In 1984, a scary movie debuted called A Nightmare on Elm Street, birthing a scarred maniac who would lead a genre with a killer franchise for years to come. A lesser known thriller starring Dennis Quaid would make a relatively forgettable debut, though Dreamscape marked one of the first few films with a PG-13 rating and offered plot elements that were suspiciously familiar, slanted with a scientific versus supernatural bent. 26 years later, Hollywood doubles down again, seeking to reboot the Elm Street franchise while director Christopher Nolan offers us the more science-minded Inception. This time, it’s Freddy who is fairly forgettable, while Nolan’s dreamscape is a fascinating cerebral spin for a director who has yet to disappoint me.
Of course, Inception relies heavily on what the viewer does not know, so it’s difficult to review without spoilers. I believe this first video review walks that tightrope pretty well, dealing with the ideas and framework instead of plot points to prime thoughtful viewing. Subjective perception has permeated the wealth of this director’s films, and Nolan punctuates a body of cinematic work with thoughts on subjectivity and an idea virus that paradoxically speaks to both sin and the gospel.
I even threw in a subtle visual nod to a device used similarly in the film, but you’d have to be bored or insane to figure that out (and somebody out there just took that as a challenge).
Christopher Nolan’s greatest feat, in my mind, is making me like Leonardo DiCaprio. I’ve never been a fan, but after enjoying Gangs of New York despite him, tolerating him in The Departed, and begrudingly accepting him in Shutter Island, Nolan’s superlative direction of this film made Leo shine. Mr. DiCaprio, I’m going to repent for years of calling you DiCrapio and finally forgive you for Titanic. That is, unless this is all a dream… or a dream within a dream…