vote on Inception's ending (spoilers obviously)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Jul 31, 2010.

?

Inception ends with

  1. reality

    65.2%
  2. dream

    30.3%
  3. other

    4.5%
  1. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Having seen the movie multiple times and having some rather in depth discussions with those who I've seen it with, I'm going to go with: There is no straight answer to whether or not the end was in reality or a dream, and Nolan wanted it that way. In this thread we've been touching on various aspects of the scenes that make us believe it might be one or the other, but there is never any real hard evidence. For example, you'll notice that Cobb only wears his wedding ring when he in in a dream. In reality, he doesn't. Now in the final scene, look for a clear shot of Cobb's left hand. There isn't one.

    It actually proves very little. Throughout the movie, Cobb refuses to look at their faces because he knows they aren't real. Now, remember what Mal says in the house when she's holding Fischer hostage at the end? When she says it's not about what you know, but what you believe? And in the same scene, Cobb finally lets go of his guilt, and lets go of Mal. Without the guilt, in his mind he is free to see his children again. The "charges" have been lifted. So all it takes is for him to believe that he is in reality and back home for him to be able to see his kids.

    We can tell that he no longer cares about whether or not he knows what is real and what is not when he neglects to watch the top to see whether or not it falls. I mean, this is a man who was sitting with gun in hand ready to shoot himself if the top never stopped spinning in the first half of the film...and now he's content to just walk away?

    In short, I'm inclined to think that he was indeed still dreaming and in limbo...but the real answer is that there is no answer, and that is the brilliance of the film. We're given two distinct possibilities but no definitive proof in favor of one or the other.

    An another note, I notied some other folkes were confused as to how the top came in to play with Cobb planting the idea into Mal's mind. Basically, the top was a symbolic representation of her knowing what is real and what isn't, and she locked it away, out of reach. Since the top is used to prove to her that she's dreaming, locking it away effectively prevents her from reminding herself. So, when Cobb breaks in and makes it spin, he reintroduced the idea that her world is not real into her mind...but of course it carried on into reality.

    That's really what the whole theme of the film was; the difference between believing something to be true versus knowing...sometimes you don't need to know as long as you believe.
     
  2. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Commodore

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    I just got back from the movie and this was my exact thought. I don't know if the whole entire movie is a dream or just when he woke up on the plane. I'm thinkinole movie was a dream and that would make it a 4th level beyond "Limbo". That could mean heually in a coma and Mal is actually alive. There's no way his kids would be wearing the same exact clothes and in the same position as when he left. The thing is, the top looked like it wasen't anywhere near falling. I also want to point out that Nolan could have been puposely showing us the answer the whole time. The Prestigue gave us clues throughout the whole movie. Everyone assumes that he wants to leave it up to the audience, but what he really wants to give us the answer? I don't know what's reality now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  3. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As posted above, they're not the exact same clothes.
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    They're only vaugely the same clothes. But, yes, they are very different. As I've said many times before I think the ending being a dream sort of cheats us out of Cobb's character arc and what he wants. He's been comitted to getting back to his children and seeing them in his dreams wasn't good enough for him. But the children are very clearly in different clothes and appear to even be a bit older. He's clearly not been gone long.

    The ending being a dream sort-of makes his whole arc -and the whole movie- pointless. The whole mission was to get back to his kids, it's why he took it and it's why he didn't want them to turn around in his dreams. Dreaming them simply wasn't good enough. It's a kick to his balls to make them still a dream at the end of the movie when he thinks he has won.

    He also makes the point of telling Ellen Page that you never see a dream from it's begining, you simply drop into the middle of it. This is shown nicely in the movie he recalls being on the plane, his landing, going through security, driving home, and then entering his home. He's not simply dropped into being home with the kids.

    For my money, the ending is real for it not to be is to defeat all of his character motivation and his "prize" for getting it done is to not have what he wanted? Depressing.

    I will, however, argue that at the end of the movie he's "as back in reality as much as we thought he was in the whole time anyway."
     
  5. Ryan

    Ryan Commodore Commodore

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    The jump would be from limbo to the plane. Cobb also seemed to be referring to the start of the dream. Everything we saw within the dreams appeared to have people moving around like normal.

    And that's the really cool thing about Inception: so much of the movie lends itself to various interpretations. I believe the narrative and Cobb's story ark demand the ending be reality (notice how he never spends time in his dreams with his children, only Mal) but a person can believe whatever they like.
     
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    When doing the "Dream Orientation" with Adrianne he says to her "You never really remember the begining of the dream, do you? Let me ask you how did we get to this cafe?"

    This seems to apply through the climax dreams where the characters when they start each new "level" they're simply dropped into a situation. In the car, on the street, suddenly in the hotel in their various positions (the one dude as a hot, blonde, twilight vampire), on the mountain top guns at the ready. With the ending scene Cobb's not dropped into the middle of anything, he's "dropped into" waking up on the plane. Where he'd expect to be if he woke up and he remembers every step along the way between there and walking into his home with his older children.
     
  7. Ryan

    Ryan Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure how you can argue that isn't exactly what happened from the audience perspective.

    It's certainly not much different than what we saw before. The scenes where Cobb tests Adriane then begins explaining dream-share to her appear seamless to us as an audience too.