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View Full Version : The ending of Inception - don't read if you don't want to be spoiled!



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Ajax
07-21-2010, 04:26 AM
Now what is a bit unclear to me is why Cillian wouldn't recognize Watanabe on the plane, since they're heads of seriously competing companies. But...whatever. :lol:

LOL, a most excellent observation!

Angelskates
07-21-2010, 04:52 AM
Why the spoiler tags, when the thread title makes it obvious not to come into the thread unless you want to read spoilers?

LilJen
07-21-2010, 02:13 PM
I enjoyed it for the most part, although I kept laughing every time they showed the shot of the smiling sleeping people in the falling van--it just struck me as hilarious. One friend described the movie as "The Matrix on steroids."

We couldn't stop debating the end--the whole theory being that if you died that many layers deep, you wouldn't get out of the dream but be stuck in limbo forever (remember how they kept trying to keep Saito alive?). So if Leo and Saito shot themselves, how is it they survived? dh's theory is that the other dreamers had already woken up while Leo/Saito were in the last scene, and they administered an antidote to the sedative, so then Leo/Saito just had to kill themselves in each level and boom, they wake up.

I noticed the Edith Piaf song being the "kick" music, but hadn't noticed (my friend pointed this out) that the actress playing the wife had also played Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose."

And, just because it kept bugging me throughout the movie:
Separated at birth: Ellen Page (http://tvrecappersanonymous.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/ellen-page.jpg) and Linda Cardellini (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c8/Linda_Cardellini.jpg)

Also agree with those that the movie was incredibly loud and perhaps a bit heavy on the shoot-em-up factor (men in my viewing group said "but it's video game violence, so it's not real," which caused me to roll my eyes. . . ). Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I thought this should have been rated R, not PG-13, just for the excessive violence and bloodletting.

The Village Idiot
07-21-2010, 03:39 PM
1) Watanabe died from his gunshot wounds in level 1 in the van, sending him to "limbo" (where you have trouble distinguishing dream from reality) because he was still under heavy sedation. This was shortly before Leo drowned in the van, also sending him to limbo where Watanabe was. An important aspect of the dream levels is that length of time is compounded the deeper you go, so you could spend 50 years in limbo when only minutes have passed in reality. This is apparently what happened to Watanabe. So how do you get out of limbo? With the same kicks required to get out of a level? I couldn't really figure out what the diff btwn limbo and a level were except that limbo is much more fragile.

BigB08822
07-21-2010, 04:00 PM
I saw it last night and really enjoyed it. It wasn't that confusing to me but maybe because I went in knowing I had to pay very close attention or maybe it is just because I am so confused I don't even realize I'm confused at all. :lol:

genevieve
07-21-2010, 04:16 PM
We couldn't stop debating the end--the whole theory being that if you died that many layers deep, you wouldn't get out of the dream but be stuck in limbo forever (remember how they kept trying to keep Saito alive?).
I think it wasn't how deep they were but how powerful the sedative was, and figured by the time Saito and Dom shot themselves the sedative had started to wear off. Although the powerful sedative was to get them that deep, so maybe it's 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other...I do think that was one of the points that was a little glossed over :shuffle: :P

Anita18
07-21-2010, 06:35 PM
Also agree with those that the movie was incredibly loud and perhaps a bit heavy on the shoot-em-up factor (men in my viewing group said "but it's video game violence, so it's not real," which caused me to roll my eyes. . . ). Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I thought this should have been rated R, not PG-13, just for the excessive violence and bloodletting.
I actually thought that The Dark Knight should have been rated R due to Two-Face alone (and the general tension around Joker), but thought that Inception was fine. Then again I'm perfectly okay with gun violence, it's knife violence that gets me :yikes:


I think it wasn't how deep they were but how powerful the sedative was, and figured by the time Saito and Dom shot themselves the sedative had started to wear off. Although the powerful sedative was to get them that deep, so maybe it's 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other...I do think that was one of the points that was a little glossed over :shuffle: :P
Yeah, that's what I thought as well. When you're in limbo, you already can't tell the difference between dream and reality anymore, so you don't know that you have to die to get out of there....

cailuj365
07-23-2010, 04:37 AM
Wow, just got back home after watching the movie.

