Originally Posted by Rumbo
Personally I thought Eternal Sunshing explored similar themes to Inception, and did it in a much more intelligent, emotional, as well as relevant manner.
Thematically, everything that Inception tries to say has been said before and in a much better and much more effective manner, but more importantly (since normally it wouldn't matter to me if a movie is just reusing themes, thats to be expected) what it does try to say, I find that it does it in a way that makes its own themes almost irrelevant.
Yeah, but don't you think it's a little demanding of your entertainment to expect that if another film does the same themes, and you like that film more, that if another film doesn't live up to that standard that it's no longer smart?
Although it sounds like INCEPTION didn't engage you emotionally, that doesn't mean that the film isn't intelligent. Regardless of the plot's mechanics, the film still poses some very poignant questions about choosing your reality, and by effect your happiness; how guilt can stunt your happiness; and which is more satisfying, imagination or reality. There's a lot to the film beyond it's puzzle box story which some people mean when they refer to it being "smart", but it is far more than that. The very fact that it rasies deeper questions about our existence is what makes it smart, and that has nothing to do with how well it engages you.
And nothing a story does ever makes its themes irrelevant, nor can a story's resolution in any way invalidate a theme. If a charcter is struggling with an issue, that's what sets the thoughts off in the audience's minds. How that character chooses to resolve the issue isn't the only way the issue can be resolved. If you disagree with that character's solution that's okay because the very fact that you're contemplating the different resolutions makes it thematically successful. And so long as the character's choice is consistent with his/her prior choices, it's successful on that level as well.
Like I said, you may not be engaged by the story or the themes, but that doesn't mean they aren't there and that the film isn't intelligent.