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View Poll Results: Inception ends with
reality 58 65.17%
dream 27 30.34%
other 4 4.49%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 1 2010, 02:28 AM   #16
Skywalker
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

I really feel that people who believe it was all a dream are just overthinking it.
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Old August 1 2010, 02:49 AM   #17
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post


It's just a character in a movie. People shouldn't be required to imdb everything just so they can get the spelling right.
Or, you know, read the credits.
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Old August 1 2010, 03:05 AM   #18
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

I voted dream, not because I like that interpretation or think it was necessary for the story, but because Cobb's children hadn't changed a bit from his memory earlier in the film. Yeah, I know it could be symbolic or simplified for audience understanding, but children that young grow up fast, and we know he'd been on the run for some considerable length of time (long enough to get a string of jobs extracting, and to establish a reputation for himself doing so). I find it implausible to the point of absurdity for him to return home in reality and find his children looking, dressing and acting exactly the same as the last moment he saw them. Plus that top was spinning for an awfully long time...
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Old August 1 2010, 03:17 AM   #19
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post


It's just a character in a movie. People shouldn't be required to imdb everything just so they can get the spelling right.
Or, you know, read the credits.
Do you read all the credits of every movie you see? When the credits start, I get up and leave the theater.
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Old August 1 2010, 03:19 AM   #20
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
I voted dream, not because I like that interpretation or think it was necessary for the story, but because Cobb's children hadn't changed a bit from his memory earlier in the film. Yeah, I know it could be symbolic or simplified for audience understanding, but children that young grow up fast, and we know he'd been on the run for some considerable length of time (long enough to get a string of jobs extracting, and to establish a reputation for himself doing so). I find it implausible to the point of absurdity for him to return home in reality and find his children looking, dressing and acting exactly the same as the last moment he saw them. Plus that top was spinning for an awfully long time...
I thought someone here said that there were actually two sets of children hired to play Cobb's kids. This is something I'd really need to watch again just to compare. Kids do grow up fast, but how much time had actually passed since the last time he saw them?
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Old August 1 2010, 04:15 AM   #21
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Do you read all the credits of every movie you see? When the credits start, I get up and leave the theater.
Can't you see that if you don't know the spelling of a minor fictional character's name, you're a total idiot who shouldn't even be allowed to use a computer? Now, please stop interrupting the circle jerk where everyone congratulates each other for being smart enough to understand this movie.
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Old August 1 2010, 05:31 AM   #22
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

I'd rather not know. If Nolan comes out and says either way it'd lessen my enjoyment of the film.
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Old August 1 2010, 04:32 PM   #23
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
My take is this: since Moll had a "magic" top that would tell her whether she was in a dream, her assessment of whether she was in a dream or not must have been accurate (assuming the movie is playing fair with the "rule" about the top) and if she thought she was still in a dream, I say she was right. At some point after she "woke up," she spun the top and it didn't stop on its own, leading to only one sensible conclusion: jump off a ledge (and frame your stupid pigheaded husband for your murder so he'll kill himself or at the very least, be executed).
That doesn't make a lot of sense. If the top still won't stop spinning, then all Mal had to do was to show it to Cobb to prove her point instead of framing him for her murder. The more likely scenario is that Mal span the top, it fell, but her paranoia led her to believe it wasn't her top (otherwise it's a big plot hole.
Also, if Mal was right and they were still dreaming, then what's stopping her from "kicking" Cobb back to reality? Or if she can't, just come back into the dream (rise from the dead, from his POV) and show him she survived?
The fact that Mal stayed dead in what Cobb perceived as the real world proved it was indeed real.

