Leonardo di Caprio could well be on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in recent memory. All that stands in his way is a seeming obsession with playing the guilt-wracked, angst-filled protagonist on the big screen.
*INCEPTION SPOILER BELOW*
The sleeper hit Inception is Leo’s latest movie that seems to confirm this pattern. In the movie, Leo is an extractor, or one which has the ability to enter dreams and “extract” important information from the subconscious. He assembles a team to pull-off the near-impossible task of feeding an individual an idea and making him think that it is his own. However, the team soon finds themselves locked in a battle with the target’s subconscious, as well as Leo’s personal demons brought about from the guilt of unintentionally killing his wife.
Inception is, no doubt, the best movie of 2010 (the worst being the Last Airbender, which only garnered 8 out of 100 stars in a review somewhere. Good job, M.Night, for butchering a great animated series and showing no respect with the casting choice). The all-star cast did wonders for the film, with Juno’s Ellen Page and 500 day’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt showing a more serious side. Leo’s acting is top-notch too, but the glaring similarities between this role and previous ones gives room to wonder whether or not “Jack” can do other roles, apart from one that requires killing your wife and brooding all throughout the film.
Let’s look at the examples. Revolutionary Road ended with Leo guilt-stricken about being the cause of his wife’s unhappiness and eventual death due to a botched abortion. This movie seemed to have been a hint of Leo’s future projects, all having the similar element of having a protagonist grieving over a dead, albeit insane, wife. (See where I am going with this?) Shutter Island portrayed this the best, with the psychotic kid-drowning wife whom Leo shoots, thus leading him to develop schizophrenic tendencies to cope with the memory.
And if you’ve watched these two films and also saw Inception, then you’d be blind not to see the parallelism and uncanny similarities between the three. Insane wife, check. Comedy-less dialogue for Di Caprio, check. Class-A snarling and about 30 minutes of Leo agitated and pacing, check. In showbiz, it is a compliment to be known as a “serious” actor, but for Leo, this seemed to be the only acting he knows. Catch me if you can and Titanic portrayed him in a different light, one that is lighter, brighter, and doesn’t involve matricide.
Compared to other actors like Johnny Depp or Tom Hanks, Di Caprio’s acting is a bit one-dimensional as of late. Granted, Di Caprio CAN do comedy, but that was so long ago that no one can really remember that side of him. Ask anyone about any of his movies and they’ll mostly associate Leo with Titanic, which wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine and thus, no different from his other gritty and dark films (how did Titanic end again? Oh yeah, it ended with Jack freezing to death in the Antartic ocean because Kate didn’t want to share the fucking door. The bitch).
Nonetheless, Di Caprio’s performance in Inception and Shutter Island makes him one of my favorite actors, and I’m sure there are a lot of Leo fans out there who would agree that he has the potential to make it big, if only he can step out of his oh-so-serious and repetitive roles. By experimenting and taking a leap of faith with lighter roles, he can at least show the world his acting prowess. This guy is definitely one to watch out for in the future, unlike other hopeless cases like Taylor “abs R’ fun” Lautner, and Tom Cruise, who should have been stoned to death for the not-at-all-stupidly-titled flop Knight and Day.