Monday, 20th May 2019

Rehook reels in baffled viewers

Posted on 15. Aug, 2010 by in Production

Rehook reels in baffled viewers

Until now, the formula appeared to depend on blockbusters such as Gone with the Wind and Titanic generating strong emotions. But the latest hit — Inception, the science-fiction thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio — has cracked it by creating a plot so complex that audiences feel compelled to return just to make sense of it.

They are returning to check out conundrums in the hidden depths of the narrative by director and writer Christopher Nolan that have set the internet abuzz. In the US, about one in five of Inception’s customers is a repeat viewer.

The film follows a gang of thieves led by DiCaprio who break into sleepers’ dreams to steal their secrets. They face their toughest challenge when asked to implant an idea in someone’s mind instead — the “inception” of the title.

Some critics dismiss the film as an old-fashioned heist dressed in futuristic clothes; others say it is a mess with thin characters.

Inception is the first film to have been explicitly designed to pull audiences back for more. Studio executives said Nolan had deliberately “layered” it with visual and musical puns that he calculated would reveal themselves only on repeat viewings.

Fans of Inception have pointed out hidden meanings in the design of buildings that fold in on themselves, in the clothes people wear, and in the soundtrack.

Veteran studio heads at Warner Brothers admitted they were baffled when they first saw the film, according to the Los Angeles Times. Younger executives were so excited that they wanted to watch it again immediately. It was then Warner realised the power of the rehook.

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