8/3/2010, reviewed by Amanda Evans

Inception was an incredibly mind-blowing movie on so many levels (pun intended?). The story was intricately crafted and kept your mind intently engaged without being so confusing you lose interest. There were times I laughed out loud in astonishment and there were others I squirmed in suspense. At other times I nearly held my breath in emotional empathy. Plot, acting, effects, timing...they were all about as perfect as it gets. This movie was exquisitely crafted.

Inception is about dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Cobb, is a fugitive who can't go back to the States. His talent at moving in and out of dreams has had tragic results in his family life. Trying to buy his way home, he hires himself out as an "extractor"—someone who enters other people's dreams to steal information. But then he gets hired to plant an idea. As Cobb prepares for this "inception," he gathers several team members with highly specific tasks and begins to undertake a plan that involves dreams within dreams within dreams as well as the possibility of losing their minds for years in limbo. The job Cobb and his team face is a con like no other.

Since a large part of this movie takes place in dreams, the rules are a little different. The soldiers chasing the characters are projections from the dreamer's imagination and the laws of gravity don't work quite the same. There are some pretty visually astounding dream sequences. And yet, since this movie is about our perception of reality, the film-makers maintained a dream world grounded in reality. The result is a surprisingly yet also subtly different movie.

The movie is left open-ended. Cobb has had to choose between a nearly endless life in limbo with the woman he loves or a life in reality with his children. At first we think he chooses reality, but as the screen goes black and the credits roll we are suddenly not so sure. The ending is intentionally left vague leaving us to decide what happened.

Of course I immediately chose the ending I wanted—one where truth and the real world were worth livng in. Then I realized that the film-makers got me. I had chosen my own reality and in the end that was the point.

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