Friday, July 30, 2010

Inception on Whidbey

So for the last few weeks we have been hearing about the movie Inception. The reviews have been wonderful with a full 87% from Rotten Tomatoes.

So Dan and I and Mary and Randy waited in the ferry line for over 1 1/2 hours so we could go to Everett to see the movie!

Surprise! Yes the movie was really worth seeing and waiting for an hour and half in the ferry line. I have to say I think the movie was at least a single shot.

This movie is very involved and involves a complex idea or two. Still it is understandable and enjoyable and I really think everyone should see it. Pay attention when watching it though and dont evaluate it until you are done with the movie. Just sit back and go along for the ride.

The following is a synopsis of Inception. It does contain spoilers so if you dont want to know the movie then dont read further.

The movie starts with Dom Cobb (Leonardo) washed up to a beach. He is injured and seems delirious. He opens his eyes once and sees two kids playing on the beach. Some men with guns take him to an old man telling him Cobb is alone with a pistol and a small brass top. The old man tells Cobb that he had once known a man who had that top with him and his name was Cobb.

The scene shifts to Cobb, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Saito (Ken Watanabe) having a quiet dinner, while Cobb is explaining that if Saito wants to protect himself from Extraction (stealing an idea from dream) he would have to let Cobb into his mind. Tell him all his secrets. Saito seems uncertain and a little suspicious and leaves the room saying he will consider the proposal. Cobb and Arthur move out of the room and Arthur says Saito suspects something is wrong. Cobb says 'All the secrets are in that room. He looked right at it when i said safe'. Arthur then points out a woman in the crowd to Cobb and asks 'what is she doing here?'. Cobb then goes to meet her and he calls her 'Mal'.

Next scene we see Mal and Cobb in a room, Cobb makes Mal sit on a chair and ties a rope to the leg and ties to climb out of the window down the building. We get to know from their conversation both know each other very well. Cobb climbs into the same room where he was previously having dinner and opens a safe and takes an yellow envelope. Just then Saito and Mal enter the room with guns. Cobb asks Saito if Mal told him the truth. Siato says 'what truth? that we are all in a dream?' Then we see Cobb, Arthur and Saito actually sleeping in a room and a fourth guy monitoring them. Outside the house they are sleeping in, mobs are rioting and getting closer.

Back to the dream, Mal brings in Arthur and shoots him in the leg, because killing someone in the dreams will only wake them up, but pain is part of the brain and it's the same in the real or dream world. Cobb shoots Arthur in the head and kills him, and Arthur wakes up in the house. In the dream, all hell breaks lose, fighting and gunshots and buildings crumbling, Cobb tries to read the papers in the envelope.

In the sleep house Arthur tells the monitor (Nash) to wake up Cobb, who pushes Cobb into a bath full of water. With amazing dream visuals of water breaking through walls and entering into dream in sync with the real world bath water, Cobb wakes up, and so does Saito. There is a struggle between all, and Cobb says Saito didn't put all the secrets in the safe and he needs them for the men who hired him, he threatens to kill him. Saito then realizes even this is a dream and it is the 4th guy's (Nash's). As the rioting mob from outside breaks into the house all 4 of them wake up in a train. Cobb and Arthur and the dream architect leave the train. Saito wakes up alone with a teenage kid in his compartment.

Next scene we realize, Cobb has been running from US authorities. He has two kids and they are with their grandmother in the US. Cobb and Arthur decide to lie low for a while thinking their employer would not be very pleased about the botched job. Saito catches up with them with his men and offers a proposal.

He wants Cobb to carry out Inception (putting an idea successfully into someone's mind). If he succeeds, Saito will make sure all charges against him are dropped and then he can return to the US and go back home to his kids. Cobb agrees to this in desperation, knowing that Inception - unlike Extraction - is an extremely complicated process.

To assemble the dream team he goes to meet his father-in-law (Mal's father), named Miles (Michael Caine), who is a professor in a university and asks for a good architect. Miles resists at first because he thinks Cobb is going to use the architect for his espionage, but when Cobb tells Miles that it is the only way for him to get out of the mess he is in and that it should be left on the architect to decide whether he/she wants to take the job or refuse it, Miles decides to help him. Miles introduces him to Ariadne (Ellen Page), saying she is better than him. Cobb then takes her into a dream and makes her realize in the dream that you can design your dream environment - be an architect. She starts building the world as she goes walking in the dream. Cobb then explains all the nuances of designing a dream, that you can allow someone's subconscious into your dream and that is why Cobb is there, and all the people around him are his projections or shades, where as the dream world itself is designed by Ariadne.

