It’s not that they are the same , but there’s no denying they have
strong similarities in areas. The whole idea of dream machine technology
being used for reasons other than it’s initial purpose. Dream sharing.
Reality merging with dreams. The hallway scenes are very similar
Nolan is good combining music(this is what i wanna point out and
the bmg is just magnificent as Zimmer is so damn talented)and visuals
and he gets some nice dialogue bw mal and cobb, that makes the movie
better than it is
I liked both movies, but Paprika definitely has an “out of
control” feel to it, whereas Inception has a crafted, Scenario-Based
design feel to it.
This entire article is a major spoiler for Inception. Please do not read
it until you’ve experienced Christopher Nolan’s film for yourself.
And the fact Nolan has been quoted as saying it was an influence.
Every single moment of Inception is a dream. I think that in a couple of
years this will become the accepted reading of the film, and differing
interpretations will have to be skillfully argued to be even remotely
considered. The film makes this clear, and it never holds back the truth
from audiences. Some find this idea to be narratively repugnant, since
they think that a movie where everything is a dream is a movie without
stakes, a movie where the audience is wasting their time.
Except that this is exactly what Nolan is arguing against. The film is a
metaphor for the way that Nolan as a director works, and what he’s
ultimately saying is that the catharsis found in a dream is as real as
the catharsis found in a movie is as real as the catharsis found in
life. Inception is about making movies, and cinema is the shared dream
that truly interests the director.
I believe that Inception is a dream to the point where even the
dream-sharing stuff is a dream. Dom Cobb isn’t an extractor. He can’t go
into other people’s dreams. He isn’t on the run from the Cobol
Corporation. At one point he tells himself this, through the voice of
Mal, who is a projection of his own subconscious. She asks him how real
he thinks his world is, where he’s being chased across the globe by
faceless corporate goons.
She asks him that in a scene that we all know is a dream, but Inception
lets us in on this elsewhere. Michael Caine’s character implores Cobb to
return to reality, to wake up. During the chase in Mombasa, Cobb tries
to escape down an alleyway, and the two buildings between which he’s
running begin closing in on him – a classic anxiety dream moment. When
he finally pulls himself free he finds Ken Watanabe’s character waiting
for him, against all logic. Except dream logic.
Much is made in the film about totems, items unique to dreamers that can
be used to tell when someone is actually awake or asleep. Cobb’s totem
is a top, which spins endlessly when he’s asleep, and the fact that the
top stops spinning at many points in the film is claimed by some to be
evidence that Cobb is awake during those scenes. The problem here is
that the top wasn’t always Cobb’s totem – he got it from his wife, who
killed herself because she believed that they were still living in a
dream. There’s more than a slim chance that she’s right – note that when
Cobb remembers her suicide she is, bizarrely, sitting on a ledge
opposite the room they rented. You could do the logical gymnastics
required to claim that Mal simply rented another room across the
alleyway, but the more realistic notion here is that it’s a dream, with
the gap between the two lovers being a metaphorical one made literal.
When Mal jumps she leaves behind the top, and if she was right about the
world being a dream, the fact that it spins or doesn’t spin is
meaningless. It’s a dream construct anyway. There’s no way to use the
top as a proof of reality.
Watching the film with this eye you can see the dream logic unfolding.
As is said in the movie, dreams seem real in the moment and it’s only
when you’ve woken up that things seem strange. The film’s ‘reality’
sequences are filled with moments that, on retrospect, seem strange or
unlikely or unexplained. Even the basics of the dream sharing technology
is unbelievably vague, and I don’t think that’s just because Nolan wants
to keep things streamlined. It’s because Cobb’s unconscious mind is
filling it in as he goes along.
There’s more, but I would have to watch the film again with a notebook
to get all the evidence (all of it in plain sight). The end seems
without a doubt to be a dream – from the dreamy way the film is shot and
edited once Cobb wakes up on the plane all the way through to him coming
home to find his two kids in the exact position and in the exact same
clothes that he kept remembering them, it doesn’t matter if the top
falls, Cobb is dreaming.
That Cobb is dreaming and still finds his catharsis (that he can now
look at the face of his kids) is the point. It’s important to realize
that Inception is a not very thinly-veiled autobiographical look at how
Nolan works. In a recent red carpet interview, Leonardo DiCaprio – who
was important in helping Nolan get the script to the final stages –
compares the movie not to The Matrix or some other mindfuck movie but
Fellini’s 8 1/2. This is probably the second most telling thing DiCaprio
said during the publicity tour for the film, with the first being that
he based Cobb on Nolan. 8 1/2 is totally autobiographical for Fellini,
and it’s all about an Italian director trying to overcome his block and
make a movie (a science fiction movie, even). It’s a film about
filmmaking, and so is Inception.
The heist team quite neatly maps to major players in a film production.
Cobb is the director while Arthur, the guy who does the research and who
sets up the places to sleep, is the producer. Ariadne, the dream
architect, is the screenwriter – she creates the world that will be
entered. Eames is the actor (this is so obvious that the character sits
at an old fashioned mirrored vanity, the type which stage actors would
use). Yusuf is the technical guy; remember, the Oscar come from the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and it requires a good
number of technically minded people to get a movie off the ground. Nolan
himself more or less explains this in the latest issue of Film Comment,
saying ‘There are a lot of striking similarities [between what the team
does and the putting on of a major Hollywood movie]. When for instance
the team is out on the street they’ve created, surveying it, that’s
really identical with what we do on tech scouts before we shoot.’