The coruscation of Inception
Last year, when I found out that Christopher Nolan was filming a movie that dealt with dreams and the architecture of the mind, I knew I was going to see it on cinema early in its release. It’s the kind of expectant waiting that I had with Tatami Galaxy: I had faith that it was going to be something good based on the track records of its auteur. Just as I was impressed with Kemonozume and Kaiba (to a lesser extent), I was also impressed with Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. My faith all the more solidified when I knew it was going to be performed by a stellar cast: what else do you expect from a group of Oscar winners and nominees? Even Tom Brady was excellent in his portrayal as Bronson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in both his independent and blockbuster films was consistently great (I loved  Days of Summer).
Upon entering the theater, however, I did not expect anything from the movie itself except the general premise that it was going to be, at the very least, good. What I got was so much more: more than Hurt Locker, or There Will Be Blood, I had never seen a movie that was as intellectually engrossing as it was emotionally moving for me these past five years. I think one of the few movies rivaling the catharsis I got from Inception was The Killing, which was one of the first forays into non-linear and anachronistic storytelling by none other than one of the film greats, Stanley Kubrick.
It really was just that good.
I am hoping that if you’re reading this, you’ve already seen the movie. I saw it one-and-a-third times (I had to go home because I have curfew in my apartment), and in contrast to the intricate interpretations on the internet I am more in agreement with the simplest and (at least for me) most plausible interpretation: he was finally in reality at the end of it all, but even if he wasn’t, he didn’t really care as he had his family.
I think psychiatrists and psychologists will have a field day analyzing this movie; as I’m neither of the two I will just say that I refuse to recognize the entirety of the film as merely a dream because I think Christopher Nolan affords his viewers respect. He was able to churn out Inception from the genius of his mind because he respects his viewers as intelligent people: having the entirety of a film as a dream-sequence is, in my opinion, utterly a cop-out.
Exegetically speaking (from the ‘text’ of the movie), the top wobbled before the screen faded to black. Talking to the people with me who watched the film, most of us were of the opinion that he finally broke free from the shackles of his subconscious, his memory, and his past and faced reality even without the wife he dearly loved. Notice that in the dream-sequences the top never wobbles: it spins constantly and consistently, as if powered by an imaginary force that allowed perpetual motion. I also did not initially notice this, but Cobb has his wedding ring during his journeys into dreamworlds whereas in reality he doesn’t have it. That alone convinced me and my friends that he was finally free. Even Dileep Rao (Yusuf in the film), shares a lot of my insights. If anything, I think he knows a lot more about the film than I do.
(Enjoy the music.)
When I went to the theater there were few people watching the movie: I think this was due to the film’s ingenuity and non-linearity. A lot of people expected a summer blockbuster, full of explosions and gunfights. While there was enough to go around in the movie, I think a lot of people in this country expected only that. Most didn’t expect philosophy and intelligence to go with the action and the violence, and I think that’s the reason that there is only one room for its airing. More rooms were provided for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Last Airbender.
In conclusion, Inception is a brilliant film that welcomes re-watches just like series like Tatami Galaxy. It is open to a multitude of interpretations that have firm basis in the movie; it is philosophical and reflective, but also action-packed and evocative. It’s the kind of movie that shows up once in every five to ten years (if one’s lucky): the convergence of the story at the end is one of the most rewarding investments one can place in a movie, or in any medium. It’s also the kind of movie that stays with you days after one finished the movie for the first time. At least, it did with me.