Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inception Movie: A Leap of Faith

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
"You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where this train will take you?"

What a marvelous quote!!!

First off - this review will reveal plot developments and ... well practically the entire story. So if you have not watched the film and still want to be surprised by the story, don't read this...

I liked it. I liked it because it was well directed, had great pacing, excellent action sequences, it had great lines, and esp. great acting. (Did anyone else feel the sheer venom coming from Mal (Cobb's wife)?)

It flowed logically - meaning the audience could follow the absurd story. And there were plenty of good action sequences in it to keep us from getting bored. I think this is the hallmark of a good film - you keep the audience entertained and enthralled... even over a spinning top, the totem.

So the story is about this dream thief, Dom (Dominic) Cobb, who lost his wife, Mal, and blames himself for her tragic fate. He is able, through special technology, to enter into people's dreams and steal their ideas or plant new ideas into their brain.

He gets an offer from Saito, a rich Industrialist, to sabotage his rival's plans to dominate the energy industry.

In this whole process he and his friends undergo a series of harrowing chase and fight sequences which sometimes involves his "dead" wife whose "presence" or his perception of her, he has hidden in his sub-conscious.

OK! Here comes the big spoiler: Its all just ONE BIG DREAM. From the very start to the finishing end. The whole movie story is a dream.

Just a dream. Just a dream. (Cue R.E.M's song Losing my religion)

The totem, and all, including the plot of hatch inception, may be just a red herring.

So Cobbs never in reality enters the dream world of Saito who later saves him from his ex-client's hitmen, and then goes to his rival's son to plant an idea into his mind so that he can be reunited with his children who are separated from because the US authorities blame him for murdering his wife.

The only thing that is probably real is
1. Mal is dead/divorce.
2. Cobb feels extremely guilty about her death/divorce
3. Cobb can't be with his kids.

Think about it:
1. Why would Saito, the Japanese Industrialist who ranks No. 2 in the Energy Industry have been sitting alone on a bullet train? He's so rich he can buy an airline yet he's driving around in the back alleys of a 3rd world nation to personally rescue Cobb from a gang of mercenaries. I'm sure this is something Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs do in their spare time.

2. Why did Saito repeat the same line as Cobb's wife:
"I want you take a leap of faith with me."
I don't think its a coincidence. But it would make sense if the entire plot occurred in a dream world.

3. Cobb's children - they don't age. Not in the dream, not in real life. In the end sequence, we see Cobb's children again - in the same pose in the garden, and wearing similar clothing. Yes, another coincidence? I don't think so.

4. One probable hint: Mal, his wife, tells him that he is in a dream. Or rather Cobb's subconscious is trying to warn him that he is still dreaming.

The specific line is: "No creeping doubts? Not feeling persecuted Dom? Chased around the globe by *anonymous corporations* and police forces. The way the projections persecute the dreamer. Admit it. You don’t believe in one reality any more....”

Don't you find it strange that Cobol corporation is spending so much effort in trying to track Cobb down - including sending an entire hit squad after him? Why not simply get hold of Cobb's children? Hold them as ransom, and say, "Come."

5. So Saito buys the airline company, gets into the plane together with Robert Fisher. Do you think that Fisher would have recognized his father's arch rival? Moreover, Fisher is suppose to be one of the most richest men in the world. Where is his entourage? His PA? Can't his staff hire another plane?

So its a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream... And Alice wandered into the Hall of Mirrors and saw a million, million reflections of herself. "Which one is me?" She asked. "All of them and yet none of them." said the White Rabbit.

The idea that the whole plot is a dream within a dream within a dream within a (well you get the picture), can not be stated outright. It would spoil the whole story. Yes, right the whole thing was a huge dream, a fabrication. Stating that now would spoil the whole thing. Its like Neo waking up in his squalid downtown apartment as the credits roll in MATRIX and realizes that he had just had the most incredible dream and dang, and he's late for work!

