To give a resume of Inception´s plot I would have to start by referring to the definition of the word in terms of how it is used in this movie:
beginning; start; commencement.
the act of graduating or earning a university degree, usually a master's or doctor's degree,especially at Cambridge University.
the graduation ceremony; commencement.
(in science fiction) the act of instilling an idea into someone's mind by entering his or her dreams.
Because this is a movie, the definition I am referring to is the last shown. Inception is in short terms about, as it says, planting an idea or memory to alter the reality of another human being by entering his or her dreams.
Inception is a true heist-movie, however with an elemental, but nonetheless important twist. Instead of the object being to steal an object, this movie is all about inserting something. And this something is, as you might have figured out, is an idea.
The main character of this movie is Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a skilled extractor who has made a profession in corporate espionage by stealing industrial plans from the competition of whatever corporation that pays enough. Saito (Ken Watanabe), the CEO of a huge Japanese energy company, hires Cobb for a job out of the ordinary; he wants Cobb to perform an Inception on his main competitor, Fisher Morrow, making Saito energy company the largest and without real competition.
Cobb is sceptical, but Saito´s offer is more valuable to Cobb that any riches of the world. Cobb can´t enter America and see his children, because American government believe he is responsible for murder. Saito`s offer is to remove the warrant for him, making Cobb able to see his kids and give up the life of crime and espionage.
Cobb accepts the mission and ensembles a skilled team to perform complete the mission. The team consists of his friend and partner in crime Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the promising architect student Ariadne (Ellen Page), the skilled thief Eames (Tom Hardy) and the chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao).
As mentioned, to perform an inception is extremely hard.
That being said, they have a lot of surprises in store for them, some more dangerous than others. One of the worst is Mal (Marion Cotillard), Cobb’s wife. She is dead, but is highly alive in Cobb`s subconsciousness and shows up wherever there is room for it in his dreams. Cobb does not share this detail with his team. This means Cobb needs to perform the inception as well as dealing with his subconscious relationship.
What makes an inception so hard has plenty of elements to it. First off, an extraction in itself is hard, but to plant an idea to the mind means that you can´t just place a piece of paper in someone’s mind or walk up them in a dream and tell them. To perform an inception correctly, one has to make the individual develop the idea by him-/herself. In addition to this, the extractor or in this case the inceptionist has to go deep into different layers of dreams. Entering one dream won´t do it, the further you get into the dream, closer you get to the targets mind. If you go to far or “die” in the dream, you end up in a coma-like state called limbo, a never-ending dream that boils your brain if you stay too long.
I think Inception is a great movie. It has everything you could ask for; great story, great script, great acting, great editing, etc. When the movie was released it was just what film enthusiasts needed, it was a breath of life in a mould of terrible or decent, but generic movies. It still is to this day. The story is really good and intricate with plenty of layers to go around, and the ending will really make your gears grind. It can, however, be a bit hard to follow at certain times as they jump back and forth between dream layers, reality and dream. Another great thing is that everything about the mechanics of going into dreams is explained all the way through the movie. Its not a daft scene with two people discussing dreams, it goes all the way throughout the movie, revealing the system part-by-part. The special effects in this movie is out of this world, they really go far out. My favourite special effect scene is a scene with Arthur fighting in a hotel corridor with no gravity, it is absolutely stunning to observe.