It was a fascinating concept: what could happen when people can invade your dreams and find out the deepest, darkest parts of your subconscious? Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ went one step further, seeing dreams turn to devastation when the idea became a nightmare.
Leonardo Di Caprio’s welcome return to cinema screens saw him playing the devastated husband and father, whose illegitimate wandering into dreams to extract information had left him alone and unsatisfied with his life, until inception offered him a way out of his isolation. Di Caprio’s role as Dom Cobb allowed him to connect with the audience through his hidden grief, which was especially poignant upon him finding Saito in limbo and struggling to contain his emotion when having to recapture reality. Marion Cotillard complimented him perfectly as an externalisation of his internal grief, combining the hurt, devastation and anger Cobb felt within his grief to show his struggle with his original experience of inception.
Two of the strongest characters, in my opinion, came from the supporting actors: both Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Eames (Tom Hardy) were able to finish the construction of a reality dominated by the subconscious perfectly, completing the illusion of the team instead of leaving Di Caprio to carry the weight of the script on his own. Levitt’s smoothness and Hardy’s comic timing enabled them to add an extra level of depth to the story which enabled it to be successful, and without their abilities I don’t think the storyline would have been as easily portrayed. Equally, Cillian Murphy (as Robert Fischer) was fabulous, as he played the unaware victim perfectly to show that level of vulnerability that we expected within his dreams.
The only thing that truly confused me was the ending: was it the inevitable ‘it was all a dream’ ending? In one way, this is genius, as it makes you continue thinking about the film for days after you’ve seen it. On the other hand, for someone like me who needs a definitive ending, it can prove very irritating. Either way, though, it proved a ‘happily ever after’ for Cobb, as whether dreaming or not, he finally got to call out and make his children turn around for him.