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  • Inception: For those who have seen it.

    What's with the ending? When expert mind-thief Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally reunites with his kids in the film's last scene, filmgoers are treated to a rare triple-twist ending, all in the space of just one second. Out of habit, Cobb spins his top, which is his touchstone to reality, as it is mentally programmed to spin endlessly in dreams; as the camera pans, fans realize first that the top is still spinning, but just as they realize everything is a dream, it begins to wobble. And then, as they begin to realize it's about to fall, meaning everything is actually real, Nolan cuts to black, 'Sopranos'-style, leaving whiplashed viewers debating whether Cobb ended up in a dream or in the real world.

    So if it was a dream...? If it was real, of course, then there's not a whole lot to strain your brain over. But if that top is still spinning on some cutting room floor, then a whole new slew of questions open up. Are the other members of Cobb's team figments of his subconscious, or are they sharing the dream with him? If they are constructs, does that mean everyone is a construct, even Cobb's wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and his kids? And if it is a dream, whose dream is it -- is it Cobb's dream, or has another architect tapped into his mind and constructed everything? Which brings us to our main question:

    Is Cobb the real target? The plot revolves around Cobb's efforts to implant an idea in the mind of a business scion (Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy). But is Cobb the real target of inception? There are some details that suggest this is the case, namely the fact that multiple characters, from Mal to Ken Watanabe's Japanese mystery man Saito, insist that Cobb "take a leap of faith," along with repeatedly warning Cobb that he will become an "old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone." It seems to us that even while Cobb is running around trying to pull off his inception scheme, these ideas are being planted in his mind just as subtly as anything his team is doing to Fischer.

    Is Cobb still in limbo? Of course, there's another answer, one suggested within the film itself: that Cobb is still trapped inside the limbo of his own mind. The repeated appearances of his (supposedly?) deceased wife Mal culminate in a showdown where she insists that he is still dreaming and she begs him to leave the dream world to join her, the same thing she said when she apparently died by leaping to her death. Cobb, of course, claims throughout the film that Mal was mistaken, leading to her accidental suicide, but what if she's right and everything in the film is simply another dream within Cobb's endless limbo? This seems possible, especially when you ask yourself this:

    Why does Fischer end up in Cobb's limbo? Several times in the film, Cobb's subconscious spawns elements -- mainly Mal, but also an entire train at one point -- within the carefully constructed dreams they are visiting. But how? After all, Cobb isn't the architect of those dreams -- Ariadne (Ellen Page) is. Nor should he be able to populate the dreams himself, as that is done by the dreamer, which is Fischer for most of the movie. This climaxes in Fischer's descent into limbo, which, as it happens, is the same limbo that Cobb and Mal previously constructed during their endless exile there. But think about it: Unless they are in Cobb's dream, this limbo should either be one created by Ariadne or, since she hadn't designed that far down, more likely by Fischer's subconscious, if in fact it wasn't just a blank slate to begin with. Yet both Fischer and later Siato end up inside the version of limbo created in Cobb's dream -- something that shouldn't happen unless Cobb himself is the one dreaming. Which brings us to perhaps the ultimate question:

    Is Mal still alive? If Cobb is still stuck in his dream, it means one of two things: either he and Mal are both still dreaming and have yet to wake up from their initial experiment or they have woken up only for Cobb's mind to have become permanently lost. In either case, Mal would still be alive, which may explain her actions throughout the film. Though Mal is the Latin word for evil, and she seems to embody this by killing a number of characters, it may be that she is actually the hero of the piece: having escaped from the dream, she is the one now using inception to try and get Cobb to wake himself as well. Just as she had to free herself by jumping from the building, though, Cobb has to decide to wake himself, which is why instead of just killing him as she does to the other dreamers (Ariadne and later Fischer), she is trying to persuade Cobb to kill himself. She knows that if he doesn't take this "leap of faith," he will, in fact, end up "old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone" -- alone because she is awake while he still sleeps on. If this is true, then the whole movie is really Mal's complex attempt to trick Cobb into thinking the idea of committing suicide and waking is his own idea -- an attempt that, in the end, fails.

