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Inception *Spoilers*

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by Diablo, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. AlexWolfe

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    I don't know dude, I still think he's in a dream. Here's why.

    Maybe, maybe not. All that Cobb would have to restructure is the airport and the drive back to his home. He's in a plane already, so he exits the plane. I would argue that an airport is an ambiguous enough building that Cobb could easily picture one. It doesn't have to be exact, and theoretically, if Cobb's never been to the airport before, how would he know it's not real?

    And if he has been there, it's part of his memory, just like the drive home, and able to easily be reconstructed.

    Cobb gets his stuff, gets in a car, and arrives home. Given what we've seen of the movie up to that point, I can buy that, and it's far from reconstructing the entire real world.

    And as the corollary to this:

    But what is Cobb actually constructing? He's not constructing the plane, that comes from memory. We can reasonably assume that he's not constructing the area around his home, seeing as he used to live there and is likely familiar with the area.

    I still think it's plausible, but that's debatable, and I'm not familiar enough with the movie to be certain. The first option is that Cobb let his father drive him home and didn't pay that much attention to the world outside. It wouldn't even have to be accurate or inaccurate -- Cobb is thinking about seeing his children and is absorbed in his dream. He doesn't care whether or not that building on 34th and Randolph St. is perfect. And because he doesn't pay attention to the details, nothing seems amiss.

    My argument on this would be that Cobb's projections showed no sign of being perfect. The only thing he would have to recreate was their physical appearances, which, going by the rules of the movie, is absolutely plausible. They never said a word to Cobb at the end. Saito just made a phone call, one that Cobb has likely been thinking about for a long time.

    I don't think Cobb is in limbo when he finds his kids. I believe he thinks he wakes up, but goes back to a different, previous level of dreaming. I think, though am not sure, this is possible because of how disconnected limbo is supposed to be. It's a shared dreamstate.
     
  2. AlexWolfe

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    1. Cobb has spent some amount of time away from his children. It could be months or it could be years, but given the context of the movie, I lean towards a longer time-frame (at least a year). This is highly debatable.

    2. Cobb returns home to a scene virtually identical to that of his memory.

    How often does this happen in reality?

    Never.

    The chances of Cobb coming home on a random day at a random time and seeing his kids randomly playing in that exact position, randomly wearing the same clothes, are absurdly high. Even higher than his father telling the kids to wait there for daddy and dress up in these clothes while he picks him up at the airport.

    If that's a stylistic choice, it's one that destroys the movie by subverting all logic.
     
  3. AlexWolfe

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    FUCK IT ALL! The kid's outfits aren't the same! As read here:

    Doesn't mean they weren't in a dream, but fuck.

    Whatever. I blame it on flaws in Cobb's memory. What I wrote above is certainly discredited, but not so much that I don't think he wasn't still dreaming. Still, the one thing that could point for sure to either ending or the other... ruined.
     
  4. Kerbunked

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    For 1. Mal had become lost in Limbo, she had accepted it as her reality after being there for 50 years or so and her defenses were likely considerably weakened in her state. She had hidden her totem in a safe in her childhood home, and Cobb knew where it was. It wasn't as much that he created an idea, he just changed something in a place he already knew existed.

    It was more difficult for Robert because not only did he have some extractor security, they had to completely invent their inception. Unlike Mal, they didn't have some easy safe where they could flip a totem, they had to start the seed of an idea and then trick him into believing it was his own by "extracting it from Browning", and creating multiple realities to string him along with their ruse.

    2. I'm not 100% on this, but I don't think they killed Fischer in Limbo, they just "kicked" him up a level by making him feel that falling sensation. They jumpstarted his heart simultaneously, to revive him in level 3.

    And another thing to consider, you never actually see Saito and Cobb kill themselves in Limbo, you just assume it.
     
  5. whathasbeenseen

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    I thought this was helpful:
     

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  6. pjr808

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    Another argument for reality at the end.

    In every stage of the dream, Fisher's people were attacking Cobb and his henchmen, trying to keep them out of Fisher's subconscious. When they wake up on the plane, no one is attacking them anymore. Fisher's subconscious had been trained to fight off invaders, so why did it stop?

    It seemed pretty clear it was reality at the end, and all the discrepancies have basically been wiped out. I saw one person mention that when the characters woke on the plane, they were not hoked up to wires anymore - I attribute that to the stewardess they paid off who helped them the entire time. After all, they could not let Fisher wake up and see his mind had been hacked.

