What a cast! Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine, to name just a few. They are involved in an intricate science-fiction story written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who made the most accomplished Batman movie, The Dark Knight.
Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a thief who steals secrets from people by invading their dreams. He’s now a fugitive and is given one last chance at redemption by inserting an idea into Robert Fischer’s (Cillian Murphy) head instead of stealing something from it.
The complex idea upon which the film is based is that people can share dreams. So Dom gets a team of people to share Fischer’s dream to insert an idea into his head. It’s an ingenious idea, but also absurd, as are most ideas upon which science fiction are based (“Beam me up, Scotty”). However, much of Jules Verne’s fiction that might have seemed preposterous a century ago turned out to be not only possible, but came true. So did Dick Tracy’s wrist radio that bore fruition in the cell phone.
In order to get into this tale, one must concentrate, because the first hour is setting up what the characters are going to do and if you don’t get it, the film won’t make any sense. Nolan accomplishes this extremely well, so that the stuff that goes on in the last half does make sense if you suspend your disbelief enough, which was easy enough for me to do.
Nolan keeps the pace up and he gets top performances by everyone. It would be unfair to single anybody out, but without DiCaprio’s believable performance, the movie wouldn’t make it. Cotillard, as DiCaprio’s wife, is gorgeously inscrutable, adding yet another level of mystery to what’s going on.
This was a very expensive movie to film. In addition to the salaries of the A-list cast, it was filmed all over the world, in six countries on four continents and contains the requisite amount of special effects.