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June 6, 2011

SPOILERS (though I suspect I’m the last person on Earth to see the movie).

Inception was a wonderfully complex film, marred only lightly by Leo DiCaprio.  Okay, let me get the Leo-slam out of the way.

Movies are not shot in sequence.  It is perhaps an actor’s most difficult job to maintain the illusion of continuity, a task LD is simply not up to.  He is the kind of actor that takes a long time to find the character; normally it’s some time after the movie has finished shooting.  Here, you could tell when things were shot by the quality of Leo’s performance.  The beginning and ending (and several since in between) show Leo in his usual “I’ll try to show it on my pretty face, but there’s nothing in my empty head’ style of acting.  Fortunately, the character of Cobb isn’t very deep and Leo did a credible job in much of the movie.  End Leo-slam.

Script was wonderfully intricate.  The world-building was fast yet complete, logic for the most part, and it allowed a nice, brisk movie.  Very clever and wonderful twist on the typical heist film.  All other actors did a great job (an odd choice for Helen Page, but she did great).

The inevitable question is: what happened in the end?  Dream or reality?

I’ll opt for dream with the wedding ring as a red herring.  When Helen’s character drops from the window, leaving Cobb to find the other guy, Cobb’s final dream begins.  Everything we see thereafter are projections.  It’s logical stuff, they all kick and get back up to reality, but that isn’t what we’re seeing.  We’re seeing Cobb’s dream from there to the end.  The top keeps spinning.  He’s dreaming it all.

There is a bizarre alternative.  The entire movie is Mol’s dream start to finish.  She was right, the life they returned to was a dream but by jumping into the bottomless pit she returned to Limbo and built the dream of the entire movie and she “becomes” Cobb.  Remember, Cobb was the architect; perhaps Mol was the forger, forging herself as Cobb.

Fun movies where the possibilities are endless….

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 6, 2011 4:33 pm

    Recently I thought about renting this movie and watching it again. I remember watching it the first (and only) time and liking it, which is amazing because I was pretty much confused through most of it. Now you’ve got me thinking again – maybe I should watch and put your theory to my mental test. Or maybe I should be content with liking a movie I was confused about.

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