All the over-the-top images; more like a painting, are justified by reasoning, science and a little bit of imagination.
Nolan is a filmmaker to be afraid of. What P.T. Anderson did for straight three hours in Magnolia, you are going to have that same exhausting experience in this visual galore. Inception deals with a metaphor heist commanded by an expert extractor named Cobb whose only dream is to go home. Away from the action and the skills he masters at, and in order to reach home, he goes through the final test by embracing and learning the first thought entering his mind.
I remember I was ahead of Nolan- or so I thought. I claimed to know his method of decoding a subject and then he coded this cinematic marvel in front of me. So here’s how he goes through a script. He treats them like a sketch show. Simple as that. And just like in a sketch show there are plenty of sketches- duh!- surfing around it. Now, a sketch is actually a double edged sword. In the sense that it needs a start, a middle act and a final act, in every three minutes. And once you get over it- which is usually engaging for its compactness- you have to come up with an entire new idea. But this is why it favours majorly on Nolan’s side. Since, he has to deal with the same world, he creates, celebrates and destroys the world in each act that also contributes to the bigger picture completing the circle and leaving us satisfied. Another thing to note here is, how he celebrates. In an “action” espionage thriller, you would expect some punches and bullets and explosives. But the way he celebrates- or in layman terms exaggerate or gloats- is by envisioning his germ of the idea on different set pieces and locations. Ergo, his action is never your typical luxurious action. Just watch Joseph Gorden Lewitt surviving on that hotel without or under influenced gravity.
Science over emotions. Yes, I think as much as brilliant the subconscious play and the contingent unknown backup plans work on the film, I found myself cheated on the emotional background that our protagonist Cobb, played remorsefully by Leonardo DiCaprio, goes through. Don’t get me wrong, the back story is incredibly rich, it’s just the way it is treated. It is like after every- thrice to be precise- major event, Ellen Page and DiCaprio are told to reveal little by little information about the past in order to manipulate us. But this is just a minor flaw in this Nolan’s masterpiece that not only subjugates but even belittles writers like us.