“You Mustn’t Be Afraid To Dream A Little Bigger, Darling.” That’s probably what was in Director Christopher Nolan’s mind when he decided to finalize the idea for this film. ‘Inception’ directed by the aforementioned Christopher Nolan, is a 2010 sci-fi action film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. With a stellar ensemble cast, consisting of DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,[a]Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, among others, the film is a thrilling spectacle that brings up certain questions, which will stick with you long after the credits roll.

The film as a whole, is a simple heist film with a clever backdrop of shifting dreams, which the characters need to explore and survive, so as to achieve their goal of successfully planting an idea into a person’s mind. While the film is short on story, it more than makes up for it with the visuals, which are truly awe-inspiring. As the characters try their best to pull off the titular ‘inception’ (which is essentially a dream within a dream), the cinematography and visual effects heavily come into play, completely drawing in the audience’s attention. There is a particular scene in the middle section of the film where Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character fights off a couple of men in a revolving corridor with the gravity going haywire. It is scenes like this that make ‘Inception’ the spectacle it is.

Adding to the visuals of the film are the talented cast, with each member playing their character to near perfection. Leonardo DiCaprio is at the very forefront, delivering a nuanced performance as Dom Cobb, displaying an emotional root to the character, while at the same time, letting loose a certain sense of mystery. It is evident that the character has had trauma in the past, and as the film slowly reveals what that it, we see the range of emotions on display by DiCaprio, something which keeps our attention hooked to the screen till the very end. It’s because you believe his journey, his heart, throughout the duration of the film, that you buy into the film. Complimenting this arc, is Marion Cotillard's character of Mal, Dom’s wife, who despite not getting a whole lot of screentime, steals the scene whenever she appears. She is like a phantom, a presence that lurks behind the scenes, haunting Dom in every step of his mission, and Cotillard effortlessly pulls off this unsettling role.

Despite the strong screen presence of the aforementioned actors, the other actors are not to be underestimated. Ellen (now Elliot) Page manages to make her mark on screen, as the naïve yet crafty Ariadne, who is the newest addition to Dom’s team. Brought in to set up the structure of the dream the team would be going into, Ariadne serves as the audience’s eyes and ears. Like us, she is new to this world and needs to be told about how and when everything in this heist works, a journey which the audience accompanies her on. Tom Hardy brings a certain sense of levity to the film as the wise-cracking Eames, sharing a certain on-screen comradery with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, both of whom make for a fun duo, despite not getting too many scenes together. Ken Watanabe stars as Saito, the scheming businessman who hires Dom for the job, the no-nonsense guy who is along for the ride to see that the task is done, something Watanabe captures perfectly. A scene towards the very end of the film where he converses with DiCaprio’s character, further showcases his acting prowess.

The weakest link in the film I feel is Cillian Murphy’s Robert, the son of Saito’s rival businessman, whose mind the group is trying to infiltrate. While the actor does play the confused Robert well, you don’t feel as connected to the character as you do to the others, owing to the fact that the character displays a limited range of emotions, making him quite annoying at times. This is, however, the smallest of nitpicks in a film that is masterfully directed, with each scene of the film shot with a certain flair, keeping the audience glued to the screen right up until the end, where it concludes with a scene that has gone down in history as one of the best of all time. The brilliant score by Hans Zimmer adds to this, by engulfing each and every scene with a sense of mystery, building up tension as the characters go about their difficult task.

Under the excellent direction of Christopher Nolan, ‘Inception’ manages to keep viewers engaged thanks to the use of awe-inspiring visuals and nuanced performances by the entire cast, with Leonardo DiCaprio being the clear standout. I would definitely recommend that you check out the film if you already haven’t, and I would give it a solid 9 out of 10.

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