Does anyone remember the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's in the hotel room and his children call him? All of a sudden, an older child starts talking. I think Leo goes, "James?" at this new voice. The older child starts saying how Grandma says that Leo's never coming back. Then, the young child's voice comes back and starts questioning where Mom is. His children are very young whenever we see them in the movie, which is the last time that Leo saw them. The fact that the children haven't changed in appearance (both in age and clothes) when he sees them again at the end leads me to believe that Leo is still lost in the limbo/dream world. Then again, I may be remembering this scene incorrectly.

:/


In any case, I thought this was a fantastic movie. I don't think it's really that confusing. The details fly by really fast, but the concept was still clear and intriguing enough. All of the actors were so good, and the visuals were so well done and well timed. Nice. Leonardo DiCaprio and Cillian Murphy were already favorites of mine, and after "500 Days of Summer" and now this, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is becoming another fave. This totally shattered my lasting perception of Ellen Page as a pregnant teen too. :lol: This seriously kicked Avatar's ass (maybe not Toy Story 3's though). While I loved Avatar while watching it, I definitely had the sense that the story was simplistic, unoriginal, and heavy-handed in its themes afterward. While Avatar's plots are probably more accessible because of those traits, I liked the fact that Inception kept me thinking afterward.

BigB08822
07-23-2010, 05:06 AM
I also noticed that the children were still very young when he finally got back to them. However, they never once mentioned how long he had been on the run so it could have literally only been a matter of weeks since his wife's death or it could have been months. Either of those would allow me to believe that the children still looked the same. If it had been years then clearly he was still in dream world/limbo but we will never know.

cailuj365
07-23-2010, 05:21 AM
I also noticed that the children were still very young when he finally got back to them. However, they never once mentioned how long he had been on the run so it could have literally only been a matter of weeks since his wife's death or it could have been months. Either of those would allow me to believe that the children still looked the same. If it had been years then clearly he was still in dream world/limbo but we will never know.

No, I know. That was my first perception at first too, that we just didn't know how much time had passed since the last time he saw his children and that they could still be very young. However, James is the younger one and he looks no older than 5 during his scenes. The voice on the phone was a boy that was clearly older than 5, much more like a 10-year-old. Then, the voice changed back to a 5-year-old...

Anita18
07-23-2010, 10:32 PM
Wow, just got back home after watching the movie.

Does anyone remember the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's in the hotel room and his children call him? All of a sudden, an older child starts talking. I think Leo goes, "James?" at this new voice. The older child starts saying how Grandma says that Leo's never coming back. Then, the young child's voice comes back and starts questioning where Mom is. His children are very young whenever we see them in the movie, which is the last time that Leo saw them. The fact that the children haven't changed in appearance (both in age and clothes) when he sees them again at the end leads me to believe that Leo is still lost in the limbo/dream world. Then again, I may be remembering this scene incorrectly.

:/
Just saw the movie again. Philipa is wearing different clothes - she has the same dress on throughout, but at the last scene, she's wearing a white t-shirt underneath it.

Also, Leo has his wedding ring on during the dream levels (there's a huge closeup of his hands in the first scene), and in the real world (Mombasa, when they get on the plane), his left hand is bare. Since Leo is not married in real life, this is a detail that I think the director purposely used.

I couldn't see whether he has it on during the very last scene, but that's probably a moment to be freeze-framed when the DVD is released. :lol:

Allskate
07-23-2010, 10:53 PM
No, I know. That was my first perception at first too, that we just didn't know how much time had passed since the last time he saw his children and that they could still be very young. However, James is the younger one and he looks no older than 5 during his scenes. The voice on the phone was a boy that was clearly older than 5, much more like a 10-year-old. Then, the voice changed back to a 5-year-old...

Yeah, time in the dream worlds change at different rates than the real world. All this could have happened within weeks in the real world. During the movie, I was constantly trying to switch back and forth between all the level to remember which scene was happening in which dream and how much time has passed.

Part of the problem with noticing all the little differences like rings, clothes, sounds of voices, etc. is that I always wonder if this is just part of the moviemaking process and not a deliberate part of the plot. (Which, of course, supports the theory that the movie is all dreams because a movie is never reality). When I watched The Sixth Sense, I realized that so many of the clues to the ending were things that I had just written off as part of the movie-making process or poetic license. Like, in the real world, a shrink would meet with his client in an office, but this is a movie, so no big deal.

