I've never written a movie review before, and I don't know if there is a book that this movie was based on.--Wait, lets check... no, I guess not. Sounds like there isn't a book out there which may be better than the movie.--The storyline itself is interesting, but perhaps not completely original: the invasion of others dreams. What's different about this story is that, rather than using shared dreams for horror, the makers of this movies wanted to look at how an entrepreneurial dream sharer may use shared dream space, as it is called in the movie, for monetary gain. I'm sure you could come up with a variety of fun-and-games type uses, but where the real money is, is in secrets.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is just such an entrepreneur, and thief, who uses the shared dream space to steal trade secrets; extraction. The idea is to slip into the dream, interact with the dreamer, and get them to give up their secrets by manipulating the shared dream. A much more difficult, and sensitive objective, is what Cobb and his team have been hired to do; Inception.
The idea is to introduce an idea into the dreamer's unconscious, whilst sharing their dreams, at a point so deep, as to prevent them from knowing the idea didn't originate within themselves. Very subtle stuff here, and treated very delicately in the film. A number of sub-plots help to move the actions of the players through the narrative, again, in very subtle, and well thought out ways.
Fun for me: shared dreams need an architect to help build the landscape through which the shared dreamers move. From buildings to entire cities, the architect helps to layout the dreamscape so that the thieves can find their way around, and sometimes are used to manipulate the dreamer into giving up their secrets.
Tense, exciting, emotional, visually lush, and well acted. I'm a science fiction fan anyways, but this was one of the better ones. When the credits rolled, the three of us were like Keanu Reeves embodied: whoa.