Leonardo’s latest is no different to his other blockbusters. Except, actually it is. They are all unusual and mysterious tackling a subject in a new way although ‘they‘ have likened this to the Matrix; films I never got into and wondered for a long time why there were references each time someone saw me in my almost floor length leather coat.
20 minutes into the film, despite my determined stance, I give up trying to follow it but resign myself to enjoy the special effects.
The story – if you can find one – is that we now have the technology to not only extract dreams from people but implant them. Whilst they’re dreaming, DiCaprio’s team are able to manipulate people to do what they want. The twist is that his wife has died and he has committed a crime preventing him from going back to America to be with his young children. Instead he implants dreams about his family which cannot create a healthy existence.
He is offered a chance to redeem his American status by a criminal, who I recognised is played by the excellent Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai). He just needs to do this one complicated job for which he enlists the help of a student (Ellen Page) as recommended by his professor father (Michael Caine).
I agree that teeny Ellen Page (Juno) does look 12 years old at most so an enthusiastic geeky nerd (is that the same thing?) is the best we can see her as. She helps set up the plan where they are going to be in a dream, within a dream, within yet another dream. I think.
None of this is futuristic; the roads bending, buildings curving and gravity changing at will is all in the here and now and yet there is scant mention that what they are doing is illegal.
I suggest you just enjoy the long 2½ hour ride.
7½/10 Smile factor 8½/10