Inception

Sure, it’s not a sci-fi novel, but when anything remotely science fiction becomes the cultural zeitgeist it’s cue for me to jump up and down and proclaim that sci-fi isn’t dead. Audiences like it! It’s making a comeback! It’s the next BIG THING!

Of course, none of this is guaranteed (or necessarily probable), though–at least in the world of movies–science fiction is far from dead (Star Trek? Avatar?).

But the other reason I wanted to write about Inception is to point out how much like a book I found it. Maybe it was the exposition-filled first half or the way the film seemed to take its time setting things up for some massively satisfying pay-offs. It’s what all the critics are calling it: smart. It’s something the best novels in the genre have in common. The intricate, detailed plotting reminded me of the Harry Potter books, to quote the most well-known example. It felt like reading a novel. You were rewarded for paying attention.

So here’s the question I’ve been pondering after this comparison popped into my head. In the “you-must-hook-them-with-the-first-word-in-your-first-line-of-your-manuscript” world we live in, how does an author reward the reader’s attention? Or, how can we end up on the right side of that thin line between “smart” and “exhausting/boring/confusing/etc”? I’m not sure I’m expecting an answer here. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about.

Beyond that, I thought Inception deserved its own post simply because it was darn brilliant. And writing-wise, it would’ve been a darn brilliant screenplay to read as well. And what about that ending? (possible spoiler) Spinning or no? I say spinning, but I’ve gotta watch the thing again to be sure.

After seeing the movie, Nick James had a dream… that he was in a dream… watching Inception. What does it all mean?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Inception

  1. meradeth

    Sorry, can’t resist asking, even if it is slightly spoiler-ish: what about the clothes the kids were wearing? And the grandpa? At the end, they were totally the same. I’m saying spinning. Totally. Maybe. :)

    Awesome movie!!

  2. Jan

    Oh – like the last 40 or so pages of the last Harry Potter which I immediately re-read – this film cries out to be watched again.

    I wasn’t prepared to enjoy this movie as much as I did. I told me hubby as we left the theater – it was easier to follow the movie than I thought I would be. I thought it would be too complicated and too surreal to follow, but it wasn’t. Again, excellent storytelling.

  3. Parker Peevyhouse

    Even though there were so many explanations throughout the film, I didn’t find them exhausting. It seemed like every piece of dialogue was an explanation! But I don’t know how Nolan made it fascinating instead of laborious.

    And I say spinning.

    By the way, here’s a link that writers will probably enjoy–it talks about how Inception is a metaphor for film-making. Cobb is the director and Fischer is the audience, in which an idea must be planted by the end of the movie.
    http://chud.com/articles/articles/24477/1/NEVER-WAKE-UP-THE-MEANING-AND-SECRET-OF-INCEPTION/Page1.html

  4. Natalie Aguirre

    Thanks for posting this. I wanted to see this movie, but my husband wasn’t sure. Now I really want to and will watch it with my daughter if he doesn’t want to.

  5. Okapi

    Inception looks amazing! Thanks for posting this. I really want to see the movie… in 3D! I love HP and detailed plots, so this sounds like a movie I would like!

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