What is Inception about?
I received the text hours after seeing the movie, from someone who was not aware that I was even seeing it. The TV ads and posters present a certain idea about the movie. It is a heist film featuring dreamscapes. That is a complex idea presented as simply as possible. The characters go into people’s minds to extract information. This is a brilliant science fiction concept by itself.
But what is inception?
The premise of the film goes beyond the technology that we are immediately forced to accept at face value. Inception is the opposite of the crew’s normal work. Instead of extracting hidden information, they are hired to plant information – an idea – into someone’s mind. So this is less of a heist movie and more of a… What is the opposite of heist? It is that type of movie. They are putting information into someone’s head to convince the person that he came up with the idea himself, and it is very complicated.
So, is that what Inception is about?
No. Like any good science fiction story, there is more than just the plain text premise. The tech and the goal are just the means for getting to the core human experience being explored. Inception is not just about implanting ideas in the minds of others. It is about grief and guilt, or buried emotions. Dom Cobb explains that implanting an idea is like installing a virus, which then spreads throughout the rest of the psyche. The viewers see for themselves that negative emotions can work the same way.
Is that it?
Not even close. The concept alone is brilliant, but then there is the execution of the film itself. There is almost too much in this movie to discuss and analyze. Inception may be the science fiction movie of the year, if not simply the movie of the year. The only problem that people may have with it is the complexity. It may be a bit hard to follow, but that is part of the overall joy.
And then you might have to mull over that ending for a little while… It is all part of the charm.