    Plus, it's all a dream is the ultimate copout ending - I find it hard to believe Nolan spent 10 years on a script that ended with the cheapest of deus ex machina's around. And the top was wobbling and about to fall.
     
  7. whathasbeenseen

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    Just my perspective - In every other case where the top was spinning and in a dream state, the top never wobbled. It maintained its speed and never fell or ever indicated a sign of falling. (Think back to when it was in his wife's safe in her dollhouse. It was one constant, never going to fall spin.) The wobble alone made me think that he was back in reality but then I overly romanticize things and hope for a happy ending. So take it worth a grain of salt.
     
  8. Deanglow

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    Scroll down a dozen names. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/fullcredits#cast" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/fullcredits#cast</a>

    I'm not the best at picking up on details but were the children really different ages and actors throughout the movie? If so were the older actors only present at the end giving +1 to reality argument? Argh I guess I gotta see it again
     
  9. AlexWolfe

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    It wouldn't be a shared dream-state at the end. IF Cobb was in a dream at the end, it would be him alone. Everyone else, it is assumed, got kicked out, since they all got back to level one dreaming with their full mental faculties (save Saito).

    It would just be Cobb's dream.

    No one ever said it's all a dream. Just that Cobb is in a dream state at the end, which would be the antithesis of a deus ex machina.

    I don't think this argument holds much ground, but I heard someone say that the top spinning on the table could be due to turbulence on the plane or landing. It's impossible to know, but if you're going for dream, that's the argument.
     
  10. pjr808

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    In the general sense, it would be plot contrivance. Protagonist achieves goal, but only in his head. And to preempt your next comment, I'm not looking at this from a sentimental "I want good things for Leo angle" - the point is that the director focused the audience on his journey, a real life journey to get back to his kids. It sounds like we agree on that much. If the whole movie is about that real life journey, then an ending where the character thinks he achieved that journey but really did not is not really an ending at all, just a bit of plot contrivance or a way to ignore the real point of the movie.

    You're doing a lot of apologizing for the "dream" team. Sure, that's possible, but applying basic principles of interpretation to the events we saw, it's about 100 times more likely that the top was wobbling because it was real, especially considering nothing else in the room was moving or shaking.


    If that is true, then Saito would be in limbo as well, because Cobb and Saito left limbo together. So you're also assuming that Saito, who looks young again and goes right back to doing what he was doing before they went to sleep, is also in limbo with Cobb. You see, this is the problem with the dream team theory - it requires soooooo much explanation against the obvious that it begins to seem silly.
     
  11. AlexWolfe

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    It's not a plot contrivance. Generally in storytelling when one says "it's all just a dream", it's ill-advised because it takes power away from the characters in the story. In most circumstances, by saying everything was a dream, it defeats any true growth for a character. You acknowledged as much, and you're correct. But this is different because most of the movie was real, and Cobb has grown.

    The main conflict in the story is Cobb battling -- and winning against -- his inner demons and coming to peace with himself. Getting back to his kids is merely a MacGuffin.

    I said, in the part you quoted, that I don't think that argument holds much ground. Don't put words in my mouth. Read what I wrote and respond to that -- not to me.

    I'm not assuming anything, but for you're argument to work, you need to assume that Cobb and Saito left limbo together. We never see them leave limbo. This is not shown in the movie and can't be taken as fact.

    And IF Cobb was in a dream, Saito would be a projection. Whether or not he actually escaped would be irrelevant; it's Cobb's view of him that matters.
     
  12. pjr808

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    I disagree. Cobb has to defeat his inner demons to get back to his kids. Getting back to his children never loses focus in the movie, and it's certainly not equivalent to the booty from a heist.

    Again, you have to adopt an absurd interpretation of the scene to NOT assume that they leave limbo together, which simply reinforces my point. The elements of the whole thing being real are all over the place. Your theory requires you to reject all the obviousness and assume absurd and unintended interpretations of scenes to reach your conclusion.

    The rules apply equally - they were both in limbo, and they both killed themselves. It's not a stretch to assume that - in fact, it's a stretch to assume anything other than that happened. Why would one come out of limbo and the other remain? It makes no sense. Either they are both still in limbo, in which case, they are both dreaming, or they are both awake. No 2 ways about it.