    Of course, this is the beauty of 'Inception': There's no definitive answer for anything, meaning that each person will have to decide for themselves what the truth is. Like the characters themselves, then, the only way to figure out 'Inception' is to take a journey into your own mind to find your own answers -- a journey that may, in the end, be Nolan's greatest achievement.

  • #2
    Lemme see what I can do here.

    Originally posted by thenewera44 View Post
    What's with the ending? When expert mind-thief Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally reunites with his kids in the film's last scene, filmgoers are treated to a rare triple-twist ending, all in the space of just one second. Out of habit, Cobb spins his top, which is his touchstone to reality, as it is mentally programmed to spin endlessly in dreams; as the camera pans, fans realize first that the top is still spinning, but just as they realize everything is a dream, it begins to wobble. And then, as they begin to realize it's about to fall, meaning everything is actually real, Nolan cuts to black, 'Sopranos'-style, leaving whiplashed viewers debating whether Cobb ended up in a dream or in the real world.
    The thing that ALOT of people are missing is that the totem is only a totem if NO ONE else has touched it. The problem is, the top was MAL'S TOTEM, not Cobbs. So it wont work properly. Mal knows the totem and Mal can manipulate the totem. Old Man Saito touchs the totem as well, so that final spin cant be trusted.

    I think the most telling future is the faceless kids. And the fact that over and over and over Cobb sees the kids in the exact same position doing the exact same thing. Have you ever had a dream where something repeats exactly on different nights? Same here.

    Cobb is stuck in limbo. Mal was right, they had to get out. He is dreaming everything.

    So if it was a dream...? If it was real, of course, then there's not a whole lot to strain your brain over. But if that top is still spinning on some cutting room floor, then a whole new slew of questions open up. Are the other members of Cobb's team figments of his subconscious, or are they sharing the dream with him? If they are constructs, does that mean everyone is a construct, even Cobb's wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and his kids? And if it is a dream, whose dream is it -- is it Cobb's dream, or has another architect tapped into his mind and constructed everything? Which brings us to our main question:
    They talk about limbo making you unable to distinguish between the dream and real life. Like the people in the crackhouse, Cobbs dream has become his reality. That is why he always "just makes it" out of every situation. He has created this world and everything in it to convince himself that he isnt in limbo.

    Is Cobb the real target? The plot revolves around Cobb's efforts to implant an idea in the mind of a business scion (Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy). But is Cobb the real target of inception? There are some details that suggest this is the case, namely the fact that multiple characters, from Mal to Ken Watanabe's Japanese mystery man Saito, insist that Cobb "take a leap of faith," along with repeatedly warning Cobb that he will become an "old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone." It seems to us that even while Cobb is running around trying to pull off his inception scheme, these ideas are being planted in his mind just as subtly as anything his team is doing to Fischer.
    I dont think Cobb is the target of anyone, but the Leap of Faith part is telling. Personally, I think it is the last sane part of himself mind trying to wake him up out of limbo.

    Is Cobb still in limbo? Of course, there's another answer, one suggested within the film itself: that Cobb is still trapped inside the limbo of his own mind. The repeated appearances of his (supposedly?) deceased wife Mal culminate in a showdown where she insists that he is still dreaming and she begs him to leave the dream world to join her, the same thing she said when she apparently died by leaping to her death. Cobb, of course, claims throughout the film that Mal was mistaken, leading to her accidental suicide, but what if she's right and everything in the film is simply another dream within Cobb's endless limbo? This seems possible, especially when you ask yourself this:
    Yes, I think Cobb is in limbo. He keeps telling us that Mal couldnt handle the limbo but it was him that couldnt. She did a kick to get herself out of the limbo and he stayed. She didnt commit suicide.....keep in mind, we never see her body as Cobb keeps gliding from one scene of his life to the next (remember the speech outside the cafe where Cobb talks about being somewhere in a dream but not quite knowing how you got there???)....she actually kicked herself out of limbo and back in the real world.

