Christopher Nolan Reveals A Few New Inception Plot Details
Though technically summer is still months away, many consider this past weekend's release of Clash of the Titans the beginning of the summer blockbuster season, and though the film is a complete disappointment, the box office seems to indicate that it is indeed time for some big releases. This is also when later summer releases really start pushing their marketing, but in the case of one upcoming film, Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated, mysterious Inception, the excitement is already there for most of us, but we just want to know more about it. Fortunately LA Times came through with some new details from Nolan himself.
While there's been rampant speculation, we've all been waiting for some official word describing the briefest of a plot synopsis to quench our thirst, and now we know that Inception follows Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb: "a specialist in the new branch of corporate espionage -- he's a dream thief who plucks secrets from the minds of tycoons after pumping them full of drugs and hooking them up to a mysterious contraption." That's the basic idea, and if you don't want anything spoiled read no further (there's nothing that will ruin the movie, but there's some plot points that you may not be interested in hearing). You've been warned.
The problem and complication with Cobb's work though is his past has made him a wounded dreamer after the loss of his beloved wife. But don't let this point of drama sway you, because the concept is still very much unique, and the film is described as a heist film, and one that may actually be the first existential heist film that the studio is hoping doesn't melt your mind so much as appeal to the part of it that would love to see "a brainy Mission: Impossible by way of The Matrix." In other words, "may have had its subconscious baggage packed by Sigmund Freud, but it also carries a passport stamped by Ian Fleming." Sounds awesome to me.
DiCaprio also likes Nolan's complex yet entertaining creative mindset, as the actor told LA Times on set:
"Complex and ambiguous are the perfect way to describe the story. And it's going to be a challenge to ultimately pull it off. But that is what Chris Nolan specializes in. He has been able to convey really complex narratives that work on a multitude of different layers simultaneously to an audience and make it entertaining and engaging throughout. You look at 'Insomnia' or 'Memento,' these movies are working on so many different levels. That's his expertise; it's what he does best, as a matter of fact."
This isn't just another project for Nolan because he's been looking forward to this for a while: "I wanted to do this for a very long time, it's something I've thought about off and on since I was about 16. I wrote the first draft of this script seven or eight years ago, but it goes back much further, this idea of approaching dream and the dream life as another state of reality." And when you've been involved in a project for that long, it's hard for someone on the outside to look in and understand something that complicated, but Nolan does a decent job explaining it and his fascination with our perception, observation and control of dreams.
"[In a dream] you can look around and examine the details and pick up a handful of sand on the beach. I never particularly found a limit to that; that is to say, that while in that state your brain can fill in all that reality. I tried to work that idea of manipulation and management of a conscious dream being a skill that these people have. Really the script is based on those common, very basic experiences and concepts, and where can those take you? And the only outlandish idea that the film presents, really, is the existence of a technology that allows you to enter and share the same dream as someone else."
As a result of Nolan's deep thoughts on dreams and DiCaprio's input on the script, the film has become a combination of the emotional and intellectual encompassing Nolan's signature brilliant storytelling style.
"I originally wrote it as a heist movie, and heist movies traditionally are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms," Nolan said. "They're frivolous and glamorous, and there's a sort of gloss and fun to it. I originally tried to write it that way, but when I came back to it I realized that -- to me -- that didn't work for a film that relies so heavily on the idea of the interior state, the idea of dream and memory. I realized I needed to raise the emotional stakes. What we found in working on 'Batman' is that it's the emotionalism that best connects the audience with the material. The character issues, those are the things that pull the audience through it and amplify the experience no matter how strange things get."
And for those who are dying to know even more about the plot, Nolan has some words you should heed in your pursuit of spoilers or even understanding the film before you see it, and I have to say I totally agree with him on this. "Think of film noir and if you picture the story as a maze, you don't want to be hanging above the maze watching the characters make the wrong choices because it's frustrating. You actually want to be in the maze with them, making the turns at their side, that keeps it more exciting… I quite like to be in that maze." Me too, sir. Me too. Head over to the LA Times to read the entire Inception set visit report.