Inception (directed by Christopher Nolan)
Thank heavens for The Dark Knight, because if it wasn't for its record-breaking success, British filmmaker Christopher Nolan would not have the freedom to make his latest masterpiece.
Inception is set in a future where the technology exists to extract people's dreams through entering their subconscious. Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an expert in the field and, along with partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), he is hired by corporations to steal the secrets and ideas of rivals. After their last job goes awry, a mysterious businessman (Ken Watanabe) approaches them with a proposition; he wants to plant an idea in someone's mind, a task which is considered impossible. And so begins the delicate mind-fuckery that is Inception.
From Dominic taking on `one last job' to the process of assembling a mish-mash team of experts, essentially this is a heist film set within the architecture of the mind. Yet it is so much more.
Inception is like a beautiful, intricate puzzle Nolan has created for audiences to solve. The concept of an idea being like a virus with the potential to infect the mind is intriguing enough, but it is merely one piece of a highly complex and intelligent whole. Inception is a fully realised vision with superb performances, flawless camera work, mind-boggling special effects and a haunting score from Hans Zimmer. The gravity-defying hallway fight scene with Gordon-Levitt alone is one that will be talked about for years. It is a testament to the content of the story that the immaculate production takes a back seat.
The fact Nolan has been able to thread together multiple storylines using the same actors, yet set in different time settings and spaces, without completely alienating the audience is an accomplishment of movie making. Like the characters in the film, Inception tunnels into your subconscious planting seeds of its genius in a similar fashion to the great works of Stanley Kubrick. However, it is so detailed and complex that when you leave the cinema, trying to retain details from the film is like trying to keep water in the palm of your hands. The only way to appreciate the magnitude of its brilliance is with multiple viewings. Inception is out now.