    Why does Fischer end up in Cobb's limbo? Several times in the film, Cobb's subconscious spawns elements -- mainly Mal, but also an entire train at one point -- within the carefully constructed dreams they are visiting. But how? After all, Cobb isn't the architect of those dreams -- Ariadne (Ellen Page) is. Nor should he be able to populate the dreams himself, as that is done by the dreamer, which is Fischer for most of the movie. This climaxes in Fischer's descent into limbo, which, as it happens, is the same limbo that Cobb and Mal previously constructed during their endless exile there. But think about it: Unless they are in Cobb's dream, this limbo should either be one created by Ariadne or, since she hadn't designed that far down, more likely by Fischer's subconscious, if in fact it wasn't just a blank slate to begin with. Yet both Fischer and later Siato end up inside the version of limbo created in Cobb's dream -- something that shouldn't happen unless Cobb himself is the one dreaming. Which brings us to perhaps the ultimate question:
    Actually, I think this is easily answered. No one is real in the movie. Everyone in the movie is being dreamed by Cobb, except possibly Mal. Everything that happens is Cobbs limbo dream. I think Real Mal may be trying to break Cobb out of the limbo dream.

    Is Mal still alive?

    it may be that she is actually the hero of the piece: having escaped from the dream, she is the one now using inception to try and get Cobb to wake himself as well.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    This. :thumb:
    Last edited by McSmashie; 07-20-2010, 08:14 PM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by McSmashie View Post
      Lemme see what I can do here.



      The thing that ALOT of people are missing is that the totem is only a totem if NO ONE else has touched it. The problem is, the top was MAL'S TOTEM, not Cobbs. So it wont work properly. Mal knows the totem and Mal can manipulate the totem. Old Man Saito touchs the totem as well, so that final spin cant be trusted.

      I think the most telling future is the faceless kids. And the fact that over and over and over Cobb sees the kids in the exact same position doing the exact same thing. Have you ever had a dream where something repeats exactly on different nights? Same here.

      Cobb is stuck in limbo. Mal was right, they had to get out. He is dreaming everything.



      They talk about limbo making you unable to distinguish between the dream and real life. Like the people in the crackhouse, Cobbs dream has become his reality. That is why he always "just makes it" out of every situation. He has created this world and everything in it to convince himself that he isnt in limbo.



      I dont think Cobb is the target of anyone, but the Leap of Faith part is telling. Personally, I think it is the last sane part of himself mind trying to wake him up out of limbo.



      Yes, I think Cobb is in limbo. He keeps telling us that Mal couldnt handle the limbo but it was him that couldnt. She did a kick to get herself out of the limbo and he stayed. She didnt commit suicide.....keep in mind, we never see her body as Cobb keeps gliding from one scene of his life to the next (remember the speech outside the cafe where Cobb talks about being somewhere in a dream but not quite knowing how you got there???)....she actually kicked herself out of limbo and back in the real world.



      Actually, I think this is easily answered. No one is real in the movie. Everyone in the movie is being dreamed by Cobb, except possibly Mal. Everything that happens is Cobbs limbo dream. I think Real Mal may be trying to break Cobb out of the limbo dream.



      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      This. :thumb:
      I pretty much disagree with everything you said, but like he said, thats the beauty of it. Theres tons of different ways to interpret this movie.
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      • #4
        This thread should have *SPOILERS* in the title....

        I had to blur my eyes to post this...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by VenomousDB View Post
          I pretty much disagree with everything you said, but like he said, thats the beauty of it. Theres tons of different ways to interpret this movie.
          Good thing everyone knows you have no idea what you are talking about ever.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by McSmashie View Post
            Good thing everyone knows you have no idea what you are talking about ever.
            Smash. The truth is it wasn't a dream, reality, or Limbo. However it was............... a MOVIE!
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            • #7
              Originally posted by McSmashie View Post
              Good thing everyone knows you have no idea what you are talking about ever.
              Ha funny. There really is tons of reasons why he wasnt just dreaming or imagining everything the entire time.

