Off Topic – Inception

Even though we are primarily a gaming-oriented site, I thought I’d take a minute to talk about the best movie to hit theaters in a very long time. I’m speaking, of course, of the newly released Inception. If you’ve got the time, join me after the jump to find out why you absolutely have to see this movie while it’s still in theaters.

First off, let me just say that I may have been mistaken before. Inception isn’t the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the best movie I’ve ever seen. Now you might ask, what makes this the best movie ever? Simply, it has something that most movies these days lack: plot. Let’s be honest; as good a laugh as the Hangover may have been, a story about a group of friends who drank way much hardly qualifies as a great plot, especially when you consider college kids across the country do the same thing on a weekly basis. The same goes for the sad excuses for horror movies that are spewed into theaters to no end these days. A guy wearing a mask running around stabbing everything that moves hardly qualifies as a plot. But Inception is different. It has a plot so engrossing that it sucks you in, grabbing your attention and quickly making you lose track of time. About half an hour into the movie, I was completely mesmerized, and the next time I looked at my phone, two and a half hours had passed. At the same time, the story is so deep, twisted, and convoluted that it makes The Matrix look like “Green Eggs and Ham,” as a friend of mine put it.

But perhaps the thing that sticks out most in my mind is the fact that Inception made me think. Not during the movie, of course; if you try to think about what’s going on while you’re watching the movie, your head might just explode. I’m talking about after the movie. I saw the movie yesterday, and out of the last 24 hours, I’d say I’ve spent seventy percent thinking about the concepts that the movie introduces. Simply put, Inception will make you seriously question reality. Referring back to The Matrix, if you thought everything you knew about your existence was shattered to pieces the first time you saw the movie, Inception will be the atom bomb that obliterates those pieces. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if you really give this movie some open-minded thought, it has the potential to change the way you think about existence itself.

Another thing that Inception has going for itself is the fact that it can appeal to anybody. The movie’s one plot has all the makings of an action movie, a mystery, a good horror film, and a love story, with a few jokes sprinkled throughout. Basically, if you’ve ever seen a single movie that you’ve liked, it’d be pretty damn hard not to like Inception. But the I think the true universal appeal of the movie lies in the ending, during the last five seconds. Those last five seconds, simply put, make the film work for everybody. Watching them, you can interpret the entire two and a half hour experience any way you want. No two people will have exactly the same impression of what just happened when they walk out of the theater. The casual movie goer who doesn’t pay much attention to details and the intricacies of the dialogues will see a definitive end to the movie, while the person who really payed attention will try to make sense of the whole plot, while reaching a completely different conclusion than the person who sat next to them for the whole thing. Compare two different interpretations of the movie, and you’ll likely find yourself wondering whether the director even had any idea what was going on and picturing Leonardo DiCaprio saying “I don’t even know. I just read the lines.”

Of course Inception has its faults. More than once I found myself thinking “a hand grenade would never make that big an explosion.” At first, the movie is extremely confusing. At the showing I went to see, three or four people walked out within the first hour, muttering something along the lines of “what the hell is going on here?” And of course there were times that I found the actors attitudes to be a little bit over-the-top or just not fitting a particular scenario entirely. But as a whole, Inception is an excellent movie, and if you’re willing to sit through to the end and give it a couple minutes of serious, introspective though after you walk out of the theater, I can guarantee that you’ll be left with the most unforgettable cinematic experience of your life.