Log in

No account? Create an account
Inception - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Inception [Jul. 23rd, 2010|12:40 am]
Jerry and I went and saw Inception this evening with Sarah & Nick & Tom & Joe & Neal. That's a lot of showing for an impromptu Facebook announcement!

It's a very good movie. I see why people have been raving about it. There's a lot of room to theorize at the end of it, and so, I shall.

We all walked out of it pretty much in agreement that the fact that the top is spinning steadily at the end of the movie is a sign that Cobb is still dreaming. So what happened?

My theory is that the entire movie, start to finish, happens within a dream. "Reality" is at least one layer down, and Moll (Cobb's wife) was, in fact, correct about still being asleep.

The entire thing is an inception being performed on Cobb, and the idea that they're trying to implant is that he's still dreaming and needs to wake up. Probably all of the speaking characters (possibly even Moll?) are members of the inception team, but the leaders are Saito and Ariadne. (Note the dead-giveaway nature of her name, by the way: Ariadne led Theseus out of the labyrinth.)

After they ride the kick all the way up through the layers to the top, and awaken on the airplane, then there was supposed to be some turbulence that would be the final kick that takes them out to the top. But Cobb gets lost down at the bottom, where Saito is trying to remind him of something that he has forgotten -- that he's still dreaming -- and instead of riding the kick upwards, just goes into a fantasy of arrival and reunion with his kids.

I'm not sure whether Moll is participating in the dream or whether she really is just a subconscious projection of Cobb's. Given the behavior of the top, it may in fact be her dream that he's lost in at the top level.

I'd love to hear what other people think!

[User Picture]From: tbass
2010-07-23 10:31 am (UTC)
But how do you explain the fact that the top fell down multiple times during the movie? He said that if it fell down, it meant he was awake. Some people have said that since it was his wides totem and not his that it makes it useless to him, and therefore meaningless when it falls. But if that is the case then it is also meaningless when it keeps spinning ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tbass
2010-07-23 10:34 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mellowtigger
2010-07-23 01:25 pm (UTC)
The use of someone else's totem seemed curious to me too.

In "reality" throughout most of the movie, the main character is indeed enduring rejection from the world as if he were a foreign element to a dream. The story does eventually, though, correct this problem. We don't get to see enough time afterwards to know if the world spoils this effect. Without that knowledge, I'm willing to accept that the final scene occurs in reality.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ng_nighthawk
2010-07-23 03:47 pm (UTC)
The main thing about the totem was that no one else could replicate it perfectly in a dream because no one else knew enough about it. So when you see an object and it matches reality exactly, you know that someone familiar with that object is doing the dreaming. Since his wife was dead, only he would know the exact character of the top, so I think it works within the context of the film.

The question that arises is that the totem would also work if his wife is alive and it's her dream--something Cobb hadn't considered consciously. So to him, there's no chance that anyone else alive could replicate the totem precisely. So it makes sense that he uses it.

But we're left wondering about who's dream he's in. In real life tops don't spin forever, so he's either in his dream or his wife's dream.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tbass
2010-07-23 04:34 pm (UTC)
We also don't know if the top actually spun forever though. If you watch very closely, it definitely looks like it stars to wobble the split second before it cuts to the credits (done purposefully I'm sure).. and once a top starts to wobble, I don't think it can correct itself.. so that means it was eventually going to fall down. It was obviously left ambiguous on purpose.. but, I almost guarantee that once it's on DVD and we can get a frame grab of the last shot of the top, it'll slightly tilted looking.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2010-07-25 12:42 am (UTC)
Maybe that's the final kick.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)