Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Barbershop Conversation About Inception

On Saturday afternoon I was at the barbershop on Barkley Street getting my hair cut. (Not for me the trendy hair places round the corner on Acland Street, and BTW, as an Irishman, I get my hair cut, not "done".) While I was in the chair a regular customer started a conversation with the barber about movies. They got to talking about Inception which my barber hated - he's a no nonsense Russian guy about 50 with a good deal of common sense. The customer was a skinny character in a leather jacket and hipster glasses and I think he mentioned the fact that he was a college professor. The customer said that my barber probably hadn't understood Inception, that it was all about Freud and was a very intelligent film and that he should probably watch it a second time. My barber said that he had understood it perfectly but was bored to tears and wouldn't watch it again in a million years.
I said nothing. For two reasons. Firstly because I didn't want to get worked up and secondly because although I only get a number three all over I was still getting a sensational hair cut and didn't want to ruin it. However I do have an opinion about Inception. (I haven't formally blogged about this but I have mentioned it several times in comment threads, so, if you'll please excuse the repetition...) I thought Inception was the worst kind of film: a really dumb movie masquerading as an intelligent one. Pretentious, shallow codswallop that seems to have fooled a lot of people into thinking there are hidden depths of wisdom or something. Ugh, the acting, the dreariness, the logical flaws, but my main problem with the picture was its asexuality. If Christopher Nolan had really read Freud (or if he'd been French) the movie wouldn't have been the chase and shoot em up fantasies of a 10 year old boy but would have been chock full of seduction. How about instead of a gun battle within a gun battle within a gun battle we had at least one scene where they use eroticism to convince their clients? Ellen Page is a nice young lady but she's not going to launch a thousand ships or start a war is she? And it wasn't just the casting, it was the entire ethos. Does anybody on this planet have such sterile, unerotic dreams as everyone in Inception seems to have? I'll bet even the Pope has the odd sex dream - you can't help it, you're human. It reminded me of the National Lampoon novel Bored of the Rings where the Dark Lord, instead of using the Nine Riders and brute force, hires a beautiful elf maiden to seduce the ring from Frodo...she caresses his hairy hobbit toes and he gives it to her immediately - end of story. Yes I know Nolan is English but despite the stereotype the English are a bawdy people and masters of innuendo from Chaucer to Syd James and Lily Allen.