You know how you watch a trailer for a movie sometimes, and you feel like you know the whole movie? (The girl thinks the boy is in love with another girl because she saw them hugging but really it was his long lost sister and the only thing they don’t show is the last kiss and final credits.) After I saw the trailer for “Inception”, I not only didn’t feel like I knew everything in the movie, I wasn’t sure what I had just seen. Which is cool -- seeing a movie that has surprises.
So you might want to not read another thing and go out and see it. Or you might want to know just a little bit. “Inception” is a heist film. You know (last “you know”-- promise), the “Ocean’s Eleven” kind of thing where there’s a big job to pull off, so the leader (Leo DiCaprio) puts together a gang to pull off the big job. The gang includes grizzled veterans and a newcomer to the world of crime, Ellen Page (the perky little teen from “Juno”.) But they aren’t stealing money or diamonds but ideas. And not breaking into a vault but into minds through dreams. Yeah, so it’s different than the average heist film.
And you know (sorry, I thought I was done) how in heist films there’s always that extra twist to make the job tougher? The thing that makes this job tougher is that the team doesn’t need to steal an idea from a dream (extraction), but rather leave an idea (inception).
As with any heist film, there are plenty of fights, chases and explosions, but since some of these take place in dreams, they don’t always have to follow the pesky rules of gravity, time and space. There are rules, though. The film clearly sets up rules for the dream world and fairly follows them. (The writer-director is Christopher Nolan, who brings from the Batman films the experience necessary to make a fantastic world seem real.)
But why should one care about what happens in a dream? After all, dreams aren’t real. We tend to discount dreams as random images created by body chemicals and electronic charges in our sleep.
In the Bible, a dream is rarely just a dream. In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh of Egypt was warned in a dream about years of abundance and famine. Daniel, like Joseph, rose out of slavery to the heights of power based on his ability to interpret dreams. And Joseph was told about his Son Jesus in a dream.
Dreams can clue us in to our greatest fears and desires. I believe God can still, if He chooses, speak to us through dreams.
Just as Leo and company enter the dreams of others in “Inception”, we need to bring God even into our dreams, our deepest hopes and fears. II Corinthians 10:5 says “we must take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. Even our dreams.