Having heard positive reviews, I bought the Inception blu-ray for my dad as a Father's Day present. My parents and siblings all gathered around the TV to enjoy the film as a family (since we're so very rarely all together anymore) and started it up. About 2/3 of the way through, I was the only one still watching and I finished it alone. I was a bit surprised at how little I enjoyed the film. It had such an interesting premise from the blurbs I had read. And yet watching it play out onscreen, it felt so utterly...banal and generic. Here was an idea that had seemingly limitless possibilities - examining a person's dream state and using it to implant an idea in their mind. An idea that was not their own, but this fact would never be apparent. Certainly, such a premise could be taken in innumerable directions. Dreams are utterly chaotic — they have no rhyme or reason to them but often reflect subconscious desires. Likewise, the ability to implant an idea would be, on some level, akin to mind control. Except, of course, the beauty of it is that the control itself would emerge from the subject's own mind rather than any external influence. There would be no way to resist. Sadly, however, the film seemed to simply rely on generic thriller tropes. The dreams themselves were of perfectly normal-looking locations and had to adhere to a set logic, for some reason. Perhaps it is because I've never lucid-dreamt, but I found this premise to be odd and difficult to relate to. I have never once in my entire life confused my dreams for reality, nor do they feel "real" when I'm in them. If a giant train suddenly sped through any of my dream-worlds, I would find it positively mundane. Also, I honestly failed to see what was so confusing about the film. It was laid out pretty clearly — the way that "kicks" functioned and the need for a layered dream in order for inception to work. I had issues with the premise, but following the story wasn't at all difficult. Sure, the ending introduced some ambiguity by questioning whether Dom actually was in the real world or yet another layer, but this is hardly an insightful idea. The Matrix brought this notion up in 1999 and it certainly isn't the originator. Overall, I found the premise unengaging, the plot to be rather intellectually undemanding, and the characters poorly developed. Pass.
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