Inception was one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. Everyone and their mother went to see it and then raved about it afterwards. Those same people then became rather irate when it didn’t win in any major Oscar categories. But did Inception really get snubbed? I for one don’t think it even belonged in the major categories. Sure, give it special effects, give it editing, give it best use of BWOOOONNNGG noises or best use of Leonardo DiCaprio’s eyebrows, but don’t try to pretend it was anything more than that.
Inception was one of the most consumer-driven movies I’ve seen since *shudder* the last Indiana Jones movie (which honestly doesn’t even deserve to associate itself with the original trilogy). Christopher Nolan must have gone to see Shutter Island and only taken away from it the fact that people like ambiguous plot twists. He then proceeded to write an entire script of nothing but ambiguous plot twists. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good plot twist, especially one that can be interpreted in more than one way, but one can only put so many of them into a movie before one completely ruins it altogether. Plot twists are like salt. A good chef puts a little salt in almost everything they do because it helps to bring out the flavor of the dish and turn something that already tasted good into something that tastes great. However, adding an entire carton of salt to a dish of any quality will do nothing but ruin the meal, which is exactly what Nolan did with his plot twists. Luckily for Inception, its trippy concept was able to portray itself as an intellectual film. This probably just means that the only reason everyone loved it is because no one had the balls to admit that it made no sense whatsoever. Thank you, herd mentality.
Furthermore, someone needs to sit Christopher Nolan down and explain the proper use of foreshadowing to him. I don’t know if he went to the Stephanie Meyer School of Literary Techniques, but his writing would certainly make the case for it. Foreshadowing is supposed to subtly hint at coming events in the plot. The key word in that sentence is subtly. Naming the antagonist of the movie “bad” before you’ve actually made her known as the antagonist is not subtle. Moreover, calling her bad in a different language is not subtle, either. It’s just lazy. He might as well have named her Puta Loca.
Christopher Nolan’s faulty logic doesn’t stop at what is or isn’t subtle. He also has some issues when it comes to using physics in a consistent way. I will acknowledge that Inception is a movie, and that movies do not have to abide be the standard laws of physics, especially when the movie revolves around going into someone’s dream while you’re already in another person’s dream. However, if you are going to write a movie that chooses to abide by the Hollywood laws of physics, you at least have to keep those laws consistent throughout the movie. The most blatant disregard for consistency had to do with the waking up of characters from one dream to another. Once someone is in another person’s dream, they cannot be woken unless they are dropped; for instance, knocked over from their chair or driven off of a bridge. This plays off of the “falling dreams” that everyone has had where they are jolted awake right before impact. I actually really liked this concept in the movie, which is part of why the inconsistency irritates me so much. There is a rather large part of the movie that consists of most of the cast in one dream and hooked up into another. While they are in the first dream they are strapped into a moving vehicle. This vehicle happens to be in a high-speed chase the entire time, and not only is it getting shot at and taking sharp turns, but there is also a point where it crashes and rolls down a hill. Now, according to the jolt theory previously established in the movie, all of those characters should have been woken up a half a dozen times. The free fall of the van off of the bridge that is supposed to jolt everyone awake ends up causing a lack of gravity in the dream below that one, which completely contradicts the fact that none of the sudden turns or the fact that the van was literally rolling sideways down a hill had no impact on the lower dream whatsoever.
In final consideration of all previous points, I find it hard to justify any pro-Inception post-Oscar whining. Inception didn’t win any big awards because it didn’t deserve them. You cannot base a movie on some half-baked idea that is only fueled by special effects and unnecessary plot twists and expect it to beat movies like The King’s Speech or Black Swan. However, there is something good to be said for Inception: it made for some hilarious Internet memes, such as “struttin’ Leo” and a panel meme based around the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character tells Cillian Murphy’s character that they need to go deeper.