              For one thing, no one ever said it would off balance a totem if someone else used it. The reason they didnt want anyone else to know what their totem did was because if someone knew, they could manipulate the totem to do what they wanted it to do (because, remember, these extractors are working in other peoples dreams. if those people knew how to manipulate the totem, then they could turn the extraction around on the extractor) This is how Cobb used inception on his wife, he found her totem locked away in the safe.

              Also, when you dream, its always from your perspective right? But there were many times in the movie, like the hallway, zero gravity fight for example, that the perspective was from another characters point of view.

              I noticed a couple other things but I cant think straight right now.

              When it all gets down to it I think the entire movie was "real", not a dream conjured up by Cobbs, but I do think he was still in limbo at the end.
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              • #8
                My brain has imploded.

                Like this:



                but on the inside.

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                • #9
                  i may or may not get more involved in this later but:

                  this is why i thought the outcome of Shutter Island and this movie were strikingly similar.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thenewera44 View Post
                    Why does Fischer end up in Cobb's limbo? Several times in the film, Cobb's subconscious spawns elements -- mainly Mal, but also an entire train at one point -- within the carefully constructed dreams they are visiting. But how? After all, Cobb isn't the architect of those dreams -- Ariadne (Ellen Page) is. Nor should he be able to populate the dreams himself, as that is done by the dreamer, which is Fischer for most of the movie. This climaxes in Fischer's descent into limbo, which, as it happens, is the same limbo that Cobb and Mal previously constructed during their endless exile there. But think about it: Unless they are in Cobb's dream, this limbo should either be one created by Ariadne or, since she hadn't designed that far down, more likely by Fischer's subconscious, if in fact it wasn't just a blank slate to begin with. Yet both Fischer and later Siato end up inside the version of limbo created in Cobb's dream -- something that shouldn't happen unless Cobb himself is the one dreaming. Which brings us to perhaps the ultimate question:
                    One thing...

                    Didn't they say that if you go into limbo, if you are dreaming with somebody who has already fallen into Limbo, you go into theirs? This would explain why Fisher and Siato both end up in Cobb's limbo, and not their own.

                    However, I still think that the idea that this whole thing is Mal's attempt to make Cobb kill himself is extremely legitimate...

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                    • #11
                      I disagree. I think he snaps out of the dreams and wakes up in the Airplane, and goes back to see his kids in the end. In the real world. I think Mal was insane and that she went insane and kept thinking her world wasn't real after Leonardo put that Inception inside her.

                      The top was wobbling and was obviously about to fall over. He was in the real world at the end of the movie.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JakeNbake View Post
                        Smash. The truth is it wasn't a dream, reality, or Limbo. However it was............... a MOVIE!
                        As deep as always jake!

                        Originally posted by VenomousDB View Post
                        Ha funny. There really is tons of reasons why he wasnt just dreaming or imagining everything the entire time.
                        If you just go by what Cobb is telling you, yes. But this is a movie about looking deeper.

                        For one thing, no one ever said it would off balance a totem if someone else used it. The reason they didnt want anyone else to know what their totem did was because if someone knew, they could manipulate the totem to do what they wanted it to do (because, remember, these extractors are working in other peoples dreams. if those people knew how to manipulate the totem, then they could turn the extraction around on the extractor) This is how Cobb used inception on his wife, he found her totem locked away in the safe.
                        You are actually making my argument for me. His totem was tainted. The very first thing we see in the movie is Saito touching it. You assume that we are looking forward in the movie, but what if we arent? What if that is literally the very first thing that happens in the movie?

                        There is a big deal made about how you move from dream to dream and not know how you got there. If Saito is someone Cobb dreams up and if Saito knows the weight of the totem and everything is just Cobbs limbo dream, then that totem is worthless. This is why Arthur wont let that Juno girl touch his totem (that sounds kinda prudish, doesnt it?).

                        Also, when you dream, its always from your perspective right? But there were many times in the movie, like the hallway, zero gravity fight for example, that the perspective was from another characters point of view.
                        For the dream to be real, it has to be fleshed out fully. Why create grand cities if only what the dreamer is seeing has to be there? They create a full world with full action to make the dream real.

