A Movie A Day 001: Inception

I decided this summer that I’m going to watch a movie a day. This is particularly ambitious as there are 10 weeks of summer, therefore 70 movies to watch, and there will be many days where I’ll be spending time with friends and family or have straight up no access to internet. But, the thing about goals is you have to set them high so you have to actually work to meet them. So, I present, day 1 (what better way to start off than to revisit an old favorite).

Inception is one of those movies when after you finish watching, you need a moment to sit back, breathe, and really think. It’s so easy to get lost in the layers of the story, to who’s the supposed dreamer and who’s the actual dreamer, and thus, whose mind we’re in.

From Wikipedia: Dominick “Dom” Cobb and Arthur are “extractors”, who perform corporate espionage using an experimental military technology to infiltrate the subconscious of their targets and extract valuable information through a shared dream world. Their latest target, Japanese businessman Saito, reveals that he arranged their mission himself to test Cobb for a seemingly-impossible job: planting an idea in a person’s subconscious, or “inception”.

To break up the energy conglomerate of ailing competitor Maurice Fischer, Saito wants Cobb to convince Fischer’s son and heir, Robert, to dissolve his father’s company. In return, Saito promises to use his influence to clear Cobb of a murder charge, allowing Cobb to return home to his children.

Maybe it’s because of the nature of the movie already being “a dream within a dream”, but as you watch, the story also breaks away, suspended in layers. Not only is there the whole espionage arc with Saito and inception, but there’s also Robert Fischer’s arc with the weight of a father’s expectations, and Cobb’s arc with the double edged sword of memories. The story goes from exploring the potential behind the sci-fi world of dreams to themes of family, betrayal, love, and regret. All these themes are admittedly, very normal, but the execution is what makes Inception a movie worth watching.

There aren’t grand lines of introspection, but the reoccurring lines Nolan does write in are weaved in a way that it’s haunting. The lines are poignant not in content but in context, and definitely something that echoes in your mind long after the movie is done playing. [cue Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piath]

Direction: Christopher Nolan

Rating: 5 / 5

Rewatchability: 5 / 5

The Ideal Setting to Watch: alone, in a quiet place, day or night, have a friend who’s seen the movie before on standby so you can ask questions about things you may have missed