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Inception- The Lies We Tell Ourselves



Inception- The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Inception intrigued me; the basic premise being mental espionage.



I have no idea how I missed Inception. This is the equivalent of wearing white after Labour Day; an utter travesty! I remember getting ready to watch the movie Inception. I was at an international cinema and the options available were, “The Karate Kid,” an animated feature or “Inception”. For the life of me I can’t recall what the animated feature was, I’m getting old, sue me!

Inception intrigued me; the basic premise being mental espionage. White collar crimes of theft committed in your dreams. It’s a far fetched idea but it promised action and psychological thrills. The cherry on top was Tom Hardy. I love him to bits and if you didn’t already know, he revolutionised the villain Bane with the iconic “You think darkness is your ally,” speech. ($20 to anyone who can replicate said speech in near perfect tones!)

As always I’m running down the rabbit hole and losing my train of thought. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who’s on the run for his wife’s murder. As a fugitive, his employment choices are limited so he jumps at the chance of a lifetime; instead of stealing ideas from someone, why not plant one instead?

His crew believe this is impossible but as the daring pioneer he charters a course unperturbed. As the mission begins, things go awry and somehow he and his team are trapped in his subconscious. Now, stay with me, his wife dominates his subconscious, the burning embers of guilt that continuously haunt him.

His wife as guilt personified makes it a point to sabotage the mission, offering his team release if he stays with her. He does, in a heartbreaking scene, revealing that he incepted the idea that led to her death.
I’m heavily summarising and glossing over many an interesting detail so if you haven’t watched it please do. But this epiphanic moment deeply resonated with me. What are the lies we tell ourselves in a bid to survive? Cobb spent his time immersed in a fictional world that eventually became a prison of torment and anguish.

If we were to take the dream state as our mind, our constant playground, this begs the question, is it a safe place to live? Is it filled with light, love and contentment or a dreary, doom filled den we dare not escape?

Are we filled with regrets, and doubts, questioning our past, fearing our future and whittling away at our present? Who are the denizens of our core and are they kind to us? Is our mind a seedy underbelly of dreams long dead and buried? This is a question I continually battle with, the idea of legacy and what I will leave behind. For Cobb, his only wish was to see his children, the innocent bystanders inadvertently orphaned before their time. He worked tooth and nail to return to them, driven by guilt and remorse. This again begs the question, what drives you? What keeps you going? What would define happiness for you?

Our parents lived in a bygone era of bliss and relative comfort yet we are plagued by higher costs of living, an evolving employment scope and AI. Not to mention the advent and domination of social media. It raises the question of what happiness would even look like in our day and age. Is it having a family, living comfortably, living alone and travelling the world? I ask this, because the key to Cobb’s success lay in implanting an idea in someone else’s mind, an idea that would come to dominate its victim and define his very existence. So I ask you, are you living the life of your dreams or has it been chosen for you, an idea implanted by family, or friends, societal expectations or even dreams fostered on us by those who wish to live vicariously through us?

In a gut wrenching cliff hanger, Cobb eventually gets to his children but we never get to find out if he really did make it back to them or if he remained trapped in the dream scape, a living death. This made me think of the many forms of escapism we resort to in a bid to feel numb even for a little while, be it alcohol, drugs or even sleep.

This movie burrowed into my minds eye and brought me face to face with my own demons, don’t worry though I made friends with them and calmly told them to leave once I figured out why they were there in the first place. I hope you can too. I hope you live each moment and immerse yourself in its light, I hope you have made peace with your past and actively anticipate and build your future. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this immersive movie, “Inception.”

I’ve gotta go, Winslow!
The Musings of a Whimsical Mind

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