                        I noticed a couple other things but I cant think straight right now.
                        You staring at girls in the theatre doesnt count here.

                        When it all gets down to it I think the entire movie was "real", not a dream conjured up by Cobbs, but I do think he was still in limbo at the end.
                        Thats the beauty of opinions and philosophical discussions.

                        Originally posted by 22Bernard24 View Post
                        I disagree. I think he snaps out of the dreams and wakes up in the Airplane, and goes back to see his kids in the end. In the real world. I think Mal was insane and that she went insane and kept thinking her world wasn't real after Leonardo put that Inception inside her.
                        So why were the kids in the exact same position, doing the exact same motions over and over and over again? If they were real, would they make exactly matching the kids in his dream?

                        Or is he just allowing himself to finish off the dream because he convinced himself that he was out of limbo?

                        The top was wobbling and was obviously about to fall over. He was in the real world at the end of the movie.
                        Obviously about to fall over? Just because it wobbled doesnt mean it did fall off. As Ive pointed out before, a totem cannot be touched by other people or else it is compromised. That is why Arthur is so protective of his totem.

                        We see Saito handle the totem (which wasnt even Cobbs to begin with, it was Mals) twice....once right before they get to the room. Since Saito "knows" the totem, he could have manipulated it to make it wobble to convince Cobb he was out of the dream.
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                        • #13
                          just saw the movie, fantastic.



                          My friend txted me during the movie telling me "its great huh, leo will be fighting himself for the emmy with shutter island"

                          Thought that was funny.




                          Also, I think what he ended with WAS real, those kids being real.

                          I just found it phenomenal that the last 45 minutes of the movie took place in 4 seconds in the first level dream.... crazy. thats like 1/3 of a second in the real life, or the fake real life if you guys wanna call it that.



                          anywho...


                          Here is what i think:

                          The first scene with him going to saito was the limbo, and they got outta that to the 'real world' at the end of the movie. Whats the issue with Saito touching his pole, err i mean totem, if saito was just with him in the limbo. It wouldn't effect anything until the last spin on the counter, if that were fake that is. Also, just because it was mal's (i thought they were saying "mom" in the beginning, like when he was talkin to his father... "mom won't let me"... just assumed really) totem, doesn't mean he couldn't use it after she died, or 'died' if you think it was fake.

                          She had to die for real in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice.... wait.

                          she had to die for real in order for the idea of her being in his subconscious, knowing all the secret routes, to be plausible.







                          blah, the more i type the more i think otherwise.. i'm just gonna stop and think what i think in what i think is what i'm thinking, i think




                          Wait.. my friends tellin me that at the end of the credits the totem fell...
                          Last edited by 12and4; 07-26-2010, 01:04 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hoserman117 View Post
                            One thing...

                            Didn't they say that if you go into limbo, if you are dreaming with somebody who has already fallen into Limbo, you go into theirs? This would explain why Fisher and Siato both end up in Cobb's limbo, and not their own.

                            However, I still think that the idea that this whole thing is Mal's attempt to make Cobb kill himself is extremely legitimate...
                            The way I understood limbo is it is an absolute place rather than an individual one like a dream. The reason is had Cobb and Mal's stuff there is because they left it there.

                            It is like Cobb and Mal stumbled upon a blank piece of paper (limbo) and Saito and Fisher were just the next to get there (Fisher not staying long enough to do anything and Saito eventually making the beach and palace).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CinnaMunMun View Post
                              The way I understood limbo is it is an absolute place rather than an individual one like a dream. The reason is had Cobb and Mal's stuff there is because they left it there.

                              It is like Cobb and Mal stumbled upon a blank piece of paper (limbo) and Saito and Fisher were just the next to get there (Fisher not staying long enough to do anything and Saito eventually making the beach and palace).
                              If it were an absolute place, then it would not have been blank when mal and cobb went there.


                              If the military and all those other people were using this thing, then i'm sure someone would have fallen in limbo before mal and cobb.

                              But then how would fischer and saito go to the same place.......

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