I'll bet that, at some point, someone is going to write a Ph.D. dissertation on this movie. :lol:

cailuj365
07-24-2010, 12:54 AM
Just saw the movie again. Philipa is wearing different clothes - she has the same dress on throughout, but at the last scene, she's wearing a white t-shirt underneath it.

Also, Leo has his wedding ring on during the dream levels (there's a huge closeup of his hands in the first scene), and in the real world (Mombasa, when they get on the plane), his left hand is bare. Since Leo is not married in real life, this is a detail that I think the director purposely used.

I couldn't see whether he has it on during the very last scene, but that's probably a moment to be freeze-framed when the DVD is released. :lol:

Cool catches! Did you catch the different voices in the phone call or did I *dream* it all up? :P

poths
07-24-2010, 01:46 AM
I think the top was just about to fall when they cut away. Nolan's evil like that. :lol:

It's really up to interpretation, but I personally believe that Cobb (Leo's character) is back in the real world. We definitely see the top wobble. Plus it's explained in the movie that in you create AND perceive at the same time in a dream. But if Cobb turns away from the top as it's spinning, he isn't perceiving it anymore. The top can only exist of its own volition in the real world.

But that's just what I think. ;) I actually don't believe it matters in the big picture, because the movie is Cobb's story and that he gets over the guilt of his wife's death and gets to see his kids. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, because the journey is real in his mind.
My initial reaction was that the children wore the same clothes in the final scene as they did in the "Dream Scenes". So I feel like he was still in Limbo.

I don't get why the others didn't wake up on the plane after sinking in the sea. The plane was reality and surely a crash in the water would be enough of a kick to send you right back to base one. Ergo......since we only saw them awake on the plane via DiCaprio (in what I believe to be Limbo), I'm still not convinced any of them woke up.

Anita18
07-24-2010, 01:59 AM
Cool catches! Did you catch the different voices in the phone call or did I *dream* it all up? :P
Honestly, I thought they passed the phone between the brother and sister. :P


Yeah, time in the dream worlds change at different rates than the real world. All this could have happened within weeks in the real world. During the movie, I was constantly trying to switch back and forth between all the level to remember which scene was happening in which dream and how much time has passed.

Part of the problem with noticing all the little differences like rings, clothes, sounds of voices, etc. is that I always wonder if this is just part of the moviemaking process and not a deliberate part of the plot. (Which, of course, supports the theory that the movie is all dreams because a movie is never reality). When I watched The Sixth Sense, I realized that so many of the clues to the ending were things that I had just written off as part of the movie-making process or poetic license. Like, in the real world, a shrink would meet with his client in an office, but this is a movie, so no big deal.

I'll bet that, at some point, someone is going to write a Ph.D. dissertation on this movie. :lol:
If you stay to watch the credits, there are two sets of children credited. One pair is credited as being 2 years older, so I think if you wanted to put a time period to it, it would have been two years.

Setting is up to the screenwriter, but details like rings and clothes is up to the director. Every movie has "continuity errors" where someone mistakenly resets a scene differently for different takes, which is why you sometimes see jumping hand positions between cuts. But having different voices within a scene or different clothes or a wedding ring on/off doesn't count as a continuity error, those are definitely choices made by the director. Or in the case of a low-budget film, "we didn't have enough time or money to fix it." :lol: But you know for a big-budget film like this, with a very thorough director, it's intentional.


The thing is, the children were in the EXACT same clothes as the "Dream Scenes". So I feel like he was still in Limbo.

I don't get why the others didn't wake up on the plane after sinking in the sea. The plane was reality, and surely a crash in the water would be enough of a kick to send you right back to base one. Ergo......since we only saw them awake on the plane via DiCaprio (in what I believe to be Limbo), I'm still not convinced any of them woke up.
Look at my previous post. During the dream scenes, the girl is just wearing a pink jumper, but in the last scene, she's wearing a white t-shirt underneath it. The boy seems to be wearing the same clothes. I think this was intentional to throw the audience off, but if you what to know to look for in subsequent viewings, I think it answers itself.

And in the sedated state they were in, I think they needed a kick in the current level as well as the level above to get them awake. That's why Eames set up the snow fortress to blow up (and Ariadne tosses Fischer and then herself off the building in limbo), when normally the elevator drop in the level above would have been enough.