    And because their both being in limbo at the end simply does not fit, they are both awake
     
  13. KIMaster

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    But that's just not the way inception works, at least as the film presented it. Simply meddling around with someone's totem, whether in the real world or in limbo, runs counter to the whole "inception is borderline impossible, requires a crack team, and requires three levels within a dreamscape with cutting-edge sedatives" argument. If a totem is all it took, why didn't Cobb or anyone else mention that, too?

    And no, Robert didn't have a totem, but if inception was that easy, why not show his dying father inside the safe on either the first or second level? That's comparable to what Cobb did with Mal in Limbo.

    Yes, this is definitely it. Knew I had missed a detail in that scene.

    Of course not; if the viewer did, that would make the whole "they're in a dream world" interpretation even less plausible. Unfortunately, with all the other rules already in place, Cobb being in a dream state at the end would contradict quite a few things, regardless. There really is no way around the projections not attacking or glaring at Saito at all then, or even Cobb's picture perfect architecture of the real world.

    Constructing the massive area that the plane travels across would be an unparalleled feat (notice how relatively small most dreamscapes are), and even approximating real people, let alone as many as Cobb did, is a major stretch.
     
  14. AlexWolfe

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    What would it contradict? I don't understand this.

    I don't understand why the projections would attack or glare at Saito if he's a projection of Cobb. They would only glare at him if he was bringing attention to the fact that Cobb was in a dream. Saito does the opposite -- he plays along with Cobb's deepest desires and makes the phone call that will reunite Cobb with his children.

    And like I said before Cobb's architecture of the real world can't really be used as evidence against it being a dreamstate. He's not actually creating a lot of the world. He arrives in a plane, which requires no special construction seeing as it's part of his memory. He goes into the airport, which perhaps requires some construction, but for the most talented builder of all time, I don't see this as a problem, especially as this is a scene we must imagine Cobb has been playing out over and over in his head.

    Remember, it doesn't have to be real or even realistic. Cobb just has to believe it's real.

    After that, he's just in a car, and then he's home. Seeing as he used to live in the area, these would be easy.

    Why do you think Cobb constructed an entire world for the plane to fly across? Why wouldn't he just construct the cabin and build a very small world around it, enough to perpetuate the illusion?

    As mentioned before, Cobb didn't approximate real people. They didn't speak or anything like that. I don't see it as much of a stretch to merely put memories of their physical appearance in a dream.

    I'll grant you that the physical area of the previous dreams that were constructed was small. But if you look at it from a quality over quantity perspective, it's very arguable that Cobb's final dreamstate, if that's where he is, would take much less effort to create than some of the other places, such as the city Yusef is driving around in or the mountains at the end.
     
  15. Paperbag

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    Mal's inception was simpler because the idea being planted was an observable reality. She was dreaming and her totem was the means of proving it. Wasn't the intention of hiding it to lose herself in the dream? I don't understand why Cobb didn't just kill Mal and them himself. Furthermore, if Mal's inception is anchored by the totem, wouldn't she have tested this before falling off of the building?
     
  16. pjr808

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    Yea, but when did he create it?

    You can continue to harp on "arguable" points all day long. It's arguable that Tom Cruise did not wake up at the end of Vanilla Sky - after all, we never saw him walking around and everything being real, we just saw an eye open. Could have been anyone's eye.

    You can adopt any interpretation you want, but the sheer amount of explaining you have had to do in this thread should indicate the relative strength of your position. It's like they say - "when you're explaining, you're losing."
     
  17. Gramercy

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    I thought a great part of the movie was when DeCaprio said something like "Try to think about how you got to this part in your dream." I found that really interesting, because when I wake up and think about a dream I just had, I had no idea how I got to the location of where my dream takes place.
     
  18. whathasbeenseen

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    To further back that he is actually awake, he knows that he's in the plane, knows how he got there and can trace that back to essentially the beginning of the movie.
     
  19. Burning Beard

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    We know that, but couldn't his subconscious also have filled in that part? When DiCaprio and Page are outside the coffee shop, she wouldn't be able to remember how she got there because it had nothing to do with what happened in her real life.

    I read an interprtation somewhere on the web that I liked and that was at the end of the movie Dicaprio is having a real dream. Near the beginning of the movie he was asked if he could actually dream anymore. Possibly the airplane or car ride home he falls asleep and is having a real dream about his kids, without the box with tubes. It would explain the similarity of the children in his previous dreams, why his father is there (not the older woman on the phone) and why the top does not fall.
     
  20. AbsentMindedProf

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