Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My one line review? If you haven't seen it yet, go drop what you are doing and SEE IT NOW.

I'm already planning on seeing it again, as are most people I've talked to. It's brilliant, it's complex, it's fun, it's emotional, it's stunningly beautiful. (I'm not sure about IMAX conversion - I tend to lump it with 3-D conversion, but I trust Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan, so I plan to see it this next time in IMAX).

Most of what had me excited in the long build up to the release was the cast that was assembled. I really admire every actor in the cast and absolutely everyone is terrific. (Well, I didn't know Dileep Rao before now, but he's fine.)

I also really admired how little was let out about the film during the entire process. So. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor, try to block out modern media and just go. You'll love it.

You can read these if you need to know a little more:

Wally Pfister Interview

Tom Hardy Interview

Cinematical Review

SlashFilm Review

First Showing Review

Keeping it all in perspective

And for Christopher Nolan's next act.... (David Tennant! David Tennant!)

As for the ending....


My personal interpretation is that the top falls. But I fully acknowledge that I am choosing to believe that. I want a happy ending for Leo. I want the heist to have been pulled off.

I don't care that the kids are in the same clothes, because who buys a gigantic wardrobe for kids? Children re-wear clothing.

Furthermore, why would the top have fallen down in the reality world if it were actually the first level of Cobb's dreaming? Why would the totem work sometimes and not others?

I find it interesting that some people point out Cobb's walking away as positive growth for his character. I actually find that decision to be the scariest part about the end, and the most pointing for him still being trapped in limbo. To me, it says he no longer cares if he is in limbo or not, because he is so happy to see his children's faces. Although, perhaps the fact that he can see them points to it being reality. If he could never see their faces in his dreams before, then maybe seeing them is the most telling clue that he did wake back up into reality.

I also find it interesting that a number of theories on the web are either Cobb was in reality at the start and finish of the movie, or everything that we thought was reality in the movie is actually the first dream layer. I came out thinking that the start of the movie is definitely in reality, but that the ending was ambiguous.

I like the idea of Ellen Page being his therapist and working him through his issues, but I don't think it holds. I think people can help each other through issues without the entire construct being a set-up. Particularly considering the team's sanity depends on it.

That is another reason I think the start of the film is definitely reality. Were it Cobb's subconcious from the get go, then I wouldn't really care about the other team members as much as characters. They would simply be projections. And that would also mean that two sets of projections could exist in a dream state. For example, at the start of Saito's dream, the other characters in the house would be Saito's projections, but Arthur (and then Lucas Haas) would be Cobb's. Although I suppose that would work, since Cobb brings Mal into other people's dreams.

Hmmmm.... so much to ponder....


What the stars think (Movieline). Cillian Murphy, of course, declining to comment like the smart man he is.

A fairly clear walk-through from Dileep Rao (Vulture)

THIS is a great summation (First Showing). The graphic is super helpful in terms of thought process (yes, the movie is easy and straight forward to watch, but it's a lot to reflect back on).

Damon Lindelof's theory

Cleolinda's thoughts

Six interpretations and five plot holes (Cinematical). I disagree with his interpretation, obviously, but it's a nice round up of what people are saying. Also, for theoretical plot hole 1: I think this can be explained by the fact that Arthur is the dreamer for the hotel level, so it is only his dream that is affected by the loss of gravity in the van dream. Eames is dreaming the snow fortress from the hotel, not the van, so the fortress doesn't lose gravity.

The myth of a perfect film (Roger Ebert)

A reflection on the unveiling of the film (NYTimes)

Apart from the articles on the criticism/reception, and what the ending meant, there's been discussion also on how it will impact hollywood business models. The summary piece above links to one good Cinema Blend article, and here's another from SlashFilm.

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