Avast! Thar be spoilers ahead!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I am finding it difficult to write anything without erasing it. This is a great movie, a smart movie, a beautiful movie.

My dreams are intense, detailed, full of sensation. Often, I struggle to recall if some event, some conversation is in fact real or something I merely dreamt. I dream in color, I dream with temperature, I dream with taste and smell and touch. The place between dreaming and waking is unnerving for me. I feel as if I am moving between two realities. Which ever one I am in feels like the real one but I find it unappealing to shut myself off from my dream worlds.

I used to imagine that when we dream in this world, we wake up in another world, one of many worlds in which we live. We lead full lives in these other worlds but when we wake to each new world, the others fall away and we can grasp at only snatches of the others. Please, don't question my sanity. I understand REM sleep. I don't believe these things, I just like to imagine.

If any of this sounds like you, go see Inception. It exists in a world where these boundaries are very much blurred, where one can enter into shared dreams, where the projections of people in our dreams carry on even when they are not on stage. And isn't it fun to wonder if we are not just some one's projection, unaware that our entire lives take place inside one person's sleep, moving around and fulfilling ourselves just in case a brown haired, brown eyed woman of 25 is needed to ride a bus a few seats away from the dreamer. It is terrifying, too, because nothing is truly stable in a dream. At any moment the sun could cease to be.

In Inception, other people are allowed to enter a person's dream and manipulate their subconscious. For some, this is a flight of fancy, escapism. Some use it for purposes of theft of information. The difficulty in this movie is the implanting of an idea. One person is a dreamer but for everyone else the dream is "lucid", they are aware that they are in a dream world. In fact, they create the world for the dreamer.

Isn't that alone a beautiful impossibility. The plot obviously leaps to the cynical possibilities but can you imagine designing the world for a loved one to dream in. A world without nightmares. But then again, that is a world with a caged subconscious, which is more terrifying than someone fishing around my suppressed thoughts just to find out what my bank pin is.

Christopher Nolan, who not only directed but wrote the movie as well, is gifted with a frequency of lucid dreaming that I lack. Since he has experience in the manipulation of his own dreams, he took this idea even further than I had hoped. There is an amazing fight scene which takes place in both suspended and shifting gravity. There is also a scene in which an architect folds and manipulates the world physically.

If you want a movie you've never seen, a story you haven't already heard, I cannot recommend Inception enough.

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