I just came back from watching Inception, and I don’t know why, but it did not really impact me as much as I had hoped. It wasn’t really a cinematic experience the same way, say, The Dark Knight was. However, I still really, really liked it, and it’s a long time since I’ve seen such an original movie. But I do have some problems with the film, and I want to write down a specific problem, while I can still remember the movie.
I like confusing movies that make sense or can be explained logically if you take the time to think about them, e.g. Primer, Memento, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. On the other hand, I don’t like movies that are confusing and in which everything is more or less ambiguous, like Inland Empire. Those kinds of movies usually feel like sloppy work to me. For the most part, Inception falls in the first category, but in the end of the movie the established rules kind of take a dive. Fischer (Cillian Murphy) dies on dream level 3, and naturally goes to limbo, because he’s sedated in real life. Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) follow him, because using the dreaming machine on level 3 apparently takes you to limbo, fair enough. But now, in limbo, Ariadne kills Fischer by dropping him off the building, and what happens? He wakes up on the 3rd level! Yes, they used the defibrillator at the same time, but how does that make sense? If he goes to level 3 by dying in limbo, shouldn’t he also have gone to level 2 by dying on level 3? This somewhat ruined the ending for me.