Anissa Sandra S. Villaverde
Recently, I was given a chance to re-watch one of my favourite Hollywood films of all time. Inception is a brilliant film by Christopher Nolan that explores the idea of the dream state; where the mind can exercise its limitless power.
What I admire about the film was its ability to portray the real dreamer’s experience-- the difficulty of remembering the beginning of a dream, external factors affecting the dreamer’s body also affecting conditions in a dream, the idea of cuts within the dream, the “kick” dreamers experience before waking, the difficulty of distinguishing dream from reality. This is one of the factors that draw the audience in. The authenticity of the dreamer’s experience makes it relatable to a lot of people. Moreover, it does not only recreate the things we experience when we dream, but it was also able to give explanations to some of these experiences. The film also depicts how powerful the mind is. Its power to create and remember realities can only be realized when we dream.
I also was fascinated with the concepts of inception and extraction introduced in the film. The mind is every person’s sacred palace, and the idea of having someone infiltrate it is quite intriguing. Also, this is done through dreaming; what used to be a highly private and personal activity can now be used to take control of you. With this, the film demonstrates the power of ideas; the ability of an idea to grow and to make you question things of this reality.
Aside from all these, what made the film even more remarkable was its ambiguous ending. At the end, Nolan lets the audience decide whether Cobb was in a dream or a reality. To this day, the debate between the two sides remains unsettled. This again shows how ideas are powerful as it was able to spark heated discussions among its viewers. The film is also very interactive; it calls upon critical thinking from the audience, which not a lot of huge Hollywood films are able to do. I have read enough forums and re-watched the movie enough times to believe that it was, indeed, a reality.* Whatever the answer to that may be, it does not change the fact that Inception has become one of the most outstanding films of the decade.
*(HINT: in the dream state, Cobb wears a wedding ring, but it disappears when he’s not in a dream. At the end of the film, he doesn’t wear a ring)