A Few Thoughts on Inception
Inception when watched on DVD at home is an entertaining waste of time. The film is purportedly about dreams and to that end most of what is shown is there to provoke the audience into asking questions about the film’s reality. This is a film that fits into the small trend of films released around the millennium that questioned the nature of reality. There was, of course, The Matrix, a film sold on its supposed intellectual qualities as much as it was sold on the then ground breaking special effects. Rather happily, for me at rate, Inception is a better and smarter film than The Matrix.
Also unlike The Matrix, Inception is a film that remembers that science fiction is often a parasite genre which latches onto the structural forms of other genre to convey its message. Inception may be a film about dream worlds but it owes far more to the heist film than any pure idea of science fiction. It isn’t too hard to imagine some future sequel to Ocean’s Eleven about putting incriminating documents inside a sealed bank vault and all that separates that imaginary film from Inception is a change of scenery and explanatory dialogue.
Still Inception isn’t a cynical film which assumes the audience are stupid. While Inception lacks any intellectual depth this might be excused because it is about dreams and the surface detail is all that counts. And Inception is an enjoyable two hours of surface detail.