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Posted on 7/17/10 01:20 AM
Imagine you're in a dream where your senses are so keen it feels just like reality. You feel pain, the wind blowing softly on your skin, hear every word spoken by others and yourself with utmost clarity, see every bit of detail on every object that crosses your view, provided your vision is acute of course, and when you hold it, or run your fingers through it, your sense of touch is definitely in the works. Take a breath of fresh air and fill your lungs; when a funny smell suddenly lurks around, you notice, so cover your nose. Like in any dream, your subconscious will create projections of people you encounter and interact with in real life, as well as places you've likely visited before, maybe places you go to regularly in life. But you can also find yourself in places you've never been to in your entire life, see new faces, all spawned by the power of your imagination, which as we know is prone to rule in the subconscious state of dreams. This dream is so tangible, that your projections seem to take a life of their own, because they actually do, from objects to living beings. It's like your subconscious replicates the real world by literally giving it the breath of life. Imagine that you're dreaming at this very second. That you're reading me in your dream. You guessed it, that's how it should feel. Utterly real. Certainly, in dreams, we can stretch our imagination beyond limits, but we also practise restraint due to the illusion of reality created by our subconscious and overpowering that very same subconscious prompting the latter to dictate our limitations, and often those of the people our mind recreates or creates, or animals or even creatures pertaining to fantasy, but also the setting in which we find ourselves; limitations which include, given the far ends of imagination, the very fundamental laws of physics by which abides the perceived world in our dream. But it probably takes one vivid imagination to go as far as dreaming of flying for example, or wandering in pink hills, something more related to children. However dreams are what they are, and in them, we can defy or command nature, as unpredictably as our subconscious is unpredictable and uncontrollable. In a dream dominated by the notion of realism, though, our mind is more heavily subjected to the limitations of the real world. The progress of your dream may certainly be extraordinary, but is more likely to remain within what is physically possible.
Now Imagine sharing that dream with someone, and I don't mean accounting for it after you wake up, but both of you having what could be called synchronised dreams, that collide into a unique world by complementing eachother. And that other person's dream feels just as real as yours. To you, their projections seem real, and vice versa. Your subconscious, unable to even identify the fruit of its own work when it sees it, obviously can't distinguish your projections from theirs, and vice versa. To both of you, everything around you become part of your reality, including eachother. Not to forget that their projections have a life of their own, controlled by the subject's subconscious, which is as unmaneuverable to them as yours is to you. And there goes the dream.
Now that would be an interesting experience to say the least. But it can have its disadvantages. As we well know, our subconscious is aware of our most private secrets. If by fear of seeing them exposed, it enacted this very scenario for example, the people in our dream, whom we deal with in real life would come to see our skeletons through the closet, or get their hands on valuable information which if kept private would provide a preferable outcome... We would lose part of our privacy that is sacred. Of course if it happened in our dream, in real life it would remain a secret, since projections are illusory, unreal. But if this dream were to be shared with someone, among possible scenarios, that person would witness first hand the disclosure of your secret, or else, they'd hear about it from a friend or an acquaintance who did, maybe a mutual friend, subjected in the dream to both your subconscious minds; and as your fellow dreamer woke up, they'd think they'd learnt something secret about you, communicated during the dream to their subconscious. Or they'd be certain of it. Because, let's face it, if you reveal something personal in a dream, there's a good chance it relates of at least some truth. But not all dreams are so telling. If not for a nightmare, you'll keep your secrets with you, whether these are memories, ideas, or in the form of plain visible objects. If your mind manages not to project the secret in question so that it becomes visually accessible to your fellow dreamer or someone whose eyes they can see through, you can rest assured. Still, if your secret consists of concrete things, the other person can find its location and overcome any obstacle you put in their way for denying them access to it. And there are ways they can figure out to uncover other less obtainable secrects too. Here we adress the problem of maintaining privacy, aggravated by possible theft of secret information. But there are other dangers associated with such undertaking. There's for instance the question of how much impact on one's mental state dreams so vivid can have. And then there's what is called inception.
Without going further, you may wonder how this can all be possible. Welcome to Christopher Nolan's world. A world of endless possibilities; where your mind can take over reality so that it changes the course of events. How? by having a dream substitute reality. The thriller "Inception" is not set in a sci-fi world properly speaking. It is in the world as you know it. Only there's been a breakthrough in the science of dreams: a technology able to connect people in their dreams, making the dreams interdependant as they aggregate into an experience shared by all. A new life one may argue, for it all seems so real. The machine catapultes you into a realistic predesigned world serving as a setting for your dream, so that your mind isn't inclined to fabricate it's own setting or chain of settings, making it more difficult for you to realise you're dreaming.
The movie's concept is impressive, original, so intricate that it allows for a mind-gripping ride. The storyline is impeccably delivered. This movie's a winner.