A Dream Within a Dream

Inception just might be Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious film to date. After what was arguably Nolan’s best work (The Dark Knight), no one knew how he would be able to top himself. Against all odds, Inception proved to be that film. This time dreams are the concept he’s chosen to tackle. A concept that may seem simple on paper, but is actually far more complex than any individual can comprehend. So the idea of Inception peaked a lot of interest. As if the director’s talent wasn’t enough. The ensemble cast consisting of Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Marion Cotillard. As well as old favorites like Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, and Ken Watanabe certainly helped. The first trailer for Inception blew everyone away with its enormous dreamlike visuals and unmistakable horns. Upon release, Inception was met with critical acclaim and 8 Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Its most notable win being for Best Visual Effects. I can’t say my first viewing gave me the same reaction. While I was sure I liked the movie, I was still left horribly confused. All it took was a second viewing to make things clear…


The city folds

Inception begins and ends with a dream. One of vision and the other of reality. Dom Cobb works in corporate espionage. He specializes in the practice of extracting valuable information from a person’s dreams. Operating experimental technology which allows several individuals to share the same dream. The first target we see is a Japanese businessman named Mr. Saito. He soon turns out to be a client who asks Cobb to perform an impossible task. In exchange for Cobb to see his children again. So Cobb assembles a team to help cover every complex detail of the plan. The team consists of his partner Arthur, in charge of researching the target. A young architect named Ariadne, in charge of constructing the dreamscape (mazes). A forger named Eames, in charge of impersonating someone’s identity. Pharmacologist Yusaf, in charge of sleep sedation. As well as Saito himself, there to ensure the mission’s success. Their impossible task is to implant an idea into the mind of a wealthy heir named Fischer. Inception covers many facets of a dream. Such as the concept of a “dream within a dream.” With dreams having many levels of subconscious. Or the fact that dreams always seem much longer than they actually are in the real world. Inception uses the idea of a totem. An object that helps a person tell whether they’re dreaming or not. Cobb’s totem is a spinning top that will continue spinning unless he’s awake. He uses it a lot because his dreams are constantly haunted by the mental projection of his deceased wife Mal and his children, whose faces remain unseen. While most people dream of fantastical things like flying. Inception portrays dreams in a more grounded way. Building’s fold in half, hallways defy gravity, and entire city’s can be constructed. The team also uses a “kick.” Something sudden that wakes you up instantly. I don’t know that we’ll ever truly understand dreams, but I’ll always look forward to having them. In the end, the top just keeps spinning. Inception is one of the best films released in the 2010’s, and the decade had barely even started yet.


Arthur runs in a spinning hallway

One thought on “A Dream Within a Dream

  1. I saw Inception when it first came out in theaters. The production was amazing, but I have seen Paprika first and it’s a shame that Christopher Nolan never owned up to ripping off that movie.

    Liked by 1 person

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