Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aragorn, Jul 15, 2010.

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Grading

  1. Excellent

    71.0%
  2. Above average

    23.7%
  3. Average

    3.6%
  4. Below average

    1.8%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Lol, I have a feeling Nolan could have held the camera on the spinning top for a full 5 minutes, and people would still maintain that it was just about to fall over before the screen went black.
     
  2. Huh?

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I said nothing like that, and no one dreams with such detail.


    Probably that's how it works mechanically, as REM states are only 15 minutes max, but the perception is - and everything about a dream is just imagination/perception - that it lasts far longer.

    So many times between 5-minute snooze cycles on the morning alarm I dreamt I went to school or work, attended full classes, had some wild adventures, etc. then woke in a panic thinking I missed the whole day and find it's just a few minutes later in real time and I actually still had to live my day. Then I'd get depressed 'cuz it was like going to school or work twice in a day - that's how real and detailed it was.

    Anyone can recall a 2-week vacation in very elaborate detail with just 15 minutes of thinking about it, especially if there are visuals to help. "A picture is worth a thousand words" and who knows how many minutes of perception.

    That's what the film is playing on, quite factually. Any 1st year psych student has probably read numerous studies on same.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  3. Canadave

    Canadave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    My mistake. :) In that case, I agree with you: Minority Report is quite good, but just short of being on the same level of the films you named.

    Indeed. I almost wonder if in twenty years time, Chris Nolan will be on a similar level to directors like Speilberg and Kubrick. He's certainly managed to put together a damned impressive filmography after just over a decade of work.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I hope he takes the Kubrick route--producing and directing his own work--rather than the Spielberg route of producing and executive producing dozens of projects at a time that entail little creative involvement.

    It will be interesting to see if Nolan's role as an executive producer of the next Superman project will be a one-time move or a sign of the role he'll be taking in Hollywood for years to come.
     
  5. Huh?

    Huh? Ensign Newbie

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss


    Lengths such as making up stuff that didn't happen in the actual film because it suits their conclusions.

    It doesn't topple. And saying the kids had to look the same at the end to avoid confusing the audience doesn't wash. First, we've never seen them and we're expecting them to be older so any larger kids would do, and second if that really was a concern the kids didn't need to be shown at all. It could've ended with the passport stamp and no need for the top spin. (Passport stamp - *BANG* roll credits ... did he get a pass or a fail? tune in next year...). Mal (French for "bad", the character's actual name) didn't need to be magically across the street (or courtyard, if there is one that we're not shown) to affect the suicide scene.

    Stuff is either done & shown for a reason or the film is a bunch of massive holes, thus a typical schlockbuster and we're giving Nolan far too much credit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  6. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Clearly the ending is MEANT to be ambiguous. Anyone who argues that it's NOT meant to offer at least 2 possible interpretations is being disingenuous. Yes, it is objectively strange that the kids are in EXACTLY the same position at the end as they are in his last memory of them. Is it impossible? No, just strange. They're also, I believe, wearing the same clothes. Again, not absolutely impossible, but very strange. Also, their being the same age - strange, and especially strange considering the movie DELIBERATELY avoids mentioning how long Cobb has been in exile. It would have been an obvious thing to put in the script somewhere, and he deliberately leaves it out, so that it's, again, possible that it's real, and still very, very strange.

    And the spinning top does, objectively, begin to topple for about a millisecond, and then more or less straightens out. And again, this is done to leave both options open. Of COURSE the top doesn't absolutely fall, or absolutely spin forever - the only reason it's effective as a last shot is because it's ambiguous.

    It's also brilliant. Reminds me of the end of Philip K. Dick's Ubik, where the guy finds the face of his employee on a coin in his pocket. Anyone who's read the book knows what I'm talking about, and knows that this ending may very well have been inspired by it.
     
  7. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I never said you said anything like that. My post was below Trekker's, I was responding to him.


    Well, I could tell you about all the numerous studies I've read published in the last couple years about dreams occurring in real time that refute the film's hypothesis, being a 3rd year psyche student myself, but since I said it was a silly nit pick to begin with and can suspend my disbelief for it, I'll just agree to disagree and let it go.
     
  8. Huh?

    Huh? Ensign Newbie

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    My mistake.


    Those studies don't refute anything, they just suggest some dream narratives may parallel real time. Since it's all based on the subject's recollection, which is dubious at best on such fine points, then there's no way to conclude that for certain in any cases much less in all cases.
     
