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Old July 23 2010, 02:55 PM   #240
Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

stj wrote: View Post
^^^Murphy is shown as accepting a dream over reality, in the most emotionally resonant scene in the entire movie! Except he doesn't do so shortly after giving a big speech about how dreams/movies weren't as good as reality, the way DiCaprio did. All the questions we care to contemplate about dreams/movies versus reality were raised in the climax of the Murphy arc. Having DiCaprio do the same adds absolutely nothing, but does it more stupidly with less emotion. The fact that everyone else universally ignores the Murphy arc, even to the point of denying its very existence, shows how bungled the script structure really was. What should have plainly been a climactic moment just became a stepping stone on DiCaprio's journey to victory or defeat. I suppose DiCaprio fans find that rewarding, though I didn't care enough for Dom Cobb to be so enthralled.
It has nothing to do with being a DiCaprio fan. It has to do with the structure of the movie, making HIM the protagonist, Hence, the climax must involve him.

All the arguments for interpreting the last sequence as a dream ending (or even intended to be ambiguous) fail logically, because the same kind of "evidence" purportedly showing the ending is a dream also shows that the entire movie is a dream.
Nonsense. He could just be stuck in limbo, leaving everything else that came before absolutely real. There is no way to prove that possibility impossible - the limbo here works kinda like the Nexus does - everything goes, and it gives the movie a Get Out of Jail Free card to do anything it likes. So, again, it could just be that he stays stuck in limbo at the end.

It just has a good free fall action sequence and three ticking clocks instead of just one. The rest is dull action sequences and lifeless characters.
Bah. Even if the ENTIRE movie is a dream, it's still a masterpiece, because of the exceptionally brilliant action sequences, and the very complex and engaging characters. My wife and I both cried, literally, in the scene where he says goodbye to Mal, near the end. We were deeply enthralled by the characters. There wasn't a dull moment in the entire movie, even if none of it makes any sense. I would even go so far as to argue that it's a greater feat to be entertaining when nothing makes sense than to be entertaining when it does make sense. After all, anyone can make a story entertaining if it makes sense. But only Nolan and the writers of Lost can make stuff absolutely enthralling when it doesn't make an ounce of sense. That's talent.

I would suppose people would notice this, but there are some dreadfully foolish "ideas" about ambiguity being deep floating around.
No, not deep. Just really cool. It got a large gasp, followed by a hearty round of applause, in the theatre where I was sitting. It's sort of like a punch line you KNOW is going to happen. Think of, say, someone holding up a pie, ready to throw it in someone else's face....the intended victim comes walking around the knooooow he's about to get a pie in the hold your hold your breath.....and BANG, it happens, and everyone laughs. The ending was like that. You just KNEW it was going to end with the question of it all being a dream, and when it happens, we're immensely satisfied, just like when that poor guy gets the pie in the face.

As to the intent to render the ending ambiguous, let us assume that Nolan is not a complete fool. Giving DiCaprio a happy ending is "the hero wins, the end." Intending that to be ambiguous means Nolan didn't want us to know how it ended. How does not knowing what happened make it better?
Because, regardless of whether the end is real or not, it IS a happy ending for Cobb. The point Nolan is making is that it DOESN'T MATTER whether it is a dream or not. The only way to make that particular statement is to leave the ending ambiguous. Basically, the statement being made is, "Staying in the Nexus is perfectly fine, as long as you think you're not in the Nexus." I find that to be a courageous and fascinating statement, worthy of thought. Because, you know, we all live in our own self-made fantasy worlds. We think what we want to about our friends, our families, ourselves, and we think whatever we need to think to make us happy. But is anything we think actually true? Is it reality? Doesn't matter. It's real to US which makes the question of its reality entirely academic. And THAT'S why the movie is better for its ambiguous ending.

Last edited by Ubik; July 23 2010 at 03:12 PM.
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