Contributed By Wayne Chan
| PHOTO COURTESY OF SLASHFILM.COM|
Ideas are powerful things. They can define a person, revolutionize the present and alter the future.
Now, imagine how much power you could wield if you could enter a genius’ mind to steal coveted intellectual property. Or, what if you could plant a world-changing thought into the mind of an influential person?
Director Christopher Nolan, fresh off his success with the award-winning Dark Knight, explores this concept in his latest film, Inception, which presents the otherworldly idea of being able to enter and control the previously unfathomable world of dreams.
In his film about dream criminals, mind-bending labyrinths made up of visually arresting landscapes are orchestrated by “dream architects” to fool the target of the crime that he is in the real world when he is in fact, dreaming.
By communal dreaming in a drugged induced sleep, a team of dream thieves then enters this carefully designed dreamscape to extract secrets from a target’s mind. Or as the film title suggests, perform the even more difficult task of planting a dangerous idea.
Various other mind-boggling tricks can be performed by highly skilled dream criminals, including taking another person’s identity by mentally projecting yourself as someone else so as to get closer to the targeted dreamer when his guard is down.
While there seems to be almost no limits to what can be done in the dream world, Christopher Nolan’s film does impose a few rules that govern the realm of the subconscious.
When hurt in a dream, for example, real pain is felt by the dreamer. Dying within a dream actually causes the dreamer to wake up. You can create a dream within a dream within a dream, up to three layers of dreaming, and going deeper into a fourth level usually means being trapped in a mental limbo that is hard to break out of. Time moves faster in dreams, meaning one can spend what seems like a whole lifetime dreaming, even eventually growing old and grey in the dream realm, but in reality be only asleep for a few hours or less. To help them keep track of reality, dream criminals use small totems, unique self-crafted objects that only they are fully aware of to test whether they are still dreaming or back in the real world.
Inception is a motion picture masterpiece that performs the delicate balancing act of distortion and reality. With veteran actors Leonardo Dicaprio and Ken Watanabe as tour guides, viewers are taken on a dizzying freefall down the rabbit hole into Nolan’s surreal subconscious wonderland, before being left in limbo, still unable to decipher what is real and what is not.
Confused? That’s likely how you would feel after watching this film which is probably the next best mind drug since Avatar and The Matrix. However, this strong dose of cerebral gratification is not recommended for the intellectually challenged. You have been warned.