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Old October 1 2010, 02:15 AM   #16
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

The top was clearly undergoing precession, meaning it will inevitably fall, and the kids at the end were meant to be around two years older and were played by different actors. Seems pretty clear that he was in the real world to me.



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Old October 1 2010, 05:37 AM   #17
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

stj wrote: View Post
The top starts to fall. Actually seeing it fall is irrelevant. By the rules of the story, the top falling means the scene is real. If the rules the movie spent so much time on are pointless, so is the movie.
I don't think the rules were fully explored. The idea of the totem was that it was a "tell" on subconscious belief; the subconscious always knew if things were a dream or not. However, what happens when you accept something so fully that even your subconscious is fooled?

People can crack; they can go insane and throw all rules of subconscious thought out the window. I think the top was giving up and falling because he was also falling and giving up (our last "real" sight of him being the murder of his shadow wife - an act that could have finally pushed him over the edge).
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Old October 1 2010, 06:10 AM   #18
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Whether or not the top was about to fall is irrelevant. The film stopped before it did and Nolan was making a statment by doing so. If you wanted a definitive answer than this is not the film for you, sorry.
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Old October 1 2010, 06:47 AM   #19
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

sidious618 wrote: View Post
If you wanted a definitive answer than this is not the film for you, sorry.
I'm just sharing thoughts that came to me after watching the film; I'm not saying anyone has to agree. Strangely enough, you seem to be telling us that there's only one answer (no answer) and we should go away if we don't agree with you. You see your open thought as the absolute definitive; I make no such claim for my thought.
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Old October 1 2010, 07:33 AM   #20
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I see the ending like Schrodinger's cat. The top neither remains spinning nor falls within the audience's perception, therefore the story's "quantum state" is never collapsed.

That is, it is both a dream and reality.

It's a statement about fiction in general.
Funny you should phrase it that way, as the "official" trope name for this also involves cats. (I also like that the entry there for Inception essentially states that Nolan incepted the audience by not showing the top falling.)
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Old October 1 2010, 08:11 AM   #21
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I see the ending like Schrodinger's cat. The top neither remains spinning nor falls within the audience's perception, therefore the story's "quantum state" is never collapsed.

That is, it is both a dream and reality.

It's a statement about fiction in general.
Fantastic insight. I think you just won the thread right there and then.
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Old October 1 2010, 03:59 PM   #22
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
The top was clearly undergoing precession, meaning it will inevitably fall, and the kids at the end were meant to be around two years older and were played by different actors. Seems pretty clear that he was in the real world to me.

The kids' age is another situation that keeps things ambiguous. True, it could indicate that it's reality. But, Cobb could easily dream, in this his perfect dream, that they are two years older, as they would be in reality.
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Old October 1 2010, 04:47 PM   #23
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
The kids' age is another situation that keeps things ambiguous. True, it could indicate that it's reality. But, Cobb could easily dream, in this his perfect dream, that they are two years older, as they would be in reality.
Except that Cobb throughout the film only dreams in memory, and he has no memory of his kids being the age they would be two years after he left. Unless, of course, the catharsis he received by finally letting Mal go allows him to dream normally again.
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Old October 1 2010, 09:25 PM   #24
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

If you watch the scenes with the kids in it, and I suspect we'll see a lot of screencaps soon when the DVD comes out, the kids are wearing similar, but very different, clothes and they are pretty obviously older. Esp. the girl.
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Old October 2 2010, 04:40 AM   #25
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

sidious618 wrote: View Post
Whether or not the top was about to fall is irrelevant. The film stopped before it did and Nolan was making a statment by doing so. If you wanted a definitive answer than this is not the film for you, sorry.
The film stopped the moment we saw the top falling. The belief there is anything ambiguous about whether the top falls is just flat out wrong. If Nolan thinks there was any ambiguity about whether the top falls, he understands nothing about how the material world works. (Which by the way would be a severe criticism of his intelligence.)

However, if the top is somehow imagined to not fall, it means that DiCaprio simply ignored what he told the false Mal about preferring reality. Coupled with Cillian Murphy's fake epiphany about his father's love, the movie quite unambiguously implies dreams/the movies/fiction are just as good as the real thing.

These arguments are astonishingly successful in lowering my opinion of Nolan's talents and achievements.
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Old October 2 2010, 05:59 AM   #26
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

After hearing so much praise for this movie I went in with high expectations but came out severely disappointed.

