the basic message, which is no different than what I have always known and believed to be true – love, family, friends, forgiveness and letting go are the most important things in life, regardless of what your dreaming! That leaves me wondering whether we need a multi-million dollar movie to drive home the basic message! Well, as long as they’re not my millions 😉 I guess! Having said that, I totally enjoyed the special effects, especially the zero-gravity fight sequences :-). Also loved the idea of the ‘totem’ – a one-of-a-kind object that members of the team carry to help ground them in their own realities. The ensemble cast is superlative, which takes the movie to a whole other level! The movie is well scripted and the plot well thought out, or maybe I just think that, ‘coz even if it weren’t, it’s not like I could tell 😉 I’m not a DiCaprio fan, but he’s an excellent actor and gets better with every movie. My favorites were Tom Hardy as Eames, Ken Watanabe as Saito and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, in that order! Am completely floored by Hardy’s portrayal of the genius Eames with his sharp mind, his nonchalance when faced with extreme danger and his dry humor. A new favorite is born 🙂 It was also wonderful to see Michael Caine even if just in a tiny role 🙂 A fine actor!
And so to the end…I knew they weren’t going to make it simple, that wouldn’t be in character 😉 But I like to think the top toppled over which meant that Cobb was finally home in his reality with his children. Isn’t that what it would mean? Hang on…maybe the perfectly spinning top is a sign that he’s in his true reality? Oh to hell with the top and all the rest…in the end, he sees his children and they latch on to him tightly and everyone’s happy and that’s the best ending there is…in dreams or reality 🙂
Dream at your own risk, people 😉