Now, did Cob return to the real world at the end? I think so: the top was wobbling and since we didn't see the kids' faces before we can't tell if they changed or not.
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Old August 2 2010, 01:26 AM   #24
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Cobb's rejection of Mal can only mean it's reality.
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Old August 2 2010, 02:08 AM   #25
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
But Cobb stole the top and locked it away! That was the whole point.
It's the opposite of that. After decades in limbo Mal laid the top down and locked it away herself. She actively chose for their dream world to be "reality". Cobb eventually realized Mal had lost her grip. He went into her subconscious where he was able to find her totem and start it spinning again. That was the inception.
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Old August 2 2010, 03:21 AM   #26
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Ryan wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
But Cobb stole the top and locked it away! That was the whole point.
It's the opposite of that. After decades in limbo Mal laid the top down and locked it away herself. She actively chose for their dream world to be "reality". Cobb eventually realized Mal had lost her grip. He went into her subconscious where he was able to find her totem and start it spinning again. That was the inception.
Exactly. What Mal did made her believe Limbo to be the real world, what Cobb (Leo) did made her believe Limbo was the dream world it actualy was and then want to wake her up. Unfortuantly the spinning top's influence in the dream-world/limbo carried over into the "real" world, drove Mal mad and made her kill herself believing she's simply going to wake up in the real "real" world.

As Cobb himself says when you do implantation this deep it'll define that person and virtually make them into a new person driven to accomplish this "idea" that they had in their head and they would not rest or be satisfied until he accomplised it. This is why Mal and Cobb struggled so much after waking up Mal was utterly certain the "real world" was still a dream and the only way she could get to the real world was to wake up by killing herself. Now, her logic is flawed in that she should realize that the decades of time she's lived would mean she's in a deep dream state, so deep that if she tried killing herself she'd be more likely to "wake up" in Limbo than she would the "Real Real World" but regardless of that the deep implantation meant she pretty much had no choice. Spinning that top convinced her on a subconscious level that her world was not real.

This is why the "ending was a dream" people have it so wrong because the driving force of this movie was for Cobb to let go of Mal, let go of his regrets and get back home to see his kids. Mal was no longer good enough for him and he had to let her go to move on with his life. If the ending was a dream then this is bullshit because it means Cobb didn't get what he wanted and, pretty much, Mal got what she wanted.

The ending has to be in the real world for the character arc of Cobb to make any sense and to be worth a damn; if he's in a even "deeper" dream state, in a different version of Limbo or something along those lines then Cobb didn't get what he wanted and his coming to grips with the past and letting Mal go (doing both by killing her in Limbo) is all pointless. Also it does matter than "even if he's still in a dream he got to see his kids" because seeing his kids in a dream wasn't good enough for him and not what he wanted.

He wanted to see his "real" kids, the kids he had always known. That the kids look (more or less) the same is meaningless and can be written off as simply movie slieight-of-hand. If they used noticably older kids then the audience wouldn't immediately recognize them. No real, good, indication is given in the movie on how much time has passed between Mal's death and the events of the movie, the conversation Leo has with his kids over the phone suggests that they're still pretty young, his son still young enough to think that mom is coming back home even though he's been told she's gone, for all we know only a year could've passed between when Leo left home and the events of the movie. Also the point seemed to be that he could not see his kids faces in the dream is because he didn't know what they looked like in that final moment; in a way we could probably extrapolate that seeing his kids' faces were his uber-totem. Seeing them told him, for sure, he was in the real world and what happened with the top didn't matter.

It's also worth pointing out, in conclusion, that I think Leo was back in as much of the real world as he thought he was in during all of the "real world" scenes througout the movie. As there's little reason to even believe anything in this movie occured in the "real world."
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Old August 2 2010, 06:25 AM   #27
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Ryan wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
But Cobb stole the top and locked it away! That was the whole point.
It's the opposite of that. After decades in limbo Mal laid the top down and locked it away herself. She actively chose for their dream world to be "reality". Cobb eventually realized Mal had lost her grip. He went into her subconscious where he was able to find her totem and start it spinning again. That was the inception.
You're right. I misremembered the scene. Still, I think I was trying to make the right point.
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Old August 3 2010, 08:45 PM   #28
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Ryan wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
But Cobb stole the top and locked it away! That was the whole point.
It's the opposite of that. After decades in limbo Mal laid the top down and locked it away herself. She actively chose for their dream world to be "reality". Cobb eventually realized Mal had lost her grip. He went into her subconscious where he was able to find her totem and start it spinning again. That was the inception.
While watching the movie, I didn't quite understand this point.

