After a lot of hype an anticipation, this had a lot to live up to… and it did.
This wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t as good as some of his other films, especially “The Dark Knight” and “Batman Begins”, but it is certainly in contention. The plotting was at times at bit baggy, plodding and overall, I think that it should have been about 20 minutes shorter.
That’s not to say that the last 20 minutes should go, but throughout the film, there are to many moments that aren’t paced as well as they could be.
Pacing is very important to me, in any film, the tone is set by the speed, fast or slow but this to me, as a blockbuster needed to be a little more punchy, as proven by the fact that my mind would wonder a bit in some action sequences, such as the lift shaft sequence.
Complex it was, and hard to follow, in some ways yes, but overall, I wanted a little more complexity. Detailed though it was, it failed to engross me entirely in the dream world and felt that it almost explained and rationalised too much about the dream states, which in real life are at times freaky and confused.
This cleaned up the narrative mess that exist in a dream, such as frustration and repetitiveness etc. There was no sense that a nightmare was about be born or any real exploration of the emotional drive of dreams.
A lot of these points were touched upon but never truly explored. This was in favour of a more cinematic narrative which looked stunning, there no doubt about that, but I felt that this was like a comedy with a high budget. Not literally of course but the fact that this would have done better as a small scale, low budget film like Nolan’s “Memento”, a work of true genius.
The mind is an interesting thing and dreams even more so but it is very hard to bring the world of dreams to screen in a truly coherent state without sacrifice. I feel that he may have sacrificed a tad too much but that is not to say that he has blown it because he certainly hasn’t!
The casting for this film was a triumph. DiCaprio was outstanding, as was Tom Hardy. The rest offered great performances and it was interesting to see Tom Berenger after all these years.
But this film was certainly aided by a fantastic score by Hans Zimmer. Heavily electronic, this was a powerful and yet moving score, driving the narrative as a great score should.
Nolan has done well with this, pushing the blockbuster bar that bit higher, proving that intelligence in the core summer audience is not to be underestimated. This is a concern though. I feel that given to much freedom, Nolan will fall in to the trap of self indulgence over pallet-ability and profitability.
Art House has its place, as do Summer Blockbusters and I think that the marriage of these is a worthy enterprise but it is a fine line to walk and I fear that Nolan is running out of room.
“Inception” WOULD have been brilliant on a lower budget with fewer visual spectacle and more character and dream exploration, but as it stands it very, and I mean VERY good.
I have my critiques of some of its pacing and its place in the genres but no quibbles about the acting and feel of this outstanding film.
But this needs a repeat viewing to truly appreciate I feel…