Modern Heat author Heidi Rice gets her head around Leo DiCaprio's new high-concept science-fiction thriller and finds a haunting tale of love and loss lurking inside all the mind-blowing FX and plot contortions.
Okay, Inception is one of those sci-fi thrillers that's so high-concept it could give you a nosebleed. The plot is so fricking complex you have to stay focussed or you'll miss some vital bit of information. In other words, this is not the film to go see with your first boyfriend and snog in the back row, or you'll come up for air and won't know what the heck is going on. But hey, that's not really a problem for me any more, so I'm ok with that. And I've always liked films that make me think.... As long as they don't give me a headache (The Matrix, anyone??).
And Inception is based on a brilliant conceit. The premise being that in the near future industrial espionage is carried out by spies called Extractors who can invade a person's dreams and steal their ideas, or in the case of Leonardo DiCaprio and his top-notch crew of Extractors in the film, plant ideas instead. Cue lots of really quite mesmerising special effects sequences as Leo and his crew - which includes dinky Juno actress Ellen Page and up-and-coming Brit sex symbol Tom Hardy — construct dreams which then disintegrate in spectacular fashion.
Now, I'm not going to elaborate any more on the plot except to say that it's constructed around a series of dreams, within dreams, within dreams as the crew venture deeper and deeper into business tycoon Cillian Murphy's subconcious to bury an idea that will make him dissolve his father's company and thus save the world from corporate meltdown (or something like that, I think I may have been having a quick snog at some point cos I can't quite remember how it works now).
But what makes this film resonate, what makes it worth all the effort of following that labyrinthine plot, isn't the clever concept or the eye-popping special effects, but the characters. It's always the human story which draws me into a film — and without believeable, relatable characters, people whose hopes and (certainly in this case) dreams matter, no amount of pizzazz or razzamatazz is going to make it work for me. And that's where this story triumphs. Because behind all the mind-boggling plotting and mind-blowing FX is the driving force behind the drama - the story of Leo DiCaprio's character and the crushing grief over his dead wife (played by the mesmerisingly beautiful Marion Cottillard) which he carries around with him in both his real and his hyper-real life...
For all it's high-concept sci-fi bells and whistles, ultimately, Inception is a simple, hauntingly beautiful and heart-stoppingly romantic tale of one man's loss and how he learns to come to terms with it. And that's what makes this movie an absolute gem. The Matrix eat your heart out!!
Heidi's latest Presents Extra, Unfinished Business with the Duke, is set to hit shelves in the US next month. Her latest Modern Heat, Surf, Sea and a Sexy Stranger, is due out in the UK in November, and has one of the swanky new covers (check out that sexy stranger!!).
Heidi loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook and her website, so come have a natter. And she's currently gearing up for her mentoring duties in M&B's New Voices competition. So if you're an aspiring author don't forget to enter for a chance to get your book published.