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View Poll Results: Grading
Excellent 121 71.18%
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Average 6 3.53%
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Old July 21 2010, 01:59 PM   #181
CaptainCanada
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Kegg wrote: View Post
While a point is made about Cobb's need to reject Mol because she's not real enough, the film also makes the point that Cobb is the one dangerously tripping the line between reality and fantasy. All the other members of the team and comparably grounded; but he has lingering doubts even about the real world (and why not? Mumbasa's events unfold like a fantasy, as Mol astutely observes). This is reflected partly in Mol, who, remember, is an aspect of his subconscious.
Well, yes, but that's the leadup to Cobb's rejection of Mal for not being real enough. If he suddenly turns around and decides that he doesn't care, that erases all his character development over the film.
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Old July 21 2010, 02:44 PM   #182
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Well, yes, but that's the leadup to Cobb's rejection of Mal for not being real enough. If he suddenly turns around and decides that he doesn't care, that erases all his character development over the film.
The point is Cobb can be mistaken. He may desire to see the true world; but he can get in wrong - and in this case, his overpowering desire to see his children overrules the importance of reality.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:00 PM   #183
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Cobb was still in a dream. He told dream Mal that he and she had grown old...spent fifty years down in limbo. We see a shot of two people with obviously aged hands walking hand in hand....yet.....when we see a shot of the train coming towards Mal to force her to wake up from their fifty year sojourn down under, she still looks young. The children? The film didn't shoot for long. How do you make two child actors look "a few months older" when they didn't age that much in real life? That didn't bother me. Had Cobb been away from his children 4 or 5 years you could change the actors, but he wasn't.

Who knows? In reality, Mal, who had jumped off the ledge, might be somewhere desperately willing Cobb to wake up and come back to her in the real world.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:03 PM   #184
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
The children? The film didn't shoot for long. How do you make two child actors look "a few months older" when they didn't age that much in real life? That didn't bother me. Had Cobb been away from his children 4 or 5 years you could change the actors, but he wasn't.
The credits had two pairs of children cast, two years apart in age. We'll probably have to wait for the DVD to do a detailed comparison and figure out if the children at the end were older than the ones in the flashbacks, or the ones in the beach flashback were younger than the ones in the escape flashback, or if it was the same ones throughout and the older kids were only used over the phone at the beginning of the movie.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:05 PM   #185
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
I also support the 'real world' interpretation, but I seriously doubt Nolan will ever clarify it; he clearly left it open so that people would argue over whether it was real or not.
I agree with this. There's no argument one way or the other that I think can make a definitive case. There's great evidence for both interpretations, it's up to you to decide.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:33 PM   #186
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
Cobb was still in a dream. He told dream Mal that he and she had grown old...spent fifty years down in limbo. We see a shot of two people with obviously aged hands walking hand in hand....yet.....when we see a shot of the train coming towards Mal to force her to wake up from their fifty year sojourn down under, she still looks young.
That's been on my mind too, but I think the train scene was one level up from limbo. Recall that Cobb explains at one point that they'd been going very very deep, but he doesn't say how many levels. Possibly another clue that the top level of the entire film is a dream.

For me the film is far less deserving of praise, other than as a simple shoot-'em-up, if it is not all a dream (or if at the very least the ending is not a dream).


How do you make two child actors look "a few months older" when they didn't age that much in real life? That didn't bother me. Had Cobb been away from his children 4 or 5 years you could change the actors, but he wasn't.
A few months or years is hard to tell either way on kids.

They were in the same spot, moving the exact same way, with the same weather, clothes, & hairstyle as he remembers. Pretty strong hints.

If that wasn't a deliberate attempt to convey something, then it's really sloppy. There wasn't even any need for the kids to be in the final scene, or to make it ambiguous if/how he gets out of limbo. The top is among many deliberately ambiguous things, or things that strongly suggest he never awakens.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:51 PM   #187
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

I think Inception might have the same "problem" that Blade Runner has. Although, knowing how much a fan of Blade Runner Nolan is, perhaps it's on purpose.

Blade Runner is ostensibly about loss of humanity, and that Roy Batty, a replicant, can feel and love life more than a human. But if the "twist" of it all is that Deckerd is a replicant himself, it kind of robs the movie of thematic weight for a satirically dark twist.

Throughout Inception, even to the very end, seemed to me to be about the process of learning to let go, of the past and of our fantasies that we think we require to survive to find the joy we have in the here and now. This seemed to be Cobb's arc. But if the intention at the end is that Cobb is still in a dream world, it robs the film of its thematic weight, again, for the dark, pessimistic twist.

Upon the end of the film, I felt the character had completed his arc, and learned to let go of his emotions and fantasies of the past so that he could be mentally healthy and enjoy the reality of today. I never even thought that anything else happened, that feeling upon the ending is what felt natural and right to me. Once I started thinking that in the end Cobb was still dreaming, the film becomes weightless (pun not intended) to me, and merely an exercise in entertainment.
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Old July 21 2010, 04:16 PM   #188
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

^
I agree, I actually think I'd love the movie a whole lot more if we got that extra second of the totem toppling and then cut to black. I know I wanted it to topple over.
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Old July 21 2010, 04:23 PM   #189
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
^
I agree, I actually think I'd love the movie a whole lot more if we got that extra second of the totem toppling and then cut to black. I know I wanted it to topple over.
Yeah, that final shot was a bit of a turkey slap.

