Slowpoke accusations be excused, I finally got to watch Inception on the big screen last night.
It was so utterly brilliant and mind-bending. Half of my mind is currently inaccessible, pondering and de-constructing the whole movie in my background of my subconscious; a huge problem at work. But then again, this always happens to me whenever I finish a story so brilliant and cathartic at the same time. It’s exactly the same state-of-mind I was stuck in when I first finished Evangelion*1 (up to EoE).
Inception is one of those rare productions that not only is brilliantly layered and steeped with imagery, it also manages to touch out to something innately in my soul.
An example is the time-dilation effect in the movie is something that I experience daily, as a master of catnapping. I always wake up feeling as if I’ve just experienced a period of time a few times much longer than the real duration of my naps, and I daresay many will find that similar. Inception using that as a central plot device really resonated with me.
The overriding consensus about Inception is that it is a movie about filmmaking, and it’s something I highly agree on. But one of the best views about it that I subscribe to now after watching states the whole movie is basically a dream and there isn’t a ‘solid’ reality grounding it, which is basically as meta as fuck as you can get.
This brings me to a book I believe that really should be read in accompaniment to watching Inception; The Stories of Ibis. The idea of layered “realities”*2 that is shared between both works offers a really interesting complementary view between each other, yet it is amazingly contrasting in origins. More importantly, while “inception” is the device driving the plot in the eponymous movie, Stories of Ibis ends with the inception of an idea; both works masterfully using the concept as a cathartic device.
Ah, but enough of the literary-wannabe comparisons.
That is the problem I have with my own string-of-consciousness writing. The really appealing part of Inception is just how it captures my imaginations so easily, leaving me changed yet still feeling essentially same apart from the feeling I’ve had a new dimension opened up to me. A new angle and view that feels it has been a part of myself for a long time, but only just noticed it was there.
Inception is utterly brilliant, smart and left a parasite of an idea and worldview in my mind; staying rooted in my mind and making it’s indelible excellence in it. It is an example of works that transcend boundaries; of media, enviroments and even plot holes. The fact that the ending is kept ambiguous*3 is icing on the cake.
1One of the interesting similarities I noticed with Inception and Evangelion is the concept of a whitespace – a Limbo – that is the depths of our subconscious and can be molded and shaped by the characters themselves. It’s also interesting to note that whenever characters in Inception dive down to Limbo, they end up on a shoreline, which instantly recalls to me the memories of EoE’s enigmatic ending. Not actually a surprising similarity but Christopher Nolan uses it in a more utilitarian manner than Anno did, although Anno’s creations arguably had a more grounded reality compared to Inception, relatively speaking.
2Forgive the liberal usage of “reality” here, but in a sense, the ideas are relatively similar between both works. The dreams in Inception are the mind’s subconscious constructs, while in Ibis the Layers are also similar excepting that it is created by the AI’s own self-conscious programmings based on their learning experiences. I really should finish that Ibis article languishing in my Drafts folder for a month or two, by now.
3I believe that the top eventually stopped spinning. I must add that the totem idea was severely underutilized in Inception.