On a sidenote: this may provide an opportunity to write a sequel to the movie. So Cobbs is with his kids, but then sees Mal walk by, his children call after her. Wait a second, she's dead. But if she's here then... (focuses on Cobb's frantic expression) : its all just A DREAM!!!! Music rooollls... DEENN!!! DEEENNN!!!!!

Then he wakes up in his bed, sweating profusely. He runs into his children's room, they are asleep, its 3am. Then he runs to a safe opens it up, pulls out the totem top and spins it.

It spins and spins... wobbles, and falls. Cobbs, leans back, breathes a huge sigh of relief. And walks out the room.

But then he hears something horrible. A low dull spinning sound.

The top is spinning again.

He slowly turns back. Its his dead deranged wife, Mal, looking at him with those big scary eyes.

He starts running.

Other interesting reviews on the film:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cousins, a wedding and that which should not be mentioned

Recently a few of my cousins stayed over at my place for a wedding. I've not seen them for 18 or 20 years and when I saw them last they were in Primary school. I got to know them as we stayed together for a period of time. Now they've all grown up, ans have become a doctor, a corporate executive, traveled around the world, and gone and done so many marvelous and wonderful things. I am so proud of them. If you are reading this now - know this to be true: I am filled with *joy* that you have done so very well.

 At the same time, personally, its also been a very overwhelming experience (for me). First off, its that visual disconcert. My only memories of them were as children - and now they stand before me as adults. Somewhere in my brain, like an accountant shifting through old records to prepare for this year's financial reporting, I'm trying to reconcile my old recollections of them.

Certain aspects of them have remarkably stayed the same. I remember how HL talked faster and faster like a choo-choo train. Her disposition - exuberant, a fiery locomotive. I remember how HF was prim, proper; her sentences concise, her manner quiet and reflective, and the way she spoke, balancing certain words, a ballerina in her dance.


But its been too long. So very long. I wished I had seen them as they were growing up. I wished I could have heard them talk (and complain), to hear their stories.




And that which should not be mentioned... which is "time", "age". I don't feel old. I somehow feel stronger, better, even healthier as the years roll by. (I should mention that my short term memory has always been horribly patchy even as a kid. I would forget a lot of things and get horribly punished. ...


Sometimes, I think I forgot to grow old.) And a lot of people have commented/think that I am much younger than my actual age.

 I'm not sure why, perhaps its the shock of seeing my child cousins again, now as adults, a visual disconcert. Whatever. But its like the last 20 years have hit me like a flood water. And, oh no, I look in the mirror and suddenly I see strains of white hair, like the creeping cracks on ice. @#$!!! Suddenly I feel every bit of my 42 years.

 I gaze at my cousins again, and hurriedly shuffle away the old records of them as children, replacing them with the new ones. An argument brews in my brain between two angry librarians. Right side: "They are NOT 10 years old", Left side: "But they seem the "same" (sound similar, look similar etc...)".


Side note: I like looking at stars. They don't change (well not in a human's time scale). They exude that sense of majestic permanence. But yes, I know things change. Even the stars that I see will eventually (after millions of years) burn out (or have already burnt out).


I hear a clock that is ticking. Ticking very loudly now, like a drum beat.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sandy Point, Dec 4th 2010

Sandy Point is located on the South East Coast of Victoria near the Wilson Prom National Park. It has many beautiful beaches - this is one of them, Waratah Bay, also known as Sandy Point Beach. It is very large, stretching over 20km. Its also relatively flat and the foreshore is immense at low tide - stretching for over 500m or more.

The area is sparsely populated - you'll find no high rise skyscrapers here. Small little cottages dot the neighborhood. We stayed at Iluka Cottage which cost us A$310 to hire the place for the long weekend. Its a self-contained unit, including kitchen and a washing machine, that can sleep 6 people. It also has a backyard veranda where you can feed the colorful Rosella parrots.

At night you can see thousands of stars. I hoped to go down to the beach and watch as the stars pivoted from heaven to horizon - unfortunately, there was a drunken lout party at the main entrance to the beach, and we dared not pass.