Spinning top from the movie Inception

Inception is a triumph. A film with style and substance. Impeccably acted. Beautifully scored. Perfectly written and visually stunning. But beyond all this, Inception succeeds because of it’s thought provoking and emotional storyline. On one hand we have a super slick heist movie, on the other – an existential quest for redemption.

At it’s core, Inception is a meditation on the self. Like Descartes in the 17th century, it deconstructed the self and questions it’s own existence. We, as the audience, question what is real at every turn as the characters struggle to maintain a grasp on their own perception of the real world. What is it that we value most in our lives? How is that we know what we are experiencing is real? What is the dream? What is reality? For Descartes the ‘real world’ could be a manipulated projection of some malevolent being so we could have no way of knowing. But for Nolan, a simple trick allows his characters to distinguish between the two. It’s sublime in it’s simplicity but this too is open to manipulation. It also questions what if? What if we knew we were in a dream, but it was of our own creation; like gods we could experience anything we want, what if we became the manipulative being? What if we became addicted to our own dreams? Why return to ‘real world’ as was? What would pull us back? Or indeed, what would keep us incarcerated?

The storyline is so beautifully crafted and complex in it’s nature that to talk about it in depth would be to deprive any readers who hadn’t seen the movie of the full enjoyment of discovery. But even going on the discussions I had with my friends on the way back from the cinema, I knew that this would be one of THOSE movies. I look forward to the coming years when Inception has permeated the general consciousness so that we can more openly discuss it’s nature; it’s truth. Inception appeals to a philosophical base within us all, the one that asks “why?” Like the Matrix before it, it does so in such a modern and appealing manner – yet one that’s more accessible than most. Being set within a world we’re all so familiar with brings a level of intimacy that enslavement by robots cannot. This connection to the audience is most important aspect of the movie. It draws us in, it makes us question our own ideas of reality, truth and existence. In doing so, it elevates Inception to the level of a genuinely great movie. At the crux of every great movie, an idea.

The idea behind Inception is not a new one, it’s one that we have held onto for 1000s of years. Therein lies the truth of the matter; what makes Inception such a remarkable film? Inception is so inherently brilliant because it captures the mind as much it captures the heart. How? By questioning reality and examining the nature of love – the very two things that drive us the most.