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

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Ajax, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody watched Inception? I just saw it and really liked it... Only thing that's driving me crazy is the ending. By the time it got to the ending I'd forgotten what they said the spinning top was supposed to represent - if it kept on spinning, was that supposed to represent reality or dream??
     
  2. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

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    ^what she said.
     
  4. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

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    DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET SPOILED!!!

    An AWESOME AWESOME movie. Absolutely loved it.

    The idea is if the top kept spinning, then you're in a dream. That's why when leo did his first inception to his wife during their 50+ year dream, he spun the top in the safe and locked it, so that whenever she sees it spinning, she'd realize she's in a dream, until she couldn't take it anymore and went under the train with leo to return to reality. Problem is, the inception was made, and the thoughts kept creeping in her mind until she killed herself in the real world. It's funny though, when the camera cut off before the top stops spinning, the whole theater went "AWWWW!" and 2 seconds later they were all clapping with a standing o "Wheeeee Canada!"

    One thing I didn't get though: at the beginning, when they were trying to do the extraction from Ken Watanabi, they had to flee the train before he wakes up so he wouldn't recognize them, but he was able to remember them and get them anyways. Why couldn't Fisher remember them at the end of the movie when they were all in the airplane with him after he woke up?

    I gotta say I had some intense discussions about this movie with my friends after it finished and all the way through dinner. Can't remember the last time a movie engaged us like that :respec:
     
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Saw it this afternoon, visually gorgeous and well thought out.

    Unfortunately, since the internet is rife with articles titled "Inception's last scene", I knew there was a twist, and went in looking for it. I figured out what the twist would be from the first scene, but not the 'how'. No matter - getting there was the fun of it, and the ending was open enough that people can make their own decisions about exactly what's going on (for the record, I believe that Leo and Watanabe are stuck in limbo forever, but that the rest of it was real).

    I also kept thinking about poor Leo having to be always in the water... :p
     
  6. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    The first architect Nash (the guy played by Lukas Haas) is in the helicopter with Saito, Watanabe's character. Apparently
    Nash went to Saito begging to get protection from their original employers, and he bartered by ratting out the others on the team. Saito found the others, but was not impressed at Nash's treachery and leaves him for the original employers to find and presumably kill.
    Otherwise Saito wouldn't know who they were either.

    On other forums, we've been discussing what the
    fourth dream level is and whether that's limbo or just Leo's dream.
    I think they do explain it in dialogue but of course we all missed that detail. :lol:

    I'm also still wondering how
    Cillian Murphy's character can be revived after he gets shot in one level and then carries on for the next few minutes like he doesn't have two bullets in his chest...
    :lol:

    Funny thing is that since it's in a high-concept dream world, you're never sure if the nitpicky plot holes like that really matter in the long run. :p

    Actually, Nolan ALWAYS gives you clues to the last "twisty" scene in the first shot to his more twisty movies. So knowing what the ending is really doesn't matter in the long run, it's always how you get there. :)

    In Memento, the first shot is the last thing that happens in the movie's timeline. The entire movie is seeing how they got there. In The Prestige, the first shot tells you everything you need to know to get the significance of the last shot, but you only make the connection after you see the whole film. For someone going in cold, they'd just think, "What's with the pile of hats?" :p

    I could even go further. For The Dark Knight, the first shot of the first trailer was the last shot of the movie. For Inception, the first shot of the first trailer is essentially the last shot of the movie. :lol: He drops these clues all the time, it isn't like Shyamalan where you can't know the end going in or else the point of the movie's completely ruined.
     
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    And anyone who wants a crazy/awesome deep analysis of what Inception might actually mean, there's this article I just read:

    http://chud.com/articles/articles/2...HE-MEANING-AND-SECRET-OF-INCEPTION/Page1.html

    He basically makes the argument that Inception is a metaphor for cinema, and in that manner, it doesn't matter at all if the end
    is real or another dream. Because it can't be real - it's a movie. But it feels real to the character, and it feels real to us. And that's what movies do, they get real emotions from situations that never happened.
     
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  8. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I liked it very much; I found it very entertaining for a hot summer afternoon, but in my theater no one went awww. The jaded New Yorkers around me just laughed. Overall I give it a B+.

    Re: the ending, it's up to the viewer to decide its meaning. The important point is that, for Dom, he has moved on without Mal.
     
  9. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    It's not that the clues were bad - but the internet hype talking about the ending did ruin it just a little for me because I could not just enjoy the film - my brain was looking for the twists in every corner. I wish I had gone to see the film on Friday so I could have avoided the internet chat (even the title of this thread gives away too much IMO).
     
  10. ssminnow

    ssminnow Active Member

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    Two thoughts:

    1. Has anyone read Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World? Doesn't this movie remind you of the book?

    2. Wouldn't it be cool if the last shot was Michael Cain knocking that thing over?
     
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    You know that that means...you'll have to see it again! :lol:

    What's funny is that usually I spoil myself silly before going into a movie - I like seeing the construction, watching movies isn't about being surprised about where it ends up. (That's probably why Nolan is my favorite director, he uses the movie's construction very blatantly for thematic and story purposes.)

    And I managed to avoid most of the story point spoilers for Inception, although I did know going in that the last shot was going to be a doozy. I want to see it again to see how Nolan built it and ponder over the theories I've developed in my head for it.

    That would explain why most of the New York critics panned this movie. That explains EVERYTHING. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  12. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I managed to pretty much follow things for the first two-thirds of the movie, and then there were just too many dream levels and too many things to remember.

    I thought that, if you had the token, that meant that you were in reality. That's why Ellen Page's character created her token before she went adventuring in the dreams. Whichever it is, I thought the ending was deliberately left ambiguous. I'm not sure the token would work if you had brought your memories into the dream because the memories could include the token and then it wouldn't really work.