As she keeps changing the worlds he warns her that too much of change warns the subconscious that its not real but a dream, and people in the dream start staring at her. She creates a bridge out of memory, which Cobb recollects as one of the places at which he spent time with Mal, he worriedly tells her creating something exactly like a memory brings out the sides of subconscious that they won't like. Suddenly everyone grabs them and Mal walks up to Ariadne and stabs her. Both Cobb and Ariadne wake up in a workhouse. She freaks out completely and leaves. Cobb tells Arthur that she will be back and he goes to get a forger (imitator) and with Saitos help brings Eames (Tom Hardy ) and Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist, into the team. Yusuf tells them about a sedative which is used for complicated layered dream.

The team decides to do a three layered dream set, with the third layer being the crucial point where the idea will be planted. The target is Robert Fischer, Jr., a multibillion dollar oil company heir. Fischer's father is dying and he is preparing to assume control of his father's vast empire. His godfather is Browning, a key part of the empire. Saito wants Cobb to plant an idea in Fischer's head that will split up his father's company. Because he wants to verify that the idea is implanted, Saito will accompany the team into the dreams.

While prepping for the job Ariadne learns that Mal is Cobb's deceased wife and actually sees a bit of his past while in his dream one day. He has issues that are making him unable to architect any dream without bringing in Mal as a spoiler. Ariadne warns him he should tell others. Cobb tells her that, this is why he is avoiding knowing the architecture of the dream she is creating so he doesn't know the secrets so that Mal cannot learn them either.

Arthur explains to Ariadne about totems, something which tells a person whether he is in a dream or real life. Cobb has a small brass top (same as the one we see in the beginning of the movie). Arthur explains that in a dream a spinning top would never stop. Arthur has a loaded dice. Ariadne sets to build a totem, a chess piece, for herself.

When Fischer Sr. dies, the team decides to execute the plan on a plane to LA in which Fischer Jr. is carrying his father's coffin. Saito buys all the seats in the first class cabin, so that the only passengers in the first class section are the dream team, Fischer Jr., and the monitor, the airline stewardess, whose cooperation the dream team has arranged. Cobb is seated directly behind Fischer and makes small talk with him soon after boarding, and a few moments later slips a powerful sedative into Fischer's drink as he passes it to him from the stewardess. The dream team members quickly hook themselves up and enter the dream.

They enter the first level of dream. It is raining heavily. Arthur, Saito and Eames kidnap Fischer and take him to a warehouse. On the way Cobb's subconscious brings a freight train right in the middles of the road and they get ambushed on the way by gunmen, and Cobb explains that Fischer might have been trained against dream extraction and these are his defenses. They some how reach the warehouse but Saito gets hit in the chest with a bullet. When Eames tries to kill him to put him out of his misery, Cobb stops him saying the sedative they all took will not allow them to wake up. If you die before the sedative wears off you just go into a limbo, a lower world of dreams which could mean eternity to a mind stuck in there. By the time you wake up your mind could be scrambled and you lose all sense of reality.

When Ariadne confronts him about being the cause of the train in the middle of the road, he confesses that he can't seem to get Mal out of his dream.

Eames impersonates Browning and screams like he is being tortured. Arthur and Cobb talk to Fischer wearing masks. They tell him there is a safe in his office and they want the code to that. Fischer denies knowing of any safe. But when he hears Browning (really Eames) scream he asks them to let him speak to him. Eames impersonating Browning tells him his father wrote a second will dissolving the empire and he, Fischer can use it if he wants to. Fischer wonders why he would want to dissolve his empire, Browning says maybe his father wanted him to build his own, and that he loved him. Fischer says his father didn't love him because his last words to him were that he was 'disappointed'.

Fischer's defenses start closing in on the warehouse. They decide to do the second level dream in a van. Yusuf is to drive the van and he should drive it off the bridge. They enter the second dream sequence constructed by Ariadne and Arthur. It is a restaurant in a hotel where Cobb meets Fischer as his security officer. Cobb convinces Fischer that he should enter a dream and discover Browning's secrets. They all gather in a hotel room and enter the third level.

Third level of dream is set in snow mountains, where the safe is in a fortress guarded heavily by armed men. Cobb tells Fischer that he must go to the house and open the safe. Eames and the rest draw the guards away.

I did not include the ending and a few other things have been left out as well so I dont spoil the whole movie! If you want all the spoilers then go to the highlighted "Inception". If not then go see the movie. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Inception on Whidbey Island.

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