So - they have gone into dream state and are living for 50 years. I take it that they entered via various levels since in order to live 50 years, it wouldn't be possible in first-level dreaming. Are we shown their different levels? (I know you might think this is a silly question but I am going to ask anyway).

Then, evidently in the level where they are alone doing world-building or whatever, they decide to stay on for 50 years. Why is it that this level doesn't have people besides them? Shouldn't their "projections" populate this level? Why is it that they were able to keep their people-as-projections out of this level?

From what I understood, Mal starts treating this world as reality and locks the totem away. How does Cobb remember that this is a dream? He doesn't seem to have an individual totem of his own? Are we to take it that he doesn't somehow succumb to the dream-world's charms?

So anyway Cobb decides to do something. What is it? It involves him going into that house-replica and open the safe and do what to the top? And why does it work?

(After thinking a little, all he does is set the top spinning. Since this is a dream, it will continue spinning and so whenever Mal next chooses to open the locker, she will see it still spinning and realize that this level is a dream. Is that correct? But she will also realize that somebody else has tampered with the totem - how would she know that this is the same top as her totem? Couldn't a projection (either of herself or Cobb's) go in and swap the totem out?)

Ok - so anyway, the idea that they are in a dream - she gets it. But (in a different sequence in the movie) they are shown to be old. So how do they die (since the kick thing doesn't apply to this particular set of dreams) in that world-building level? We are (elsewhere in the movie) shown a shot of the train but both are young at that point so it shouldn't be the same world-building level of dream but a higher level, right? So did they just die of old age in the world-building level or something else happened there? For that matter, what happens, if you die of old age in the dream? Do you automatically move back to the higher level?

Why does the totem "change" hands and come to Cobb? Is it because she no longer trusts the totem? And since she can't trust the totem, there really is no way for her to know if she's still in one of their dream levels or in reality? (Did I get that part right?) But here's a question - would one person's totem work for another person in the dream world? Evidently the totem is created in the real world but how is it transported with you into the dream? Ans: It's a projection of the person's subconscious knowledge of the totem. But *if* Mal died (or went up a level), how would her totem remain?

Who's the architect of the 50-year dream that Mal and Cobb are in and who's the dreamer?

Only Ellen Page and Cobb enter the 4th level - but whose fourth level do they enter? The third-level Mal's? Page's? Cillian's or Cobb's? (I thought that they entered third-level Mal - who is just a projection of Cobb's, so in effect they are entering Cobb's as architect and dreamer as the 4th level with Page joining in for the ride. So - how come Cobb finds himself at the same world-building level as Mal? Would all his attempts at 4th levels lead to the same place? I would think not - Dreams differ from time to time? How would he be able to "visit" the same dream-level at a later "period" from the previous time he had been there? I'd think what really happened is that he "recreates" the world-building level including projecting Mal as he remembers it.

Meanwhile on the third level, Saito dies and enters Limbo.

So, how is Cobb able to go from his 4th level to Saito's Limbo? Saito is already dead in the third level, you shouldn't be able to enter his dream (he's dead - you can only enter a living person's dream?).

But somehow (How? Cobb enters Saito's limbo? or Cobb enters his own Limbo level and in his Limbo meets Saito - is that the true Saito or a projection of his? ) they get together. Saito recalls vaguley and now has to decide whether he wants to be young again and "be rescued" and reaches for the gun. The idea being that if you die in Limbo, you will go back to your previous level?

Here the movie cuts away from the decision. Did they tell us how one can "escape" from Limbo?

