What will the future of romantic comedies be like?
It’s been a while since we had a genuinely happy ending in a rom-com. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs in the ever-evolving social media landscape, but for the most part, we’ve been distracted by the increasing amounts of content that tell us to be wary of our romantic interests.
The rise of the romance scam has changed the game, and the way we view our romantic leads. It’s not that we’ve become desensitized to the idea of fraud; it’s more that we’ve grown suspicious of everyone, especially those who seek to befriend us through online interactions.
Which is exactly what happened when ‘Inception’ hit cinemas. The Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film showcased a number of shocking tricks that its dream-influencing formula used to lure its victims into believing that they were meeting a romantic partner, when in reality they were being duped by a cunning predator.
To be clear, just because a relationship isn’t legit doesn’t mean that it’s doomed to fail. In fact, many successful couples have been forged through the art of online dating. However, it does mean that you should be extra careful, especially if you’re already feeling a bit vulnerable due to the pandemic.
What Is ‘Inception’ Basically?
Put simply, ‘Inception’ is a romance scam that targets the vulnerable.
The plot is simple. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a powerful and wealthy businessman who is enlisted by the US Government to infiltrate the dreams of wealthy people so that they can steal their money. The only problem is, Cobb has a difficult time putting his talents to use due to writer’s block. So, he calls on his fellow conspirator, Arthur Dent (Robert Pattinson), who has a background in psychology and is able to write books about psychology and the subconscious mind. Together, they craft a plan that will allow Cobb to fulfill his purpose.
Initially, DiCaprio’s character is skeptical that the whole endeavor will work. However, thanks to some brainwaves by Cobb that get him through Arthur’s mental wall, he accepts the challenge and agrees to help. Together, they devise a plan to use a specially designed machine to enter people’s dreams.)
As it turns out, entering somebody’s dream is a lot easier said than done. Believe it or not, most people don’t want to have their dreams messed with, especially the wealthy individuals that Cobb and his team target. So, it takes some serious psychology to convince a person that they are, in fact, dreaming and that they want to continue living in their fantasies. Luckily for Cobb and his team, they’ve enlisted the help of a vulnerable individual named Arthur Dent and a machine that can literally ‘read’ a person’s mind.’
While this may sound like a pretty routine story line, ‘Inception’ is a lot more complicated than that. The biggest complexity comes from the fact that the film is both a psychological thriller and a romance, and it requires the viewer to understand how the two genres meld together. Even more impressive is the fact that the filmmakers managed to keep the audience guessing until the very end.
The Psychological Aspects Of ‘Inception’
Anyone who’s ever fallen victim to a romance scam will tell you that one of the biggest red flags is when an online suitor refuses to meet you in person. As much as we’d like to believe that face-to-face interactions are no longer necessary due to the rise of the internet, it’s clear that this isn’t the case. This is especially true when it comes to romance scams, as the scammers are often the ones who want to meet the potential victims in person. It’s because they know that it’s easier to manipulate somebody if you can look them in the eyes. So, while it’s great that we have the option of communicating via text or social media, it’s also keeping us more vulnerable.
This is why when Cobb and Arthur Dent finally put their plan into action, they utilize a number of deceptions to get the job done. First off, they will plant a seed of doubt in the person’s mind by suggesting that this is all just a dream, and that they actually don’t have any sinister intentions. Even more impressively, they will convince the victim that they are, in fact, living in a dream world by using technology to ‘scan’ the person’s brain. This means that while they are physically in the real world, the computer will be interpreting what they are seeing, and it will look like they are actually in the dream world. This is why when Arthur and Cobb finally meet face to face, it’s such a shock when Arthur reveals that he is, in fact, only a character in Cobb’s dream. Although this might not seem like a big deal, the filmmakers still managed to keep the audience guessing until the very end. This technique is known as ‘dream manipulation,’ and it’s used to great effect in ‘Inception.’
One of the things that makes ‘Inception’ so effective is the way it weaves together a number of different storylines that eventually come together at the end. While the bulk of the story focuses on the infiltration of dreams, the plot also involves several other twists and turns that keep the audience guessing until the very end. One of the most shocking developments in the film involves an unlikely duo: Cobb’s right-hand man, Agent Smith, and the head of a secret government organization. The result is a story that’s as twisty as it is unpredictable. This is what made it so hard to predict how people would respond to the film, especially since many of its twists and turns were completely out of left field. For example, the portrayal of Smith, a character who has been a fan favorite since the original ‘Batman,’ was unexpected, to say the least.
The Financial Aspects
It’s also important to note that while ‘Inception’ is a psychological thriller, it is definitely a PG-13 movie. Due to the nature of some of the content, particularly in regards to the dream manipulation plot twist, it couldn’t be released in its original form. Ultimately, the filmmakers decided that it would be beneficial to the plot to either cut or heavily edit the movie. This means that while there are some very scary moments, they are mostly very brief and, in some cases, almost not there at all. It’s also important to keep in mind that the victims in Cobb’s dream are actually rich and powerful individuals who could afford to pay him handsomely.
Even if you’re not one of the victims, it’s still a good idea to see the movie. After all, just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it’s morally right. In most cases, it’s the complete opposite. Take the case of the romance scam, for example. While entering somebody’s dreams is considered ‘consensual’ (in other words, not illegal), doing so without the person’s knowledge is still considered fraud. It’s the same when it comes to money laundering and tax evasion. In these cases, it’s not only illegal to perform these activities, it’s also considered very immoral. In most cases, the person being deceived will have a much harder time getting their money back once they realize what has happened. It’s also important to note that while these types of scams are usually perpetrated by strangers, it doesn’t mean that it has to be. The victims’ own family members and friends might also be involved, although this would be a red flag.
Overall, ‘Inception’ is a phenomenal piece of cinema. Not only does it successfully blend two very different genres together, but it does so while keeping the audience guessing until the very end. While the film doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of what a psychological thriller or a romance movie should be like, it’s important to note that it’s exactly what it should be like: unpredictable, groundbreaking, and above all, effective.