Imagine you were the director of blockbusters like "Batman Begins", "Prestige", "The Dark Knight" and had reinvented the way people saw cinema through "Memento", would you have it in you to deliver time and again? would you have it in you to do an encore? would you have it in you to live up to the expectations? But thankfully, you and I are not Christopher Nolan, for people expect so much from a movie director. Especially when you have directed the above mentioned movies. Christopher Nolan delivers once again, and how! during the pre production stages, Nolan had given a short brief of his project stating that "Inception" was a sci-fi action thriller "set within the architecture of the mind." We had no idea what he was talking about, and after having witnessed his idea unfold in the big screen we could only exclaim "What an idea sirji!".
"Inception" has the essentials of your just- another- heist- story, where the protagonist is looking for a way out so that he could lead a normal life. But he is lured into the trap for one final job, on a successful completion of which he could go back to live the life he wanted to. He then assembles a team of pioneers in their own specialties and sets about plotting and planning the heist, followed with a large doze of eye-popping action and chase sequences. And here is where the similarity ends, the catch in "Inception" is that the team is not robbing a bank or a casino, or stealing jewels, or a document from a Z-security armed vault. The catch is that they are entering the most secured vaults of all known to man, something impenetrable- The mind. And deep within the recesses of the mind, they leave an idea, an idea that could in Cobb's own words "transform the world and rewrite all the rules". Sounds bizarre does it not? wait till you watch the whole movie.
The movie is set at a time when man has the technology to enter the minds of individuals and steal an idea. Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) is a mind raider who along with his long time associate Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works for corporations by stealing ideas from the minds of their rivals. For his final job, he is given a proposition by a rich billionaire, Saito (Ken Watanabe) to enter the mind of his rival Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy), and do the opposite, to plant an idea in his head that will go on to bring the fall of his Father's empire. In return, Saito would make all the arrangements necessary for Cobb to lead a peaceful retirement with his family. How Cobb goes about forming a team of Eames the Forger (Tom Hardy), Ariadne the Architect (Ellen Page) and Yusuf the Chemist (Dileep Rao), and sets up the bait forms the rest of the story.
When a mind can be penetrated, it could also be trained to protect itself from these attacks. Within Fischer's mind are his gun totting bodyguards who prevent any sort of break-in and lead to some of the best action sequences choreographed since The Matrix. There are many terms thrown up that make the concept of "mind heist" more meaningful. For example: A "totem" is your own personalized object that acts as an anchor to guide you through your dreamscape, a "kick" is that freefall which wakes you up from your dream, a "limbo" is that state or place of confinement within the dream which is more like a coma in the real world.
Nolan's cast gives a stellar performance, Dicaprio is ably supported by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao and the seasoned Ken Watanabe. Marion Cottilard plays Dicaprio's deceased wife and gives a powerhouse performance, at times bringing out the best in Dicaprio. Michael Caine makes an appearance as Cobb's father-in-law, the man who taught him all, and brings in along with him a sense of a sage like calm and serenity. In recent times, one cannot expect a Christopher Nolan movie without the presence of the wise Mr.Caine. Hans Zimmer's score adds more thrill to the proceedings, an entity in its own right, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
But the real star of the show is Christopher Nolan himself, if his debut feature "Following" showcased his potential and the sign of things to come, then a decade and five movies later "Inception" shows that he has only lived upto and has delivered more than what he promised. "Inception" took ten years in the making, what "The Matrix" was to the last decade, "Inception" will be to this era. If Nolan does not win an Oscar for either the screenplay (which he should have for Memento) or the best director next year, the senility of the Academy would only be confirmed.
Nolan engages you as a viewer, he makes you think, he challenges you to come up with a better conclusion. Yes you will find the movie complex, you will find it hard to understand, it will leave you with a lot of questions unanswered. But once you come out of the cinema hall, you cannot help but wonder who planted this idea within Christopher Nolan's mind.