  9. Kolrad

    Kolrad Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    After a second viewing, I think I finally figured out why they blew up the hospital. It was necessary in order to provide the "kick" to wake Ariadne up from the fourth dream/limbo. (It was supposed to wake Cobb up too, but he chose to stay there.)

    My interpretation of the last scene of the movie is that Cobb decides he no longer cares if the top will keep spinning or not. He chooses to see his children's faces again-- something he had been distracted from and afraid to do before. This is the reality he has chosen, where he wants to be, and whether the top spins or falls is meaningless to him now. The final shot is just meant to get the audience thinking.
     
  10. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I'm of a mind that there's only one really correct interpretation, that the ending is a dream, and I do really hang this on the children.

    Consider how the children are portrayed throughout the film: Always golden haired, always dreamlike, always crouching over, about to turn round. That is the image that is burned into his subconscious (T'Baio: damn I love that word alright?); and that is the image we see when he sees his children - indeed, it unfolds exactly as he wanted; the children who always ran away instead turn to greet him.

    But time passes. Kids get older. Kids wear different clothes. Kids might be doing different things. Maybe you see one of them hanging around the house but the other one is at a friend's house. The sheer perfection and relation of this moment to the dream image - added with the fact after Cobb wakes up we see everything from his viewpoint, in, additionally, a rather glossed over fashion - make it unambiguous to me that the ending is a dream. Sure, maybe it could just be a bleeding huge coincidence, but candidly I think the moment is signalling the audience. We've been impressed with this one specific image numerous times throughout the movie; this is the payoff.

    This isn't quite like, say, Total Recall, where I say the movie is a dream simply because that's the more interesting answer (not necessarily the answer that makes more sense); I really think it's hard to see the film's conclusion as anything other than a dream.

    Is it possible to interpret it otherwise? Well yeah, but everything is, isn't it? I still like my idea that Ariadne is really Mol as a young woman but I don't have any concepts that fit it into a framework that makes sense (when watching the film I also toyed with the idea that maybe only Mol was real and she'd entered Cobb's mind to try and wake him up, but that also doesn't make sense...)

    I dunno, I think Inception is less of a Rorschach test as far as dream meanings go and more of an open-and-shut puzzle scenario... but then again.
     
  11. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I've a question re: The "Dream Time Dilation."

    I forget the I forget the actual conversions but let us assume this:

    The real world: 1 minute passes.
    The first dream world: 10 Minutes Pass.
    The second dream world: 100 minutes (1 hour 40 minutes) pass. In the final act of the film this is the world in the city/in the van.
    The third dream world: 1000 minutes pass. (16 hours 40 minutes). In the the final act of the fim this is the world in the hotel.
    The fourth dream world: 10,000 minutes pass. (About a week.) In the movie this is the Goldeneye for the N64 snow fortress dreamworld.
    The fifth dream world: 100,000 minutes pass. (About a week past two months) In the movie this is the surreal "limbo" dream world.

    I believe in the movie the time dilation is a bit more exponetial than this, it seemed suggested that the "bottom" dream world would be something like years compared to the 16 hour flight.

    Also, they originally thought they had vastly more time to complete their mission but the subject's "dream immune system" forced them to speed up the mission.

    So while our characters are in the deeper dream world (the Snow Fortress one) in the "first" dream world with the van time is slowed down to show the time dilation effect, it's takes the van the final 20 minutes or so of the movie to fall fromt he bridge and hit the water. Meanwhile time movies normally for all of our other characters in the lower dream worlds. If time was moving so slowly shouldn't we have seen the guy floating around in zero-g moving slowly? And when Leo drops down a level to "limbo" shouldn't we have seen the snow-fortress level moving slowly now? Or were they "fooling with" time differently with those other levels with "movie time" by simply removing the uneeded moments of people walking around. (i.e. things weren't occuring in "real time."
     
  12. Capt. Vulcan

    Capt. Vulcan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Yeah, this is why my theory is that he's slowly creating his ideal children via multiple self-inceptions because he's stuck in limbo. If something is off and he catches it, he may have to create another elaborate set of layers and hopefully emerge with a more realistic ideal reality for himself.

    I may be mistaken on this, but the limbo world is described as a sort of shared almost infinite dream space. Meaning if someone else fell in to limbo they would conceivably see the creations of Cobb and his wife whether they were there or not. If so, it's kind of pointless to debate the rational aspects of how this dreamscape works since it's clearly not based on any part of how our reality works.
     
