My friend Sherri was kind enough to answer the questions I posed yesterday about Inception. While the majority of them were helpful, they also inspired more, but I'm not going to dwell on the film. Despite the fact I didn't really like it, I still thought about it long after watching it. And isn't that what art/artists are trying to do? They want their creation to stick with you, to make you think, to ask questions, even if you didn't like it. So, in reality, the film accomplished it's goal!
Here's her response:
Okay, seriously, Pembroke. Your review is reminding me of the critic who walked out of the showing of Clerks II without watching the entire thing because of the donkey show. The critic never even got to the part about the donkey show and made a huge stink on the way out and then gave a review.
This review you did on Inception sounds like you did not actually watch it, just a couple of key points. I’m not saying the movie was good, great, or anything, just that it sounds like you didn’t pay attention. I watched it several months ago and can still answer your questions.
1 – They were going into people’s dreams to steal ideas as a form of corporate espionage. They would be hired by one company to invade the dreams of another corporation CEO/creator/or other person in the know to get the information. As in the first guy who figures out he is in a dream by the feel of the carpet – he knows a corporate secret the other corporation wants. It’s the same thing people do now getting spies hired in another company to get their secrets.
2 - Why the corporations fund this type of program is the same question being asked for decades with corporate espionage scenarios. As for the being hooked up to the machine – people didn’t typically realize that was what was going on. They would be in the dream world where everything seemed real and as if it was occurring in actual time. You could train yourself to know it might happen as the first guy with the carpet thing, but the main guy (the guy from Dark Knight who played Scarecrow) was not aware of this type of tactic. In addition, the movie was primarily about the implanting of an idea (to take apart his father’s company) whereas it only started with the stealing of an idea. The implanting is far more difficult and tricky.
3. As for the “training” of the subconscious the white blood cell analogy says it all. If you know a little bit about how the body works this makes sense as to why not everyone attacks. Think of the general population in the dream as red blood cells – they can look at the intruder but can’t really do anything about it other than clot – masses that stand and stare. The white blood cells are the antibodies, they come in fighting and attack the intruder. They are trained in the sense that white blood cells can be trained by vaccines to attack certain types of intruders. There are far fewer white cells in the body than red.
4. The bodyguards having guns, the Scarecrow guy had a military background – so we get military trained fighter cells. I’m sure you could train your psych to fight with spider monkeys with rabies shooting out of marshmallows based on the dreams premise; however, the dreams were created by an architect other than the dreamer based on the dreamers actual life, so it might have been a little more difficult to do. Hence all the research and the reprimand on the carpet, see above.
5. They guys in the back room with the chemists is where you really sound like you weren’t paying attention to Leonardo Dicaprio’s character or what was said at the time they showed those people. Some people who used the drugs often enough to dream – in order to see loved ones again – couldn’t dream unless they took the drug. Their bodies had built up a resistance to dreaming without the aid of the drugs. So, they took the drugs and spent most of their lives in the dreamworld. This is what Dicaprio and his wife did, they got trapped in the dream world and she no longer thought reality was reality – so she killed herself. Dicaprio’s character also built up this resistance and he used the drugs on his own to go back in to see his wife as she was before she lost touch with reality. Ellen Page’s character follows him in when she catches him and discovers his messy little secret.
This is why I said watch it again. There were little nuances and LARGE things you seemed to have missed.