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Saturday, September 25, 2010


I recently saw the movie “Inception.”

Although I predicted the ending roughly one third of the way into the movie I found it to be an intriguing journey of the mind. In the pilot of the TV show “Firefly” the character named Shepard Book stated that “getting there is the worthier part.” Shepard Book's words from that episode could not be more perfectly suited to any story being told on the silver screen than they are to “Inception.”

One could spend hours discussing the visual spectacles present in this film. One could spend an equal amount of time discussing how the use of 3D technology was NOT used in this film and how that was the correct decision. One COULD spend hours discussing these aspects of the movie, but that would be  a waste of their time. The visual aspects of the film, while intriguing and stunning, are insignificant compared to the concepts that the movie presents.

While technically a spoiler the marketing campaign for the movie released the knowledge that this movie explores the nature of dreams. Dreams are a fantastic topic and MANY genre films have explored it but none have explored it in quite the same way. “Inception” explores dreams on multiple levels. It explores them as a topic to be discussed while awake. It explores them as a surrealistic projection of our mind. “Inception” even explores the idea of fragments of our minds manifesting in our dreams as separate characters.

While “Inception” does not explore the nature of dreams in exactly the same way as any other movie it does share a similar question about the nature of dreaming and what dreaming means to us as the movie “Vanilla Sky” (released in 2001). Both movies explore what it means to be stuck in a dream and both movies explore it in different ways, yet both pose the same question to the viewer. That question was explicitly stated by the character Morpheus in “The Matrix.” That question is: “what is real?”

“Inception,” “Vanilla Sky” and “The Matrix” all ask this question in different ways and with different levels of obviousness. “The Matrix” asks it blatantly, where both “Inception” and “Vanilla Sky” ask it in a more subtle way.

One could keep comparing the three movies mentioned above, but that would prevent you from examining the works for yourself. One could also create a much deeper conversation surrounding how “Inception” (or the other films) explore the nature of reality but not without extensive spoilers.

I HIGHLY recommend you check out “Inception” for yourself if you enjoy examining the nature of reality and the world around you. I encourage you to count the layers of the movie. Count the layers, watch the totems, and, most of all, be sure to always pay attention to how you got where you are. Enjoy the ride for it truly is the “worthier part” of this film.

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