  13. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    That really cuts against the point of him letting go of Mal, though - when he explicitly stated he couldn't be satisfied with a dream.

    The ending certainly intends to keep audiences arguing about it, but I think on the balance it makes the most sense for it to be real.
     
  14. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Well, IMHO, the ending was clearly in the "real world" and not in the dream world. The top was clearly starting to wobble/lose its balance at the end, but I do hate it when the endings are left somewhat "open" like that. I guess all we can hope for is that Nolan comes out and says what his intent on the ending was either in an interview or DVD commentary.

    But, to me, the top was clearly and audibly begining to fail before the screen cut to black. The ending may have, actually, been a bit better if we got see it actually fail.

    As for the kids not looking older? I chalk that up to movie shrug-off. We're given little to no indication how much time had passed between Leo leaving home and the events of the movie, from the phone-call he has with the kids early in the film it seems that only a fairly short ammount of time had passed, possibly less than a year.

    I will say that it is odd that the police/FBI wouldn't have been watching his father or the children/monitoring calls in order to track Leo or that he'd even be considered a suspect as they'd likely be able to figure out the Mal had jumped to her death. (I also suspected it was a "u shaped" wing of they were in and Mal had simply walked around the ledge the window oppisite the room she rented.)

    But as far as I'm concerned, unless an interview says otherwise and even then I'm likely going to keep with my own interpretation, the ending of the movie is in the real world. Or, rather, as much of the "real world" as we thought we were in the whole time. For it to be in a dream world would sort-of make the whole movie kind-of pointless.

    I also want to say that this movie, coupled with The Dark Knight, has made Nolan one of my favorite current movie makers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  15. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    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.
     
  16. Kolrad

    Kolrad Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    During Ariadne's training, Arthur explained that 5 minutes in the real world feels like an hour in a dream, which is a factor of 12.

    Later, Yusuf explains that the sedative used in the mission slows time by a factor of 20. So the 10-hour flight would take 200 hours, or over a week, in the first dream.

    The "normal" factor of 12 would cause the flight to take 2400 hours, or three and a half months, in the second dream.

    The third dream added another factor of 12 to make the flight take over three years.

    Time seems to move even slower in limbo, but it's not clear how slowly, because the same rules don't seem to apply there.

    I think the movie did a good job of portraying the time dilation, though of course the time doesn't match perfectly. During the ending sequence, they showed the scenes of the van falling in dream 1 in slow motion.

    In dream 2, the scenes of Arthur rigging the elevator were at regular speed, but not much happened while we weren't watching; whenever we returned to a scene with Arthur, it seemed that very little time had passed.

    Dream 3 was also at regular speed, but whenever we returned to a scene there, it was usually implied that we missed a few minutes of traveling or fighting time.

    If you were to add up the time the movie spends on each dream, it probably wouldn't come very close to fitting the "factor of 12" rule. However, I think the movie did a reasonable job of conveying the idea that time moved more slowly each time the characters went to a deeper level.
     
  17. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    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.

    But why do they behave exactly as they did in the dream? That's just too neat. We don't know whether the top slips or not (and that may not be relevant)* but the children are perfect. I dunno, even without the totem spinning I would have taken that to be a dream automatically on that strength.


    *Wait what?

    Arthur, the sidekick, makes a big point about having your own totem and letting other people know its properties would defeat the purpose... but Cobb's totem is Mol's, not his own. What ever happened to his own totem is unclear - and while specifically how Arthur's loaded dice work is secret, how Mol's totem works is common knowledge in the team (or at least among two members.)

    I don't know if that points to anything, but it does shade the totem with the tiniest bit of doubt. Or I could be overthinking it.
     
  18. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    I don't mean to correct you on such a trivial factoid, but the correct name is Mal, not Mol.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    Well they thought they had vastly more time but the subjects "dream immune system" forced them to speed things up and think on their feet. They would've had the years they thought they had the immune system would've been right on their asses the whole time making that almost impossible to drag out.

    Obviously the dice is loaded so that only one, specific, number comes up when the dice is rolled and only Arthur knows what that number is. Not sure how Ellen's decapitated King would work.
     
  20. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Inception (Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio) Grading & Discuss

    ^
    Exactly. My point is the thing the dice does is something only Arthur knows - what number comes up? You knowing defeats the purpose! But Cobb's totem is hardly as secret. Arthur, Ariadne and Mal also know how it's supposed to work.

    That's quite alright. I couldn't be bothered to look it up in any event.