    I tend to believe that he ended up in reality. Maybe because that's what I want to believe, but also because I don't think he would have created a dream where she died and because it seemed that inception did work (or did the inception with the heir only appear to work because it was a dream?:D)

    Anyway, I managed to very much enjoy the movie despite getting lost in all the many parts of the multi-layered dream. I would have liked them to cut out one layer of the dream and about half an hour--because my lame brain couldn't keep track of it all. I'm glad I saw it in the theatre instead of waiting for it to come out on DVD because the visuals were great.
     
  13. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Most, but not all - The New York Daily News gave it *****. on the front page no less.
     
  14. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    No, the token/totem appears in both reality and dreams. It's how it behaves in one world versus the other that lets you know where you truly are.
     
  15. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Yes, I was just thinking I'd like to see it again. :lol:

    ssminnow - I haven't read that particular Murakami book, but I'll put it next on my Murakami list :cool:
     
  16. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    So, the pawn that the architect made would behave differently in reality versus a dream? Hmm. I still don't get how you would prevent memories of the token in the real world from infecting your dream and fooling you. Maybe I'm just imagining new ambiguities and complexities in addition to the gazillion the movie already gave me. :D

    I think this is a movie people will see over and over again to try to see what they missed the first (and second and third) time.
     
  17. kappa_1

    kappa_1 Member

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    Haha, ditto. The Murray Hill crowd gave the exact same reaction.

    Yeah, I thought the movie was original,very entertaining, and very well made, especially after the first third, despite the previously mentioned plot holes .

    slightly OT, but I hope Brian Joubert skates to the score :saint:
     
  18. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    There was a twist at the end? I guess I missed it. They sure dragged that boring thing out. Seemed like a nice Hollywood wrap up to me. The spinning top was hardly worth noticing.

    What's with the need for everything to be accompanied by shoot-em-ups and the like? Whatever possibility the movie had was killed off by all that. And it was too dang loud.

    Before it got too boring, I did get a few chuckles out of how hard it was reaching to be try to make the whole idea work.
     
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  19. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    i don't think i could ever see this movie. my dreams scare the crap out of me, a freaky movie about dreams would make it worse. :lol: this movie would be a horror flick for me.
     
  20. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    The movie cuts to black before you see the top fall. Most people interpret that as Leo's character still being in a dream world and not caring/realizing it.

    Shoot 'em ups are fun. :cheer: I likes me a good heist movie. For a more direct explanation,
    the mark's projections take the form of henchmen who try to kill whoever's in the dream with him. So the team tries to stay alive by shooting back.

    Actually, I have some really freaky dreams (including not being able to properly wake from multi-level dreams) and this movie wasn't too bad at all. In the first viewing, you'll be busy keeping up with the plot to be too freaked out. :lol:

    It doesn't resemble most people's actual dreams because it's lacking in surrealism. The dreams play out quite realistically. I saw it as an artistic choice by the director Chris Nolan because Leo states in the movie, "Dreams feel real while we're in them." Since the audience is awake while they watch the movie, Nolan chose to blur the line between real and dream by making the dream world realistic.
     
  21. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Yes, I got that. :yawn: Rather simplistic, didn't make me impressed with the ending. At that point I didn't care about cheap gimmicks, I just wanted the damn thing to end.

    Yes I understood why the shoot'em ups, but I don't think they had to be constant to make the point. Better yet the whole thing could have been conceived differently, but obviously shoot'em ups sell so we go the shoot-em ups.

    Do you need the spoiler tags? Anyone who opens this thread has to know they are going to be spoiled.
     
  22. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Anita18, thanks for that link! I really like the explanation provided within. The comments are actually great too. One of them points out that when Leo needs a mercenary (the forger) he goes to Mombasa and finds him in a barroom - just like in the Warren Zevon song "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" (lyrics). So if you believe the theory that the whole movie is a dream by Leo's character, then this is a case of Leo's subconscious populating the dream with situations heard about in songs - a nice subtle clue :)
     
  23. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

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    Ditto. Couldn't get out of the theater fast enough.
     
  24. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. In other forums we're still doing them for our international friends. :lol:
     
  25. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I thought Nolan did a really good job of portraying dream elements - sudden switches of scene with no explanation and conversations just continuing along, scenes starting up in the middle of a convo. And that zero gravity scene in the hotel (even though it was caused by what was happening to the dreamer one level up) was amazing and portrayed how "swimming" through air feels in my dreams. But yeah, nothing really fantastical happened.

    I mean, it's not like anyone was chased by clowns :scream:
     
  26. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    The title flat out says spoilers within, so I'd say no spoiler tags are needed.
     
  27. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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  28. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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  29. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot Demon Barber

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    My questions:

    1) What is going on w/ old Ken Watanbe and young Leo, saying come back and be young w/ me. Obviously a dream, but why would Ken's character want to be old? When is this occurring? (I lost track on how many levels he was dying btw.)

    2) I'm assuming with question #1 DECADES have past since all the action. However, they all wake up in the plane at the same time? How does that work?

    3) Do they all recognize each other after getting off the plane? Mainly Cillian Murphy's character vs the rest.
     
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Okay I'll give up on the spoiler tags now. :lol:

    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.

    2) They all wake up in the plane at the same time when the sedative wears off.

    3) Cillian's character may have recognized them from seeing them in first class, but it's shown that people who aren't trained for dream extraction have trouble remembering what went on in their dreams. He may not have recognized the people as being in his dream, and even if he did, he may have attributed it to the fact he was just sitting next to them before he fell asleep.

    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: