Just over two months away from the July 16th release of Inception, details continue to slowly emerge. Many of you have been able to stay away from every last piece of information, playing along with the mystery of the film. But with so little out there, the extended synopsis of the plot makes for quite a revealing update. So let it be known, if you want to remain in the dark, stop reading now.
Director Christopher Nolan’s films have all dealt with isolation, focusing typically on a central character and their struggles. He has worked with ensemble casts before, like in The Dark Knight, but Inception just feels like something we’ve never seen from the filmmaker. Based on the plot synopsis and one specific line in the middle, it seems clear his main character (Leonardo DiCaprio) will find himself in a lonely place, if only emotionally. Add the idea that you are alone with your dreams and there’s your isolation right there.
But Nolan has previously discussed how the film is technically a heist movie with the dream concept functioning as a device to tell an engaging story. The synopsis seems to expand on the idea that Inception is not quite so bizarre in terms of story, but rather in the way a battle-tested plot is told.
Some of the details you’ll find touched on a bit more are DiCaprio’s role in the overall scheme, the purpose for the movie’s title, and the intention of the main character and his squad. What it does not get into are any of the visual elements or the psychological components of the film. It is strictly plot, which is actually a modest step forward, rather than an overwhelming jump
Here is the more extensive Inception synopsis:
Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.
We’ve seen this kind of film before – skilled assassin/police officer/criminal takes on one last gig before calling it quits, but everything goes wrong. Yet, you look at the trailers and nothing but creativity bleeds from every frame. That is the real beauty of filmmaking. Take a step back and look at all of your favorite films. Once you generalize the plot a bit, you may find many of them are similar. There really are not all that many great core stories – instead, it comes down to the way the story is told and the dialogue that tells it.
Some digging between the lines of this synopsis can lead to a few more details, but it remains speculation. Cobb losing “everything he has ever loved” seems a clear reference to his wife, played by Marion Cotillard, dying either during the film or before it. She is the one character we have almost no clips for or information about. We also get final assurance Cobb is a criminal.
The amazing thing about this synopsis is, while it reveals quite a bit more about the story, the whole of Inception is still a total mystery. We still have basically no clue what the heck is going on and why it is the way it is. You can put all the information together from other stories and get a basic idea of what Nolan is going for, but still no concrete understanding. I can only imagine what it would have been like if we dissected Memento like this.
A new Inception trailer hits theaters in front of Iron Man 2 and will hopefully include footage shown at recent conventions like the ski chase, the city falling into the ocean and Marion Cotillard in some fashion. There’s still plenty to be excited about, but don’t get too upset when the spoilers begin to pop up over the next month or so.
What do you think of the latest plot details? Are you just waiting for more visuals or does the extended storyline sound more intriguing to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Inception is set to fold into theaters on July 16th, 2010.