Saturday, August 07, 2010

If Business Was Really Like Inception

What a jolly romp Inception is, eh, film fans? A bit like reading a copy of Monocle after watching The Matrix and falling asleep on a train.

I enjoyed it in lots of ways (apart from its handling of the female characters, which was standard action-movie sexist tosh, and let's not even bother trying to apply the Bechdel test), but the most enjoyable aspect for me was its unintentionally hilarious depiction of the sort of thing that goes on in the world of business.

Now I've worked in 'business' for most of my adult life, so I reckon I'm fairly au fait with its daily rhythms and preoccupations. And this may surprise you, but my experience doesn't exactly tally with the depiction presented to me last night by Messrs C. Nolan & co.

If business was *really* like Inception, it would go something like this:


MARKETING DIRECTOR (terribly serious expression, portentous tone of voice) Jake, I need to know what Mega Corp. are planning for next week's product launch.

JAKE: Oh, my mate works for Mega Corp, I'll ask her, shall I?

MARKETING DIRECTOR (even more serious): No. Your friend could have been compromised. Or... worse.

JAKE: I could ring Bill McBill at PC Answers, he'll have had a press invitation.

MARKETING DIRECTOR: No. McBill can't be trusted. He's been to too many Mega Corp events. Brain got fried at that last wireless mouse launch. Can't even recognise his own children now.

JAKE: Er, I could ask on Twitter?

MARKETING DIRECTOR No. (Shouting) No! That's a trap, too easy. Jake... Jake... I need you to assemble a team. The finest people you can find. Hire them if you have to. From exotic foreign countries, if you have to. This is mission-critical.

JAKE: Right, OK, and, er, what would you like them to do?

MARKETING DIRECTOR: I need you to get inside the mind of Mega Corp. Find out what they're planning. Breakfast at the Lanesborough? Balloon flight over Hertfordshire? Go-kart racing in Nuneaton? We just don't know, dammit.

JAKE: You want me to assemble a team of mind-readers?

MARKETING DIRECTOR: More than that. I need you to lay a trap. Find a way to draw them in, reveal their H1 marketing plan. Get someone who can design an MMORPG, the best there's ever been. And a hypnotist. And an acrobat. And someone who can synthesise a new strain of MDMA that's stronger than LSD but subtler than Summer Meadow Fairy Liquid. And someone who can drive a van. And some really big weapons.

JAKE: (scribbling in notebook) What sort of weapons?

MARKETING DIRECTOR: Doesn't matter, as long as they're really big.

JAKE: And you'd like this done by when? Only I've got that contact report to write up by lunchtime.

MARKETING DIRECTOR: We only have two days. Here's a new suit, a first-class ticket to Bulawayo and passports in twenty different names. Good luck.

JAKE: Are you sure you wouldn't just like me to look on Facebook?

MARKETING DIRECTOR: (Portentous) Good luck, Jake.

UPDATE: Emordino draws my attention to this Inception spoof in the New Yorker, along the same lines but about a billion times better. The end bit is the best.


Tim Footman said...

Your post is better value than the film, which felt as if Nolan had decided to remake Fantastic Voyage after flipping through Freud for Dummies.

Fat Roland said...

I only really like women in films if they're just there to enable long scenes of exposition, or they lurk in basements waiting to torment their man with their inherent evilness.

Men, meanwhile, must be able to know the lay-outs of 747s, drive a van under heavy gunfire and teach women how to draw mazes that can't be solved by a man in less than two minutes.

(For the record, Inception was silly but I loved it to pieces. I preferred it to Dark Knight.)

Khyan said...

I found this to be a very decent breakdown of the plot, explains a lot of the eccentricities.

Geoff said...

I can't be doing with Christopher Nolan. We started Insomnia the other night. I fell asleep.

Vicus Scurra said...

1) Your scene reminds me so much of my last job. (A long time ago, so I may have false memories).
2) Your disapproval failed to be explicit about gratuitous nudity - we need to be told.
3) I wasn't going to bother about seeing this film, but now that Geoff doesn't like it, I am fairly sure that it will suit me. Let me know when it's on Sky movies please.

Donald McRonald said...

Wow, nice story - it let me get into the heads of those marketing tossers! As for Inception, nice effects, shame the whole film was a dream - made the whole thing a pointless load of bollocks. No need for marketing to get in my head... I tell it how I see it - straight up!

Dave said...

I haven't been to the cinema for several years. You probably haven't enticed me there.

Sorry I didn't offer to call in last week. I assumed you might be preoccupied. Clearly I was wrong.

Boz said...

...and also what biscuits they're using for meetings.

Boz said...

Mmmmm. Biscuits.

patroclus said...

Tim: Ooh, does this mean I can change my blog tagline to "Better value than Inception"?

FR: Especially when the women in question have ludicrously 'significant' names that mean 'evil' in a really obvious foreign language. Classy. (I loved it too.)

Khyan: Thanks for that, I enjoyed reading it. Though for my money if you want a film that (yawn) explores the film-making process with reference to multiple layers of is-it-or-isn't-it reality, you're going to have a lot more fun with Tropic Thunder.

Geoff: I loved Memento, and The Prestige was pretty good, but I can't really be doing with his po-faced leading men. (Apart from Guy Pearce, who's great.)

Vicus: I don't recall any gratuitous nudity, but there's a fabulous orange sofa in the first act. Does this help?

Donald: I agree, if the *whole thing* was a dream, that does make it pretty boring. Of course it's not entirely clear, blah blah blah.

Dave: I am very preoccupied, but mainly with cleaning the kitchen and writing footling blog posts about fashionable films. It would have been lovely to see you - I'll try not to be in confinement next time you're in Cornwall!

Boz: I meant to slip in a line or two about 'meeting' biscuits, which are of course the cultural fixed point about which the world of business revolves.

emordino said...

There was a great spoof along these lines in the New Yorker: Christopher Nolan's Implementation.

patroclus said...

Emordino: Ooh, that's great, I love the bit about reading the ingredients of the artisanal tapenade.