Length: 148 minutes
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe
Music: Hans Zimmer
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing; Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Score and Best Art Direction; currently #83 on the IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a team of criminals commits industrial espionage in peoples’ subconscious minds
How I saw it: in the theater, yesterday
Concept: Indifferent. If the concept is the basic idea of the plot, it’s pretty bad. If the concept is “Christopher Nolan makes a movie about whatever nonsense he wants because he’s Christopher f***ing Nolan,” then it’s great.
Story: Indifferent. I was pretty disappointed by the story. It isn’t convoluted like a game of Chess (like The Prestige). The actual narrative is actually pretty straight forward. Instead it’s convoluted in its execution. Nolan’s created a world with a lot of arbitrary (and unreasonably specific) rules, so that when it comes to following the details of the story it’s pretty much impossible to know for sure whether you’re looking at plot holes or not. One thing I’m sure of (and it’s probably not intentional): what the characters keep referring to as “dreaming” has almost no resemblance to real dreams.
Characters: Bad. DiCaprio is sad because he’s away from his family. And that is pretty much all there is to characters. It’s not a characters kind of movie.
Pacing: Good. Some of the action scenes are relatively dull.
Special effects/design: Great.
Acting: Good. The casting is kind of distracting.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good). It’s a fun ride, but kind of frustrating. There’s really only one scene where they take advantage of the possibilities of setting a story in a dream and put the amazing special effects to work on something cool. That scene is worth the price of admission, but it’s early in the movie, and everything that follows it is annoyingly uncreative. (There’s some significant build-up to a mind-bending labyrinth which we never even get to see). And I don’t want to think about trying to figure out the plot to the degree where I could say whether or not it actually makes sense. I don’t think there’d be any reward for the effort. None-the-less, I find myself constantly trying to figure it out, and I would like to stop.
Objective Rating: 2.8/4 (Good).