Also re the (in)famous top-twirling end - we see the top stumble and right itself a few times. Do we see it slowing? I couldn't make it out as slowing... How can it "right" itself like that? I still think he's in a dream (kids don't age, he seems to be weirded out in the plane when he "wakes" up, how come Michael Caine is meeting him when he should be in Paris (but he could have gone back to the US) and the top itself that seems to take a long time in deciding) but that's dissatisfying from a movie standpoint - (The protagonist dies without satisfying any story arc). Also, he leaves his top and goes out to meet his kids but later on, he would come back and turn the top again and figure out anyways whether he's back or still in a dream.
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Old August 3 2010, 08:55 PM   #29
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

T'Baio wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
...between Mal's death (I've no idea who this "Moll" is there was no such character character in the movie)...
I think we can forgive that, can't we? They did pronounce it "Moll" in the film, regardless of what its spelling was.
Wait.. she was called Mal? We (myself and the people I saw it with) all thought she was call Moll.
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Old August 3 2010, 09:19 PM   #30
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Re: vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

coolghoul wrote: View Post
So - they have gone into dream state and are living for 50 years. I take it that they entered via various levels since in order to live 50 years, it wouldn't be possible in first-level dreaming. Are we shown their different levels? (I know you might think this is a silly question but I am going to ask anyway).
We're not shown the different levels in Mal's and Cobb's shared dream, it seemed they were pioneers in the dream field and were the first to do the "dream in a dream" thing and get "down" to Limbo.

Then, evidently in the level where they are alone doing world-building or whatever, they decide to stay on for 50 years. Why is it that this level doesn't have people besides them? Shouldn't their "projections" populate this level? Why is it that they were able to keep their people-as-projections out of this level?

I'm not sure why Limbo was unpopulated, probably because it was less "dreaming" and more "coma."

From what I understood, Mal starts treating this world as reality and locks the totem away. How does Cobb remember that this is a dream? He doesn't seem to have an individual totem of his own? Are we to take it that he doesn't somehow succumb to the dream-world's charms?
Mal was "enjoying" Limbo so much she locked the totem there, inert, which implanted in her the idea that Limbo was reality.

So anyway Cobb decides to do something. What is it? It involves him going into that house-replica and open the safe and do what to the top? And why does it work?
Cobb spins the totem. He must've deduced it was the reason why Mal was so accepting of Limbo as "reality" in spinning the top he puts in her the idea Limbo is what it is, a dream. Unfortuantly this carried over into the real world.

It works because it's the rules of this movie's world.

(After thinking a little, all he does is set the top spinning. Since this is a dream, it will continue spinning and so whenever Mal next chooses to open the locker, she will see it still spinning and realize that this level is a dream. Is that correct? But she will also realize that somebody else has tampered with the totem - how would she know that this is the same top as her totem? Couldn't a projection (either of herself or Cobb's) go in and swap the totem out?)
She may have simply never gone back to check the safe.

Ok - so anyway, the idea that they are in a dream - she gets it. But (in a different sequence in the movie) they are shown to be old. So how do they die (since the kick thing doesn't apply to this particular set of dreams) in that world-building level?
Kicking does apply. They just never used it because they were having a goog time. As for the age thing, movie "magic"/story-telling shrug off. They couldn't die of old age, since they weren't really aging, and the sedative they were on didn't preclude kicking from working, much like the climax of the film.


Who's the architect of the 50-year dream that Mal and Cobb are in and who's the dreamer?
Limbo was nothingness. They built what was there within their own minds.

Only Ellen Page and Cobb enter the 4th level - but whose fourth level do they enter? The third-level Mal's? Page's? Cillian's or Cobb's? (I thought that they entered third-level Mal - who is just a projection of Cobb's, so in effect they are entering Cobb's as architect and dreamer as the 4th level with Page joining in for the ride. So - how come Cobb finds himself at the same world-building level as Mal? Would all his attempts at 4th levels lead to the same place? I would think not - Dreams differ from time to time? How would he be able to "visit" the same dream-level at a later "period" from the previous time he had been there? I'd think what really happened is that he "recreates" the world-building level including projecting Mal as he remembers it.
Dialogue in the movie indicates that if they were to fall into Limbo it would be Cobb's limbo since he's the only who's "been there." Saito wasn't dead since you can't die in a dream, only fall to limbo.


Here the movie cuts away from the decision. Did they tell us how one can "escape" from Limbo?
You can escape from limbo, you just need a kick to do so/not be on a heavy sedative where dying won't wake you up.
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