I dreamed that I saw a pretty good movie the other day.
Inception, it must be said, is one of those films that one has to watch a second time. What's odd about that is that it reminds me vaguely of another film that I puzzled my way through at this same level of intensity, except that I can't remember the name of that other movie at all. Perhaps it was Vantage Point. Or maybe it was Deception.
What strikes me about Inception is that it is a gamelike film that creates for the audience, a set of rules that instruct you how to interpret the meaning of the action on screen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. It works brilliantly in the jump cuts lacking continuity that force you to ask, how did we get here? It fails when you have to keep three simultaneous plots working in your head, two of which are visually arresting. And then the entire enterprise struggles under the weight of the unexpected and the subplot. Inception is easily the most complicated drama since Memento, and yet is more complex even than that, because it is possible that the entire movie takes place in a loop.
It is not enormously entertaining so much as it is intriguing to guess at how the director, writers and editor put the whole thing, which actually does congeal, together. This film sustains multiple levels of suspense and marvel that overwhelm the drama of the plot. You care about the primary motivations of the protagonist, and yet you know them to be a device to get to the complications. DiCaprio even plays against sympathy.
All said, this is a movie worth talking about, three levels deep plus limbo.