Christopher Nolan's Inception isn't a film I can explain simply in a paragraph or so, but I will try my best to be concise. The concept of Inception involves entering one's dreams and planting thoughts into their mind. Extraction would involve going into one's dreams and taking their ideas. In the world where this film takes place, there is technology to do the latter, however whether or not the former can be done remains to be seen.
Saito (Ken Watanabe) makes a deal with Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to accomplish the mission of achieving Inception. That is, if Dom can help Saito destroy the inherited empire of Oil Tycoon Robert Fisher Jr. (Cillian Murphy) in planting distrust against his family, Saito can ensure that Dom is cleared of any charges against him. Dom stands accused of murdering his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and constructs quite literally, a "Dream Team" to accomplish this mission.
The Team consists of Ariadne (Ellen Page), Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Eames (Tom Hardy) and Yusuf (Dileep Rao) who each serve a pivotal role in accomplishing the task of capturing Fisher Jr. and subjecting him to Inception. As the Team delves deeper into the Heir's subconscious via multiple tiers of Dreams, we also delve deeper also in the Dom's psyche too, getting bits and pieces of the mysterious circumstances behind Mal's death. Dom is driven to get back home to his two estranged children, driving him and his Team to complete the mission, but will the dark, suppressed thoughts of his mind divert their focus and lead to their downfall?
The brilliant thing about Inception is that right from the start there is always an imminent feeling of danger. Although we don't quite understand where exactly the story is going until later in the film, we are pulled-in by the unrelenting feeling of suspense; there is never a dull moment. Nolan is a brilliant Storyteller, drawing us into a world we know little about, engaging us with this ensemble of characters. Ultimately, we care about the mission and become enraptured by it.
Inception is a gorgeous film with beautiful Cinematography by Nolan's long-time collaborator Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins). One cannot deny the dreamlike gravity-defying stunts, crafty CGI work and Art Direction by a team of nine Art Directors, are all irresistible to the eye. The true heart and soul of the movie however, is DiCaprio who once again churns out a multi-layered, riveting performance as a man with complex struggles. And that is saying a lot considering the immensely talented group of actors in the ensemble whom all pale in comparison, including the seen-too-little Cotillard.
Although normally I don't run out to the theatre in a hurry when it comes to films of this genre, Warner Bros.' Inception is a fantastic escape. At the end of its 150 minutes, you'll feel as if you've been rudely awakened from a pleasant slumber. The film is now in wide release. Grade: A+