‘Inception’ – (2010)

Nolan, C. Inception. (2010)


‘Inception’ is a 2010 sci-fi mystery film which is directed by Christopher Nolan. The film has won Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Sound Mixing and Best Cinematography from the Oscar Awards. The story is about the protagonist, Dominic Cobb who is a practitioner of science of extraction. He is an expert of taking information from other people’s dreams and he has got a mission from a Japanese businessman named Mr. Satio who employs him to plant an idea in a person’s subconscious. Artificial sedative is used which helps Cobb and his team to create layers of dreams and achieve the mission.  The use of dreams in the film related to Cobb’s life and his desire where he wants to use dream to imagine what he wants in the dream, for example imagining his family stay together. Mrs Cobb (Mal) is an imaginative character who is imagined by Cobb and she didn’t exist in real life as she was already dead. The reason her character appears in the film is to reflect Cobb’s guilty as in the past, he implanted her mind the idea that the world wasn’t real by using a rudimentary form of Inception. And when she woke up from the dream, she still thought that the reality is not real as well. So in order to go back to what she thinks of reality is, she committed suicide. Dreams also links to our memories as well as the film suggests that Cobb uses his memories to imagine his family being together and tries to keep his wife alive. The film sometimes uses flashbacks to tell the audience memories of Cobb’s character to allow us understand what has happened in the past and related to what he did. There are motifs in the film where Mal repeats the sentence, ‘You’re waiting for a train. The train that will take you far away’. At first, I was really confused what it is about but after the scene where Cobb repeat the sentence, I know that this is a sentence which Cobb said to Mal in the past and it links to Mal’s dealth as she doesn’t believe the reality world is real.

Special Effects are being used a lot throughout the film to present the ideas in the dream that something is imaginative and to show things that won’t happen in really life. For instance, the scene I really like when Ariadne imagined the city upside down and the city form a box shape and the objects can move freely even the city is upside down and this scene amazes me. I can also see slow motion are being used quite a lot of times to capture the details of the scene and also how the features of science fiction films where time can alters slowly. I really like the idea how each dreams connected to another by sharing similar events for instance, in the film where Cobb falls into the water in the bathtub and it links to his previous dream that water submerge the building he was at. The way how the scenes link together helps the plot flow smoothly and I like the way in ‘Inception’, you can’t expect what will happen in the next scene which makes the film more exciting. The idea of dream within dream is interesting and I think it engages and draws the audience into the film.

The film shows the idea of dream is not real but we can still experience pain in our mind. The film questions what really is reality and explain the idea that we can control what we imagine in our dreams. Dreams link to our imagination and there are interesting facts that the film told the audience such as when Cobb said that do you ever remember the beginning of your dream? The dream always starts in the middle of the story and there isn’t any ending.  Another example is when Cobb explains that time seems slow in dream and for example 5 minutes in the dream gives you an hour in the dream.

The film fits in the genre science fiction mystery as the film’s idea is innovative and the way how things are not expected creates mystery atmosphere. It links to the idea of my fashion film as you can’t expect what my character is doing in the next scene.  The scene where Ariadne pulls two mirror in opposite to each other while she and Cobb stayed in the middle and then she broke the mirror, this scene reminds me of Op Art as their reflections getting smaller and smaller and the patterns ( Cobb and Ariadne’s reflections) are repeated. I also found ‘Inception’ links to the idea of my film as it shows an imagination world.

Symbolism is used throughout the film, for example the spinning top is used to show if the scene is a dream or not. At the end, ‘Cobb was in his own subjective reality’ and when Cobb returns home and he found his children was playing in the yard. After that he turn the spinning top on the table and the scene fades out before we see if it falls or not which suggests that maybe it is reality or it can be a dream. This left an imagine space for the audience to question whether it is a reality or is it just a dream. The scene also suggests the idea that Cobb didn’t care about it is reality anymore which refers to how ‘all levels of reality are valid’.


I like the angles where Nolan shoot the scene, especially the  scene shown on the photos on above. It is an interesting angle as the characters are walking freely and moving naturally even the space is upside down. The camera turns when the character is moving and it creates a perfect illusion in experimenting with camera angles, framing and space.

Jeffrey Kurland is the costumer designer for the film and she uses colors to present the character’s personality. For example, Cobb wears grey, black tones throughout the film which symbolizes the shade of his real life.

 Hans Zimmer’s  music ‘Time’ in ‘Inception’:


The music features violins and I think it makes the piece of music quite emotional but in some parts, the music gets louder than before which shows power and it reminds me of in the film where how dreams can be imaginative. 


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