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Released in 2010, Inception in an American science fiction movie. Written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan, the movie is a block buster. Star cast of the movie includes Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe and Ellen Page. DiCaprio plays the major role of Dom Cobb, a con having the ability to get inside the dreams of the victims mind and extract information from their subconscious mind. Although after the death of his wife Mal Cobb had decided to no longer perform the acts of inception but when he is offered with the opportunity to go back to his old life in exchange of one last job he decides to go for it as if he is successful he will be able to see his children (Eisenberg, 2010).
Analysis of Inception's Media Content:
Character and Their Roles:
' Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a con who carries the ability of extracting secrets from people's minds while they are dreaming. Cobb hires Arthur, Ariadne, Eames, Saito, and Yusuf to implant an idea in Fischer Jr.'s mind (Kit, 2009).
' Ken Watanabe plays Mr. Saito, a Japanese businessman who employees Cobb to implant an idea on Fischer's mind.
' Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Arthur, basically Cobs partner (Kit, 2009).
' Marion Cotillard plays Mal Cobb, Cobbs deceased wife and keeps on visiting his dreams persuading him to stay with her in the dreamland forever (Kit, Three circle Nolan's 'Inception, 2009).
' Ellen Page as Ariadne, she is a architect and is given the responsibility to construct the location of the dreams.
' Tom Hardy as Eames, he acts as a shape shifter and takes form of Browning and Fischer Sr. during the mission.
' Dileep Rao as Yusuf, he is a doctor who formulates sedatives needed to keep somebody in a dream state
' Cillian Murphy as Robert Michael Fischer, he plays the role of heirloom of Fischer Sr Entire Corporation. Saito hires Cobb to enter Fischer Jr. mind (Rosson, 2010)
Dom Cobb played by Di Caprio is a highly skilled thief who has the power of entering into people's subconscious mind while they are dreaming and then steal valuable secrets from them. This ability of Cobb has converted him into a coveted player who is mostly hired by multinationals to steal ideas from their rivals mind. However, due to his ability he lost his wife Mal. He got stuck in her in a limbo for around 50 years and when he finally woke her up from the dream by planting the idea in her minds that 'your world is not real' she has a hard time accepting the reality. She loses value of her children for her it was only her and Cobb she could not find any emotional attachment with her children moreover she believing the dream life was far much better she decides to go back into it by killing herself in a suicide and portraying it like Cobb killed her. She committed suicide believing once she would die she would go back in the dream land and Cobb would eventually follow her. Since Cobb was blamed for the murder he leaving his children behind fled the country (Outlaw, 2010). Taking advantage of his weakness Japanese businessman Mr. Saito hires him but his job is different rather than stealing an idea he wants to place an idea into his rival Robert Fischer Jr.. Fischer Jr. is about to inherent his father empire which is a competitive to Saitos business. Saito wants Cobb to enter Fischer's mind and plant the idea in his head that he should break his father's empire and sell the pieces in the market. Like this Saito will keep on dominating the market while in return he will make arrangements with the U.S. government to wind up Cobb's case letting him enter U.S. and be with his children (Warner Bros Pictures, 2010).
The Basic Elements of Inception:
Firstly to understand the plot better we need to understand the basic terms of inception which in different phases have been defined by the team selected by Cobb's to help him with this mission.
To plant an idea in to the victims head also known as mark the Cobb and others need to go into the a third-level dream i.e. a dream within a dream within a dream. In the initial phases the dreamers can be awaken if they feel they falling also known as 'the kick'. However, in the third level dream defined as 'the limbo' in the movie it is almost impossible to wake up because the dreamer starts believing this is the real world and can live for centuries in it just like Cobb and his wife did. Also, the dreamers have control on the time during inception. (Outlaw, 2010).
