Inception on Blu-ray
Rumor has it that Christopher Nolan spent ten years writing the script for Inception. Truth be told, this barely seems like enough time to wrap one’s mind around so creative a world, let alone think it all up. Of course, Nolan had the wiggle room that a dream world provides. There is no exact defining of the relationships between reality and dreams, or to a dream within a dream within a dream, what is possible, what is not possible. Still, the boundless lengths of Inception‘s imagination are awe-inspiring.
The world we see in the film features technology that allows for a shared dreaming experience. An expedition into the mind of one, which can be visited by many, providing they’re all asleep and hooked up to each other by cords. And it’s possible, to create this dreamed reality, without the knowledge of the one hosting it. And you would probably never want anyone to see your darkest dreams, they can expose some of our deepest darkest secrets. Enter a man with a select set of skills that allows him to use this technology to steal valuable information from the powerful, and unexpecting. This man is Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s hired by the richest to steal the ideas of the richest. But in Inception, he’s hired to do the opposite, plant an idea in the head of a man named Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), a billionaire to inherit his father’s nearly limitless empire. This supposedly has never been done.
A man can’t pull off such a con by himself. In fact, Cobb’s surrounded by many. This includes a young ‘architect’ (the one responsible for building the infrastructures of the dreams) named Ariadne (Ellen Page), Cobb’s longtime collaborator Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Tom Hardy plays Eames, a master of deception. The concept of planting an idea deep inside someone’s subconscious (inception, as it were), is thought to be so difficult, one dream world is not convincing enough. The targeted victim needs to believe he came up with the idea. Cobb’s team needs to build a dream within a dream within a dream. And possibly continue after that. Of course when dealing in the pseudo-reality of a dream world, there are new sets of rules. Like dying a dream leaves you in a vegetable-like state in reality. Or the fact that you could go so deep inside a dream, you could forget what is real.
The ideas of shifting realities and the subjectivity of reality itself is something that Nolan has been interested in for a while. In 2000, Nolan wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed Memento, the story of a man perpetually losing his short-term memory, who relies on his tattoos to tell him what he needs to know: how to track down the man who killed his wife. This story was told backwards, the first scene shown last, and the last scene shown first. It’s this interest in playing with reality and the perception of time that laid the groundwork for such a grand film like Inception. In deed, it’s during the making of Memento that Nolan started writing Inception. And grand it is. You should have seen this movie when it was in IMAX theatres. It’s one of those that is actually worth paying for. But if you didn’t, you really should watch it on Blu-ray. It’s the next best thing
The special effects Inception features are like a living, breathing, interactive M.C. Escher drawing. Particularly thrilling are the scenes when new-comer Ariadne is discovering how to manipulate a dreamscape. Her only limits: what she can imagine. If the special effects come first in a long list of impressive traits, a close second must be Hans Zimmer’s powerful and dense score. Its rumbling bass and trumpets hint at worlds and realities on the verge of collapse. There’s an urgency to it that is only matched by lending itself to occasional nostalgia–something that underscores the film’s most tragic storyline, Cobb’s deceased wife (played by Marion Cotillard) that haunts his subconscious, and him, whenever he starts dreaming.
Nolan creation is grippingly entertaining, and powerfully emotional at times. It’s truly a credit to his cleverness, and the genius of all involved with the making of the film.
The Blu-ray features an entire disc of bonus features, which are pretty freaking awesome. They include:
- Extraction Mode: Infiltrate the movie’s imaginative landscape to learn how Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the cast and crew designed and achieved the film’s signature moments
- Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious: Can the dream world be a fully functional parallel reality? Joseph Gordon-Levitt and leading scientists take you to the cutting edge of dream research
- Inception: The Cobol Job: Comic prologue in full animation and motion: see the events that led to the beginning of the movie
- 5.1 soundtrack selections from Hans Zimmer’s versatile score
- Conceptual art, promotional art, and trailer/TV spot galleries
- Via BD-Live: Project Somnacin–Confidential Files: Access highly secure files that reveal the inception of the dream-share technology
Check out what I had to say about the film back when I saw it theatres here.
Warner Brothers provided BFR with a free Blu-ray for this review.