“Inception”, the movie, is a complex science fiction thriller, a kind of “Mission Impossible” meets the “The Matrix”.The basic premise is that it has become possible for highly skilful and technically equipped specialists to break into other people's dreams. This is done in order to extract information the target does not wish to share with others, by getting closer to his or her subconscious. That is “extraction”. But the trick our specialists are asked to perform here is different and more difficult: break into the traget's dream and plant an idea, an intention, the target would otherwise not have had. This is inception.
The strength of this film is that the complexities at the heart of this plot are well thought through and credibly presented. This makes the film intellectually gripping but also demanding as far as the viewers' attention span is concerned: if you snooze you quickly lose the plot. Another strength of the film are the stunning and beautifully filmed dreamscapes.
There is also a subsidiary plot that is intended to play on our emotion as much as the main plot plays on our intellect; it did not do that for me, or at least that is what I thought at the time.
Those who like intelligent science fiction, will find Inception a piece of film art and entertainment of very high quality.
Inception may be more emotionally engaging than I originally thought. A day after seeing it, I had a dream in which my French teacher from high school appeared and berated me for not making the most of my talent for languages. Why did I only want to learn French, Spanish and Italian? These languages were much too close to the languages I already knew, he said. “You must challenge yourself and take an intensive course in Mandarin Chinese; yes it's a risk, but without taking risks you'll get nowhere!” Perhaps Inception is not science fiction but science fact and a team of experts from the People's Republic is messing with my dreams.......