Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inception and Vanishing Complexity

Recently everyone has been going crazy over Chris Nolan's new supposed masterpiece Inception. I saw the movie last week and I must say it was very well done, however I do not think it is nearly as original and brilliant as some enthusiastic reviewers say. The story was actually quite simple and nowhere near as complex and far-reaching as something like The Matrix or Fight Club. The appeal is very personal and psychological, as is Chris Nolan's style, but I digress. The reason I believe there is such praise for this movie is quite simple. People want to be made to think. This is what Nolan's popularity really conveys to me, as this is a thought-provoking movie, but not extremely so. I think that, at least at some level, people are just so sick of being presented with simplistic action or romance that is completely transparent. This has been the case over and over again in the past few years. There is a trend toward less thought-provoking movies. Last year saw a couple sci-fi gems come out in the form of District 9 and Moon. This year Inception is the only movie I have been willing to see in theaters. This trend towards less complex and unique movie plots really makes me wonder if people actually do want less thinking and more visceral stimuli as entertainment. Then I look at the popularity of "reality" television and know it must be true. A wise man did once say that people would rather be content to live in ignorance and stupidity than go through the labor of gaining more knowledge. Is this contentedness positive or negative? A small part of me wants to have sympathy for those who wish this kind of contentment, but I know if everyone was content to remain ignorant our country and our civilization would not have gotten very far in the first place.

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