Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inception: A One Word Review

Have you ever had a friend overwhelmed with the desire to tell you about his/her dream? Regardless if you care or not, this “friend” will undoubtedly describe the previous night’s proceedings with the utmost sincerity.

This is how I feel about both the film Inception and its corresponding reception (Inception-reception, classic). For weeks I had to stomach a large percentage of my “friends” discussing the movie like it was a documentary about sad stuff. From what I understood it was a unique and complex picture that featured dreams and sexy folks dressed in their sexiest sexy clothes*. Other than the sexy quotient, these descriptions made me want to run faraway from the film, so faraway that I ended up running right into a theater to see it**.


They sure used the word “subconscious” a lot. Like a lot, a lot, even more than “inception,”***which they uttered with a pretty ballsy frequency for a titular word. This easily overlooked fact says a great deal about the films overall quality.

First and foremost, I should note that I hate the word subconscious. It is a pseudo-psychological term co-opted by New Agers, mystics, and poorly read hippies. Or to quote Sigmund Freud (you know the guy who invented this crap),

"We shall also be right in rejecting the term 'subconsciousness' as incorrect and misleading"

Incorrect and misleading sounds like a fairly apt criticism of Inception. I am not saying I did not like the film because it was unbelievable or confusing, it is that it purposefully aims to be unbelievable and confusing as a way to appear complex. Christopher Nolan has become increasingly adept at making what seems like high-minded cinema for a low-minded public. So he throws around buzzwords like “dreams” and “subconscious” so everyone knows this film is serious/important/intelligent.

I understand there are redeemable factors of the 2.5 hours of actions: Joseph Gordon Levitt’s fight seen was boss, Leo is good at feeling sad/ambiguous/confused about his film wife’s death****, and Marion Cotillard has a face like she does. Still, dreams are not interesting. Likewise, Christopher Nolan’s dream of making a film about dreams is equally not interesting.

*Other than Ellen page obviously. Apparently, in her dreams she still dresses like a hip, smart-alec, twee, newly impregnated, buzzworthy 16 year old.

** I waited for a matinee because I did not want to spend full price on a movie I wanted to see to NOT like.

***That was always paired with a quite obvious Hans Zimmer cue.

****Is this a market he is trying to corner, like Ben Affleck with converting lesbian stories? Long story short, the next pretty faced actress who gets cast opposite LD better not expect to be playing a person who is alive, real, or not crazy.

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