lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

Inception, Spoilers

On the whole, I don’t really care about spoilers. If your enjoyment of a movie is based entirely around not knowing a particular plot point, then the movie hasn’t really done its job. Inception, like most of Christopher Nolan’s films, is so dense and complex as to be pretty much spoiler-proof. I know there’s this stuff about a dream, and then a dream-within-a-dream, and then, later on, a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream (I think). Apart from that, it’s all a little fuzzy.

Even still, there’s been an almost universal, unwritten agreement among critics that it’s best to not reveal too much about the film. I guess it’s so people can go in completely fresh. Even Mark Kermode, who had previously spoiled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which he now refers to as “the unfortunate incident after being hit with nerd-rage”) has said very little about the plot of the film.

What people are talking about, because they figure it’s not spoiling anything, is the last shot of the film. “What did you think of the last shot?” they ask. “What noise did you make? I made a sort of a ‘whoah’ combined with a ‘huh?’” And they’re right to talk. Inception has one of those bravura endings that, if you were feeling particularly cynical, could easily be interpreted as the director showing off. It’s right up there with Brad Pitt channelling Quentin Tarantino at the end of Inglourious Basterds: “You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.”

And, to be honest, just knowing there was this great final shot kind of spoiled the ending for me. I was sitting in the cinema trying to predict what the final shot would be, what I thought would be worth talking about. Like being told there’s a twist in the movie, but not told what the twist is - you spend the entire movie thinking “She’s a he! It’s all a dream! The butler did it!” Technically the movie isn’t spoiled, but at the same time, it is.

Random Thoughts

  • Christopher Nolan may be getting better with each film, but he still can’t manage even simple walk-and-talk exposition. There was a lot of explaining in this movie, and he handled it by showing a lot of people sitting around saying “What?”

  • Coming out of the screening I went to (UCI Coolock in Dublin), I overheard someone saying “Nah, I didn’t like that at all. You had to concentrate too hard”. Except with a thick, Coolock accent.

  • Did no-one else think the film’s depiction of the dream-world was a little boring? A little unimaginative? For all its cleverness - “You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on” - it completely ignored the fundamentally weird nature of dreams: running at full speed, but not getting anywhere; the feeling of the ground suddenly disappearing beneath you. Paprika did a much better job of conveying the feeling of being inside a dream, with all its twisted logic.

  • Jesus Christ, it’s time that Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan parted ways. I know Inception is getting a lot of praise for its score, but holy shit, it sounded the exact same as every other score they’ve done together, except this time it was mixed by a demented monkey with a demented-monkey-boner for pulsing violins. Make it stop!