For what its worth I do prefer the interpretation that its not a dream.
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Old October 2 2010, 09:26 PM   #27
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

stj wrote: View Post
The film stopped the moment we saw the top falling. The belief there is anything ambiguous about whether the top falls is just flat out wrong. If Nolan thinks there was any ambiguity about whether the top falls, he understands nothing about how the material world works. (Which by the way would be a severe criticism of his intelligence.)
I didn't know you were the absolute authority on such matters. I'm not even sure you understand the rules of the movie itself- the ambiguity comes from the explanation that Cobb gives that when the spinning top refuses to fall, that unequivocally means he's still in the dream world. When the top falls, it means he's in the real world.

Now, of course, Cobb also mentions that no one should touch your totem because then it would defeat the purpose of the totem being a reminder of what is real and what is not, which adds another layer of doubt onto the viewer. Is the entire thing a dream? Is Cobb really losing it all and lost in the dream realm, unable to successfully distinguish what is real and what is not real anymore?

The point of the ending was not to give a definitive answer, but to allow the audience to leave the theater with their own unique interpretation of what happened. We have no idea if the top was going to fall, and that is exactly what Nolan wanted- he wanted to instill doubt in the minds of the moviegoers, and was successful at achieving that.

However, if the top is somehow imagined to not fall, it means that DiCaprio simply ignored what he told the false Mal about preferring reality. Coupled with Cillian Murphy's fake epiphany about his father's love, the movie quite unambiguously implies dreams/the movies/fiction are just as good as the real thing.
If anything, what I took out of the movie is that you should reject the false world as anything legitimate- but then again the meaning of the film is subjective and differs upon various interpretations. The idea is that Cobb was trying to get emotional catharsis of his own, and perhaps by achieving that toward the end of the film it didn't matter to him what was real or what was not- all that mattered was moving on emotionally from being distraught.

These arguments are astonishingly successful in lowering my opinion of Nolan's talents and achievements.
Okay. Well, that's entirely your opinion, even though I'm glad to say you are in the minority and your opinion is the furthest thing from absolute.
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Old October 2 2010, 10:24 PM   #28
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

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We have no idea if the top was going to fall, and that is exactly what Nolan wanted- he wanted to instill doubt in the minds of the moviegoers, and was successful at achieving that.
The top is going to fall. It starts to wobble (precess) and in a few boring minutes it will finally topple. If Nolan doesn't know that, he's an idiot. Expecting us not to know this shows his contempt for us.

Neither DiCaprio nor Murphy are looking for emotional catharsis. DiCaprio supposedly has one in his confrontation with the false Mal but the movie is so badly written even the fans have trouble realizing this. What DiCaprio wants is to get his kids back and the catharsis comes, supposedly, in rejecting the temptations of the false Mal. Any catharsis DiCaprio has is a means to the end, which is earning Watanabe's intervention. I'm not sure in what sense the character's motives could be subjective.

The notion that emotional catharsis will move him past caring whether he really gets them back is obviously absurd.
Cillian Murphy's catharsis is based on falsehood. The question of whether it's still worthwhile has some interest perhaps but the movie doesn't dramatize it. If such issues were what the movie was about, we might have seen the camera follow DiCaprio past the spinning top, then close in on his face, eyes shut, as he embraces the children. Is he dreaming? Or we might see Cillian Murphy confronting Tom Berenger.
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Old October 2 2010, 10:29 PM   #29
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

TemporalFlux wrote: View Post
sidious618 wrote: View Post
If you wanted a definitive answer than this is not the film for you, sorry.
I'm just sharing thoughts that came to me after watching the film; I'm not saying anyone has to agree. Strangely enough, you seem to be telling us that there's only one answer (no answer) and we should go away if we don't agree with you. You see your open thought as the absolute definitive; I make no such claim for my thought.
My post wasn't in reply to yours. What I'm saying is that the film offers no definitive ending and people can argue this all the want but they'll always be wrong (or, not fully right) because we don't see the top fall. They can argue it was falling or it wasn't but it doesn't matter. It ended before we could see the results. Of course people can have an opinion on whether it was a dream or not but it's not 100% for sure.

My opinion is that worrying if it was a dream or not is beyond the point.
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Old October 2 2010, 11:38 PM   #30
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Re: Michael Caine explains the ending of INCEPTION

Emh wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I see the ending like Schrodinger's cat. The top neither remains spinning nor falls within the audience's perception, therefore the story's "quantum state" is never collapsed.

That is, it is both a dream and reality.

It's a statement about fiction in general.
Fantastic insight. I think you just won the thread right there and then.
I agree.
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