But it didn't ruin the movie for me, or anything. I got the impression it was all in good fun.
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Old July 21 2010, 04:25 PM   #190
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

Yeah, I think the film would feel complete and far more meaningful if we saw the totem topple.

Without it, the movie ends with a "ahh, Nolan you clever asshole" instead of a genuine emotional catharsis. The movie ends up being "cool weightless hallway fight" and less "that moved me."
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Old July 21 2010, 04:29 PM   #191
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
^
I agree, I actually think I'd love the movie a whole lot more if we got that extra second of the totem toppling and then cut to black. I know I wanted it to topple over.
Nah; I thought it was a good choice to do the final shot the way they did. The point I got was that Cobb has finally settled the question that had been plaguing him-- "What is real?"-- and has chosen to live.

The point of the final shot was to turn and ask the same question of the audience.
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Old July 21 2010, 04:44 PM   #192
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

T'Baio wrote: View Post
I think Inception might have the same "problem" that Blade Runner has. Although, knowing how much a fan of Blade Runner Nolan is, perhaps it's on purpose.

Blade Runner is ostensibly about loss of humanity, and that Roy Batty, a replicant, can feel and love life more than a human. But if the "twist" of it all is that Deckerd is a replicant himself, it kind of robs the movie of thematic weight for a satirically dark twist.
I agree with you on that, and my takeaway from Blade Runner has always been that Deckard is human, but all the clues that he was a replicant are there just to underscore how human replicants were. It's not just that the robots were starting to think they were human, the humans were starting to wonder if they were robots.

So mapping that to Inception, it means Cobb had woken up, but he'd gotten so lost between dream and reality that it almost couldn't matter. He ended up with the same outlook Mal had before he planted the idea in her head that she was dreaming, where she wouldn't and couldn't care what was objectively real anymore, and all she could appreciate was the reality she was in at that moment. He was just lucky enough to end up on the correct side of the veil.
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Old July 21 2010, 04:59 PM   #193
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

As to the two sets of child actors, whose to say Cobb didn't simply them being older in his dream? I don't think we can necessarily draw any firm conclusions just from that piece of info.

T'Baio wrote: View Post
Upon the end of the film, I felt the character had completed his arc, and learned to let go of his emotions and fantasies of the past so that he could be mentally healthy and enjoy the reality of today. I never even thought that anything else happened, that feeling upon the ending is what felt natural and right to me. Once I started thinking that in the end Cobb was still dreaming, the film becomes weightless (pun not intended) to me, and merely an exercise in entertainment.
Well yeah, but an ending like this is kind of MEANT to hit you in the gut, and be a bit haunting and tragic.

To me, that's much more powerful and thought-provoking than if he had simply gone off and lived happily ever after with his kids in the real world. The simple fact that we want that future for him means the movie has done it's job and made us care that much.

And in the end, maybe it's enough that he does get to at least see his children's faces again. He certainly seemed happy enough.
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Old July 21 2010, 05:23 PM   #194
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

^
Because it's not simply a dream. To be exact, it's a memory. It's how his kids looked when he was taken away.

A thought about 'growing old', and yet dying as young people:

It's a dream. Age is, I suppose, relative.

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^
I agree, I actually think I'd love the movie a whole lot more if we got that extra second of the totem toppling and then cut to black. I know I wanted it to topple over.
Yeah, that final shot was a bit of a turkey slap.
It's toying with us, but this is a Nolan movie. Puzzles are just as important as drama; considering the somewhat cool, distant (and convoluted) film The Prestige.

That said, that Cobb continues to dream is far more satisfying to me. He lets go... he slips up. He's human and it's over. Cobb working out his problems has less heft to me, it would make the ending far altogether too tidy (if this is the real world; then the moment with the children is painfully on the nose.)

So yeah, while I think it continuing to be a dream makes more sense I'll also concede that's the far more emotionally satisfying answer for me.
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Old July 21 2010, 05:31 PM   #195
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Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

davejames wrote: View Post
Well yeah, but an ending like this is kind of MEANT to hit you in the gut, and be a bit haunting and tragic.

To me, that's much more powerful and thought-provoking than if he had simply gone off and lived happily ever after with his kids in the real world.
This will probably be one of those things where it'll just be a simple disagreement, but...

I don't think the film earns a "punch in the gut" ending. I feel the tone of the film requires a denouement. For all the talk of Inception being a "mindfuck" film, I didn't think it was at all. I thought everything in the film was clearly laid out, everything flowed perfectly smoothly, and at no point did I feel confused or wonder what was going on or feel like I was being led to believe something that wasn't genuine and earnest. Like I said, at the end of the film, I snickered at the cut to black, but felt the only possible resolution was that Cobb was back to reality, because that's what felt right to me. It wasn't until afterwards I started considering the thought that it might all be a dream, and thought if it was, at least it had a pretty fight scene and I was entertained. I felt the film was pretty standard in the way it flowed and in the way it told its story and that it was pretty conventional filmmaking. What makes it stand out is its exceptional ideas and plot contrivances to tell an extremely literate and intelligent story.

I don't think a film that is as genuine and earnest and conventional as Inception earns a "gut punch" ending. For that to work, I feel you have to work up to it. I didn't feel Nolan was, and feel like the cut to black was an unearned "kick."
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