- Inception. Dir. Nolan, Christopher. Writ. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Coltillard. Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films, Film. 2010.
Inception centers around a team of thieves, led by Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), that uses technology to enter into and steal ideas from the dreams of their targets. The story develops when Cobb and his team are offered a job by Saito (Ken Watanabe) to plant an idea within the mind of a corporate heir, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphey).
Because the act of implanting information, also known as inception, is easily detected in contrast to dream-theft, Cobb's team must travel through several layers of subconscious in order to convince their target that the incepted idea originated from within and not from a foreign source. The team crafts a collective dream-world that will occupy the mind of Fisher.
As they begin to explore the shared dream world it becomes clear that Cobb's troubled past also occupies the dream. Battling this force from Cobb's past, time constraints, and the subconscious security of Fisher's mind, the team attempts to complete their mission.
This film, despite being about dreams and not computers, offers several insights into cyberspace. First off, dreams are, like electronic cyberspaces, virtual realities. The only difference is that outside of the film Inception, a dream is accessible to only one mind. Because dreams are collective experiences in Inception, they share the same dynamics as any other cyberspace. Most notably, Inception examines how interaction and participation within a cyberspace forges new perspectives of not only the cyberspace but also of the actual world. Many features of cyberspace are also present in Inception. The different layers of the dream world recall a hyperlink structure, and the characters within the dream world maintain an avatar presence. The film also explores the notion of security and theft of intellectual property (quite literally) within cyberspace . Finally, throughout the film, the distinction between the real world and the virtual world is constantly challenged.