I watched “Inception” again today, for what I think was the fourth time. It’s a big movie filled with big moments – the “dream is collapsing” sequence at the beginning; the “world is turning” fight between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the two security guards in the second-level dream as the van cascades down a hillside in the first-level dream; the juxtaposition between the three dream levels as the van descends into the water in the first level, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt attempts to “drop” his subjects in a zero-gravity world in the second level, and an avalanche careens down the mountain in the third; the wonderful sequence where Ellen Page escapes from limbo by throwing herself out a high-rise window and then makes her way up through the three levels of dreams…there are more than that, but those are notable for their sheer audacity alone.
But there are also some wonderful “small” moments in the film – two in particular stand out. One is where Cillian Murphy clasps his dying father’s (Pete Postlethwaite) hand as he opens the safe and sees what is inside; and the second is where Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) holds Mal (Marion Cotillard) and explains to her that they really did grow old together, and then finally lets her go. There are others sprinkled throughout “Inception,” and they lend the film its emotional resonance – Gordon-Levitt giving Ariadne a kiss, the way that Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy are always needling each other; and the great penultimate sequence where all those on the flight are gathering their luggage and give each other a sly, knowing look.
Great stuff; great movie.