n. 1: The beginning of something, such as an undertaking; a commencement.
See Synonyms at origin.
After watching this summer’s hotly anticipated Inception, there is a real palpable fever sweeping across the movie blogosphere and fan-boy communities. A fever that hopefully restores faith in original story ideas that seem to be falling to the wayside in the ultra-stagnant Hollywood. Hopefully this weekend will mark the inception of a renaissance among the creative types. A new beginning.
Inception as many have probably already told you is more than just your average summer blockbuster. Made for about $160 million, this film was a project that was simmering in the mind of director Christopher Nolan’s head for a 10 years (In dream time that’s at least 1,000 years!). Inception is an ambitious project to be making in a time when remakes and sequels are getting unwarranted greenlights and $100 million marketing campaigns. It is only right that WB gave Nolan a free pass to produce such an original story after the runaway success of The Dark Knight. WB could have forced Nolan’s hand, but instead took a leap of faith that will no doubt be handsomely rewarded in the near future (B.O. receipts already sitting pretty at $62.8M).
Inception is about a sophisticated team of corporate thieves who steal ideas from the vaults of their victims’ dreams. They’re quite good at what they do and do it in such style that GQ editors will no doubt be left blushing. But underneath all the action sequences, building crushing, street folding, and visually arresting effects is a subplot that hits you pretty hard. The team’s ringleader, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), takes one last seemingly impossible job for a shot at redemption and a chance to return to the kids he had to leave behind. This is more than a heist flick though. This is a movie that does its best to mash-up all sorts of genres and it does it so well that you can make a pretty intense drinking game trying to come up with appropriate marriages. Matrix meets Italian Job… Bond meets Dreamscape… The Cell meets something good… The possibilities are endless!
What I really enjoyed about the film was its unbridled determination to blow your mind. It took a real no rubbers approach to mind-fucking the shit out of you. Serving you some of the most imaginative, most ambitious ideas you’ve never seen and for that alone, Inception succeeds. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film that challenges me to keep up and then rewards me at the end for trying. There’s lots of rules to go over and it can get a bit talky but man do the 2 1/2 hours fly by. Inception is not a masterpiece but it is sure close to one and one that is readily available to audiences. That is probably what’s most exciting for the fan-boys: Finally, a summer movie that challenges mainstream audiences.
Of course, Inception is a great example of the perfect storm. A star director who’s been given the go-ahead by a studio that readily takes the backseat, happily writing blank checks. A perfect cast led by always intense Leonardo DiCaprio, rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, new fan every day Marion Cotillard, and sleeper Tom Hardy. Combined with audiences asking for smarter fare and there’s not a more hotly anticipated movie like this since The Matrix, probably Inception‘s most readily comparable movie experience.
Hopefully this is the beginning of something in Hollywood. Isn’t it funny that it took a movie about dreams and idea-stealers to bring us this year’s most original story? There is a lot of talk in the movie of implanting an idea in the mind of the mark and making sure that the mark doesn’t realize it was implanted by having them experience catharsis. Catharsis — an eruption of emotion. He needs to feel before he can believe, because positive thinking always trumps negativity.
Catharsis. What every film tries to accomplish. What Inception accomplishes.