The Five Levels of the Movie:
There are mainly five levels of the movie. In the first level the entire team travels with Fischer Jr. in the plane that takes off from Sydney for L.A. In the plan they sedate Fischer and take his subconscious in to the dream. The level two starts when Yusuf the chemist starts dreaming and Cobb, Arthur, Fischer, Ariadne, Saito and Eames become participants in his dream. Here Eams takes form of Fischer's right hand man Browing. He visits Fischer Jr and tells him that he is being tortured by the Inception group to tell them the combination of his father's safe and they will not stop till they do not see the company dissolving. Like this successfully the first seed is implanted in Fischer Jr's mind that it is dangerous to inherent his father's business. Fischer Jr however, does not become fully scared he decides to go after the thieves and the entire team is chased in a busy street in a van. During the chase, Satio gets shot in this level, starts bleeding to death and goes into a Limbo. While Arthur starts to dream again and takes everybody to level three in a hotel room where Cobb convinces Fischer Jr. that the inception team is not the enemy in fact it is Browning and other members of his father's empire who are his enemy and Browning made up the story of being tortured so Fischer Jr. can give it to him easily. To make him believe more Cobb offers to take him into Browning mind where he can see the truth himself. As Fischer Jr. agrees they all fall into sleep and enter Eams dream which is the level four. Since Eams is imposing as Browning Fischer Jr. believes he is visiting Browning mind. The team takes him to the fort to show that his rallies are the real enemy however before they reach it Eams with his army of soldiers bring the fortress down thus proving to Fischer Jr that the Inception team was right. However, this is when Mal appears she is a creation of Cobbs guilt and shoots Fischer Jr who goes into a Limbo (Rosson, 2010).
The fifth stage is basically the limbo which is a shared state by everybody. Cobb and Ariadne go into it to find Mal as she is holding both Fischer Jr. and Saito. Mal gives up Fischer Jr. after making Cobb promise that he will stay with her in Limbo forever. Cobb tells Ariadne that she can get out of limbo by killing herself he knows this because him and Mal were also able to leave Limbo by coming in front of a train so Ariadne grabs Fischer and jumps off the building while Cobb convinces Mal that he cannot stay with her because the kids back home need him. He finds Saito who like Mal had started believing that Limbo was the real world for some time Cobb also believed the same but then eventually got out of it and shoots Saito before shooting himself. Once they are shot they wake up in the plane (Rosson, 2010).
On the other hand Ariadne and Fischer Jr. go back in to the fourth level Eams dream where Eams takes the shape of Fischer Sr. telling Fisher Jr. that he should sell off the empire to save himself from the same fate as his father. Fischer Jr agrees to do so which brings a successful end to the mission. Arthur who had stayed back in his dream of level three separates the elevator from the shaft and it starts to fall which takes Eams, Ariadne, and Fischer back to Yusuf's dream who throws the van in the water which brings Arthur and Yusuf back into reality. Ariadne and Fischer Jr. wake up after the sedation wears off them.
Since the mission is successful Saito calls the U.S. authorities and once the plane lands Cobb is able to meet with his children at the airport. However, the end is quite interesting because just before Cobb sees his children he swindles the top. When in a dream the top does not stop spinning but when in reality the top stops but this is where it gets interesting because before he could see if the top stops or not his kids arrives and he rushes to them. This gives viewers the perception that he might still be in a limbo and is getting to see his children in a dream (Outlaw, 2010).
Strengths and Weaknesses:
The strengths of the movie are numerous almost uncountable. It is good enough to be compared with Matrix. However, when analyzed it is quite different from matrix. Matrix is about learning the truth while this is about creating a lie. The world that Nolan has created is original, sophisticated, entertaining and simply brilliant to look at. I must say it is the best feature of the summer a must watch (Movies Online). Whereas, the weaknesses are concerned there are loopholes in the plot such as no proper distinction between reality and a dream. Every character in the dream is given a totem which will make them identify if they are in reality or a dreamlike for Cobb it his wife spinning top but audience is not given with any totem. The plot is so confusing that audience is often left wondering whether the scene was a reality or a dream.
Critical Suggestions to the Director:
Nolan's past experience shows that he is not so good with female characters. He has handled the women both in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight rather poorly the same typical trend is seen in this movie. The role of Adriane at many places appears to be uncompelling and underdeveloped. She is not as rounded as other male characters of the movie (Movies Online). Also there are places where the movie becomes boring especially in the beginning where Cobb visits Saito's dream and in the last level where Saito and Cobb are talking trying to remember real life it gets really boring if maybe the director could cut the shot a bit it would be much better. Apart from these factors the rest is all good. Although the last scene of the movie has received a lot of criticism because it creates a doubt in the mind of the viewer whether the entire movie is a fantasy or there were certain pieces of reality in it. But what the audience doesn't realize that this is the best part of the movie the end has basically added spice to the movie and has given us a reason to discuss it after we leave the theatre or to watch it again to solve the mystery.