Saturday, August 28, 2010

Available Exclusively for Real Life

My Animus and I went, a while back, to see Inception, that new movie with Leonardo diCaprio et al., a bit of scifi-action movie blockbuster flickery. A crack team of con artists and peripheries work through a special drugging apparatus to share their target's dream, either for "extraction" - stealing secret data - or to attempt "inception" - an as-yet only theoretical practice of putting an idea into someone's mind. Leo And Friends™ decide the best way to inceive an idea into their target is to go three dreams deep, establishing a scenario where the target thinks he himself has come up with the idea.

That was the crash course version of the plot. Does it not, from that scenario, sound like it should be a Tarantino-inspired mindf***? And such was I expecting.

Which goes to show that even when one's expectations are unfulfilled one can be pleasantly surprised. But now, wondering what Briullov might draw from modern American movie-making, I find myself considering the ramifications of this summer blockbuster, this film that, despite all advertising and intellectual possibilities, chose not to make a psychological thriller, but a feel-good video game of a movie. If a character dies in the dreamworld(s), one of two things happens: if they're near the end of the drug's effects, they wake up; if not, they have an unpleasantly long trip through the subconscious, but still can, potentially, survive.

No one dies. All of the objectives are complete. Everyone is happy.

Wait. Wait. What?

What does it say about us that Inception is just a feel-good video game flick? It is a movie such as has obvious capacity to discuss - if not a Matrix-like high school student's level of inquiry into the nature of reality - then at least something relevant or intriguing to be stated about dreams, dreaming, imagination. Christopher Nolan's previous work queried the nature of neurosis and psychosis without becoming hyperintellectual; why not with Inception?

What are we so scared of facing?

No comments: