HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
I am way late in chiming in on this one, but I will not go gently into that good Autumn without posting my thoughts on INCEPTION.
This was the movie of the summer, and unless something pretty stunning comes along in the next few months, easily the movie of the year.
INCEPTION immediately shows depth. Most filmmakers would have taken this kind of story and used the dream within a dream concept as the big climactic twist. INCEPTION starts with this idea. It takes you straight to the coolest concept—the one the average writer would have achieved by the end of the movie, and then goes from there to far greater heights. By the time the film is over, you’ve been swept away through a series of concepts that leave you puzzling over them long after you walk out of the theater.
The movie takes its time establishing the rules of the game. Once you’ve been prepped, it then takes you into one arena after another, never quite leaving any of them behind. There are points when you feel your brain teetering on being overwhelmed, but you’re having so much fun, you push yourself to keep up.
The acting was incredible, except for one small flaw in the film. The actor who played Tadashi (the one who hires Cobb) was often unintelligible. In a movie that relies on such complicated ideas, this is definitely a distraction. Everyone else was very impressive.
As far as the ending, for the pessimist—just relish the cryptic and therefore intriguing nature of the last shot.
For the optimist—it seems that the shot lasted just long enough to allow a slight wobble.
Jon Byron told me about a review he read which pointed out the deeper significance of that final moment. All through the movie, whenever Cobb spun the totem to test his reality, he held a loaded gun in his hand, apparently prepared to commit suicide if the totem kept spinning. This would mean his love was waiting in the more real-reality, one bullet away.
But in the final scene, he simply spins the totem and walks away. Regardless of whether or not this was reality, Cobb was ready to live in this one. The one where he was united with his children. I thought this was a valid observation.
In my opinion, the themes of recovery and second chances and closure are too strong to end it with a definite dark chord. The Nolans were just doing what most film makers never allow you to do.
Think for yourself.