Inception: It's the action packed heist movie with the best of special effects, taking place inside the psyche. It's Leonardo DiCaprio all intense and grown up. It's Ellen Page - who doesn't love that short little Canadian? It's the incredible and memorable Hans Zimmer score that blends perfectly with the world of the dream. It's the hard-hitting lines between the gunshots, the conceptual madness, and the art direction that taps into something most films can't ever touch - the human imagination. We love to see the rules of reality bent and snapped into pieces, and to know that it's all possible inside the mind.
The idea of living inside a dream for years and years and lose very little real time is incredibly appealing, but we frown upon Cobb's addiction to his limbo world with Mal. This comes from something deeper than the appeal of fantasy, but the need for normalcy. We cling to reality more than we realise - it's why the Pevensie children come out of the wardrobe and are young again. No matter how much fantasy calls to us, we aren't satisfied until reality is restored and right again.
We also love anything to do with psychology. Everyone does. I remember the first time I took a psych class I came home to my dad and told him I loved it and was thinking of going into psychology. He told me it was a phase, a phase that everyone goes through, and it will pass. We all love to learn more about the human mind because we come closer to unlocking more of ourselves than we otherwise could, and learning more about the people around us. Inception didn't need the special effects, music, writing and acting that it had to appeal to people. It needed those things to be a great film, but it would have had an audience with it's conception alone, even had it been terrible.
I claimed once before that the writing in Inception was sub-par. I take that back. In recent weeks I've been cruising through Inception quotations and posting them on Twitter. I've found most of them to be very deep, and touch on something that is as appealing as the psych thriller plot. My favourite, I think, is when Mal tells Cobb, "You keep telling yourself what you know. But what do you believe? What do you feel?" This strikes me as very insightful. There's more to the mind than facts and rational knowledge. Emotions are just as true as logical conclusions, and just as relevant to the nature of reality. Cobb may be right that they are in the dream world and they need to wake up, but if in the ambiguous ending he is still in the dream, he has chosen his emotional truth over reason.