I, like millions of others, saw the movie Inception (Christopher Nolan) over the weekend. Ryan and I barely go to the movies because we’re too frugal but the summer heat had about cooked us and we needed to cool off. I enjoyed Inception because it was a thinker film, I even enjoyed the moments during the film in which I was in a state of WTF because that rarely happens. In any case, the next day I was watching the TV show At the Movies where they review, discuss etc. and one of them talked about the director’s lack of really tapping into the subconscious and irrational state of dreamland.
So here’s my argument. The dreamer in this film was an architect, a rational minded architect. The dreamer recreated and rebuilt reality inside the subconscious. Thus the strange scary experiences that usually happen during dreams didn’t in these particular cases because they were set-up dreams, not just wanderings. For example, take the movie The Cell (Tarsem Singh) in which Jennifer Lopez enters into a little boy’s mind and then later a deranged sociopath. These scenes were fucked up and frightening because she was just diving right into their subconscious trying to figure them out psychologically from the inside.
I’ve always been drawn to the surreal imagery of The Cell, but I completely understand Nolan’s choice to limit the scope into a more reality-based play on physics and time as opposed to also adding another element of the overtly surreal; it was already deeply layered and slightly confusing and I do not think it could have handled having snake-monsters, flying jellyfish, shape shifting vampires, palm trees made of candy, etc. Though maybe in another like-minded film that isn’t so action-based and can play around in the creative realms of the mind a bit more. I felt like the worst scene was the third layer of the dream, the snowmobile action scene. Out of everywhere they could have went, could have designed, they went there? It seemed to lack imagination both in the design but also in the basic director's choice. At that point, and perhaps because it was nearing the end, I was a bit disappointed as I felt it fell to easily into a stereotypical action sequence instead of a mind-altering thrill extravaganza.
But in any case, I am looking forward to the continuation of these ideas through film, perhaps a A “Cell-Inception” combo movie. I’d be down with that. But for now, I would recommend people go check it out, even if it’s just to get out of the heat for a couple of hours.