While I find the idea of “a dream within a dream” very interesting and full of potential, I think the writer did a poor job of developing a story that lives up to this idea. I felt that it was predictable. You knew there would be another dream, and that it would be some wild strange land, and you also knew that it would end with the job working and a happy ending. When I watch a movie in this genre I prefer to sit there flabbergasted, wondering how on earth the writer and director would finish the story. But I knew once I was twenty minutes in, how it would end.
I also have moral issues with the movie. Let me explain further. In the beginning of the movie you meet Cobb. He is an emotional, broken man. This makes you automatically want to help him or see him succeed. His whole character “pulls on your heart strings”. But this acts as a silk screen for what is really happening. The Government believes that he has killed his wife, which in essence is true. His actions lead to her depression and finally her suicide. He may not have killed her, but his actions had influenced her. Then Cobb goes on the run, we see a story elapse about how he no longer can see his children, making us think that they are in some kind of danger, and making you want to see him succeed even more. They aren’t in danger though; they now live with their Grandparents, safe and sound.
So know we know that he has issues. But lets take a closer look at his job. Cobb is what is called an extractor. He “enters people's dreams, steals their secrets, and sells them to their competitors”. Do you see any issues yet? I do! First he enters peoples dreams, this sounds like an infringement of privacy to me. Next he steals people’s dreams, so he is a thief. I see a definite biblical issue with this. And finally he sells the ideas to their competitors, Perjury too! This definitely doesn’t sound like a job I would want a son of mine to have. In fact the whole movie is centered around Cobb and his team implanting an idea in a mans head, an idea that this man would have never had himself. Now manipulation is something that everyone doesn’t want his or her kids to do, right? But we are okay with watching a movie that presents that as good?
Now, when I watch movies I am okay with seeing a character that has issues (even ones of the level of Cobb’s), but for a movie to be considered good, in my opinion, it must have a redeeming factor in it. Inception is devoid of this. By the end of the movie Cobb and his team has successfully done their job, and you are lead to believe that this is the end of Cobb’s work as an extractor and that he will live a normal life. But take a second to think, what indication do you have in the movie that this will actually happen? I could find none. For all we know, Cobb will fall back into this job and never see his kids again.
Now when it comes to the acting and casting I was extremely disappointed. I have never been a fan of DiCaprio, I find his acting fake and wanting. And this performance confirmed this to me even more. I felt that there were many other actors this casting director could have picked that would have portrayed the character of Cobb far better. The only two actor that I actually enjoyed in the movie was Marion Cotillard (Cobb’s wife) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Cobb’s friend and side kick).
The cinematography and animatronics were the only this I felt were exceptional in the movie. But it wasn’t fantastic or new. It was like we have seen in the genre many times.
When I left the movie theater I was disappointed. Not only did I waste time watching a movie, but I also found that my peers loved it. There are so many issues in this film that I cannot consciously refer it to a friend.