A tragic love story, a metaphor for storytelling, an interesting depiction of the human subconscious, an exploration of how illusory and fatal ideas can be and how it may lead to self-deception; Inception is a film that encapsulates all of these elements.
What was meant to be the keys to his wife's liberation, ended up being the cause to her suicide. The very idea that caused her to question her reality, the idea that was meant to awaken her, was the very idea that caused her to end her own life. This is the tragedy in the love story between Cobb and Mal. It isn't that his wife died, but that Cobb was the reason for her death. In this way, in the severity of the punishment he endures, it is v It is this guilt, this utter heartbreak, and this longing for those whom he loves that dominates his life.
It's no secret that Inception is a metaphor for storytelling, or more specifically, film. Films function very similar to dreams; we become immersed in the world presented to us, we forgo questioning the reality of it when we jump from location to location, we accept all information, despite it at times, being completely illogical, and . In this movie, Nolan shows us these similarities, mostly through the films surrogate: Ariadne.
Through Inception, Nolan also grants us insight into how he approaches his storytelling. When Cobb and his team ponder about how to properly perform inception, it is actually Nolan revealing how he attempts inception on his audience. The stages or levels in the last inception job are how he, not only brakes down his films into acts, but how his acts affect the viewer. "On the top level, we open up his relationship with his father. Say, 'I will not follow in my father's footsteps'. Then, the next level down, we feed him 'I will create something for myself'. Then, by the time we hit the bottom level, we bring out the big guns: Cobb: My father doesn't want me to be him." In essence, we are Fischer, we go into a film with our own preconceived notions, and by the end, changed in terms of world or self perception.
The film has an interesting depiction of the subconscious as they populate the world of dreams. Cobb's subconscious in particular, more specifically, Mal, shows how our past traumas can come to haunt us if we allow it to, and sometimes without our consent.
Bottle Rocket (1996)
How I would love to live in a world where prison doesn't break you, where your friends agree to participate in your wacky adventures, where there seems to be no tension, fear, or gruesome violence, even in an armed robbery. A world where camaraderie and tenacity triumph all. It doesn't exist in our world and it might not exist outside of the circle of Dignan, but it's in his world that it does exist. An introduction not to utopian society but a utopian mindset. Granted he does have major faults(i.e. his temper), but it's a pleasure to follow him in his adventures for an hour and 45 minutes.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected) (2017)
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" How true this statement has been in my personal life, and Baumbach beautifully and comically captures the essence of this apparent truth in his film. When conversing, I have found very often that both parties are using communication as a bonding or competitive tactic, rather than truly absorbing the information provided, and properly reacting to it. When sharing an experience, a related topic or experience is brought up. When sharing an opinion, a counterargument is formulated where the purpose seems to be to convert the other into your ideologies/beliefs; or conversely, an annoying sequence of over-agreement syndrome takes place. Another form of bad communication that frequently occurs is when something quite personal and emotionally charged is shared, but the other party changes topic, not because they wish to avoid the subject, but more likely because they grew bored of what was being said, their mind wandered, and here we find ourselves. How sad it is that we, the only entities in world, possibly the universe, that can communicate complexly, struggle to convey, and equally, struggle to understand one another. How easy it is to classify someone in such simple, binary terms, simply from first impressions where communication was poorly constructed. how upsetting it is that someone who should know you, or vice versa, doesn't because of an inability to communicate. And how tragic it continues to be that the one tool that can unite us, seems to be the very thing that divides us.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The beautiful cinematography, the incredible acting, the touching story, but what really makes this film fantastic is the incredible tragedy that lies at the heart of the film. It isn't conflicting life choices, distance, or any other common obstacles that prevent them from a happy life together, but rather it is the stigma, and in this film world, the hatred against homosexuality, the idea that it is an antonym of masculinity, and this fear of exposure that prevents them from a life together. They instead settle for secret flings until, Jack is sadly murdered and Ennis is sadly staring at the life that could've been.
It is this powerful ending that really gut-punches me with the emotion of impossibly unfulfilled longing for what could've been as I'm forced to empathize with Ennis. In a world that forces its expectations on you, it's tempting to conform, but sometimes an act of defiance is what might be the line between a content life of conformity to one of happiness, or at least a better road in that pursuit to happiness. Ennis was unable, justifiably so, to live a life of societal defiance, but it robbed him of the potential happiness he could've had with Jack.