So, why write something about a movie that is walking away at the box office? It’s one of the few films I would pay to see again, that’s why. Not because “I like it.” Who cares? For a film to get double time from me it has to be subtle and nuanced.
From my perspective, Inception is post-modern Jungian tale that dares toy with the subjects of synchronicity, individuation, redemption and resurrection. The film rattles the cage of philosophical encounter with questions of substance. Will I accept the responsibility for my own decisions or transfer that self-accountability to others or the circumstances I find myself in. Can I listen so deeply to the other’s story that I might find my place within their narrative? How deep I am willing to go into my darkness to discover the redemptive moment? Is resurrection a personal or communal experience?
Of course the obvious questions of reality or literal, linear existentialism are there to amuse us. One trapped in the experience of absolutism is annoyed by the inconclusiveness of the spinning totem. But, what does it matter? Is reality, or what is confused as truth, the necessity of existence? Not necessarily, given the possibility for love, given and received. But isn’t the demand for reality a projection of an inner demand for the personal perfection of egotism? As Cobb tells Mal, “you are too perfect, too flawed, too complex,” all of course, his own projections.
I will admit my own temptation to make the religious analogy, but, for fear of the precarious position of the totem, I resist, for now.
To the mundane; though no critic, I personally found Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance of the tortured, seeking soul is what kept me intrigued during this lengthy film. And while I have enjoyed Ellen Page’s acting in her two previous movies, I found this beyond my willingness to accept her as the best person for the character she was asked to become. However, Marion Cotillard as Mal was captivating, her expressions alone near plumbed the depths of despair. But I admit, the more troubled and complex the character, the more empathetic my soul.
One final comment, a labyrinth is not a maze – that was distracting – but, flaws tumble the top, no?