Being tardy with this review provides me with certain opportunities, mainly the chance to respond to other criticism. So, I plan on helping you sift through everything that you’ve heard in order to get to the real truth.
First popular statement: This is one of the best movies this year.
True. At least among the big, wide releases, this is the best I’m aware of. There might be some indie flicks out there that have blown people away, and many have said that Toy Story 3 is the best so far, but I haven’t seen it. So, for my money, this is the best I’ve seen in a long while. For anyone keeping track, second place (with a healthy margin) is Kick-Ass.
Second popular statement: This movie is among the greatest of all time.
False (or at least strongly debatable). People are drawing comparisons to Memento and Mulholland Drive (both of which I haven’t seen) and complaining/bragging of having their minds absolutely fuqt. Based on this, and an unquestionably gorgeous cinematographical experience, the words “best” and “ever” are getting bandied around a little too loosely. Yes, it’s a compelling story, with some depth and layers, yes, it’s fantastic to look at, but it’s not the greatest art that’s ever been cinema’d.
Third popular statement: It’s too confusing.
False to death. Except for the last seven ambiguous seconds, pretty much every question that the movie raises gets answered.
My own first statement: Christopher Nolan is the most dependable director I can think of.
Let’s look at his track record. You’ve got Insomnia, which I remember hating, but that’s probably more to do with the fact that I was 15 and not really prepared to handle it. Then there’s the nearly-awesome Batman Begins, its even better sequel, The Dark Knight, and in between you’ve got the uber-fantastic The Prestige. With Inception, Nolan further cements his seemingly infallible madskills.
You may have noticed that I’ve really said dicky-boo about the movie itself, just talking about how good vs. not good it is. And that is for you, dear readers, in case you haven’t seen it. The best way to experience the film (according to myself, as well as star Ellen Page) is to watch it with limited knowledge of what you’re going to see.
You’re going to see Leonardo DiCaprio doing his thing, you’re going to fall in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and/or Ellen Page (and quite likely Tom Hardy), you’re going to realize that Cillian Murphy is a very talented actor, and you’re going to realize that there is such a thing as too little Michael Caine. I leave the rest up to you to discover on your own.