how did you interpret inception?

  • how did you interpret inception?

    was it a dream, a dream within a dream, did cobb make it back?

    The seed that we planted in this man's mind may change everything.

    Edited by tarantulajones on 24 Aug 2010, 21:25
  • here is one of the most interesting takes on inception that i've come across.

    there was one scene where i thought it looked like they were scouting for a movie, it stood out (the scene where they are all on an empty street talking about what they are going to do) also when they start the main inception, when yusuf is waiting to be picked up after going to the toilet, that seemed very much like picking up a crew or a cast on the way to the set (where they would make up a story and film it interestingly enough). but certainly i didn't construct the theories written in the link above in my mind while watching the film.

    oh, also the scene in the open bar where cobb meets the forger for the first time... that scene seemed very old movie like, very casablanca, almost as if it were staged, or made to look like it was staged. also the forger took on different characters... fischer's fathers right hand man and the woman in the dress trying to pick up Fischer in the hotel like a good character or stage actor and tom hardy, who played the forger, acted like an old school actor in the clark gable vein.

    but this take wasn't how i interpreted the film when i saw it so not saying i buy into the theory, but these things did stand out. plus it's interesting what you see when you look at things from some one else's point of view.

    what did you see?

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 26 Aug 2010, 19:32
    I saw a movie that was quite straightforward but that tried to seed some confusion and discussion by adding an ambigious end. I thought it was great and entertaining, but to give it the status of a "big mindfuck" is to take it too far I think. I am interested to see more theories though, maybe people have seen something in the movie that was meant to be that I didn't "discover".

  • the more i think about this film the more interesting it becomes. to me the movie is three films in one, three levels... a dream within a dream within a dream. in each level the spinning top at the end is different.

    level one.
    you view the movie as it is played. cobb needs to do one last job to get home. the first half of the film is edited very jumpy no doubt to shorten the nearly 3 hour film. the incredible weight of guilt, the power of the subconscious, our inability to let things go all play a part here along with the incredible power of 'the seed we plant in this mans mind'... which is the power of the words and actions of people around us - fischer's fathers non-communication and absent love, cobb's inception to mal to 'wake up' all have the power to ruin the receiver, hence the suicide of mal, the guilt in cobb and lack of self in fischer. the dream world allows them a second chance to deal with suppressed memories, etc. the last scene, the spinning top wobbles and will fall because cobb is finally home. he puts the gun down (the object that can awaken him from limbo) because he has escaped limbo and walks towards his children.

    level two
    at this level the whole film is a dream, cobb's decent into insanity, ariadne is a psychiatrist and cobb the patient, etc... all these ideas fit in here. the editing at the first half of the film is intentionally jumpy cos as cobb says 'you don't remember the beginning of a dream you always find yourself in the middle'. there are so many quotes and scenes that are examples of a dream like feel, even michael cane says 'come back to reality'. there is another thought that could fit in here - the whole film is a metaphor for love and relationships... mal is commited, wants to live together forever, cobb has cold feet starts to pull back, says some silly things that eventually tear the couple apart, mal leaves and cobb dreams of getting his life back to that innocent pure time he once knew (this ideal state is portrayed by his children), cobb has to exorcise all his past demons, his father issues, his ex, etc in order to finally get back to that pure state.

    one of the main themes in inception i think is how we perceive reality... what we choose to, need to, are made to believe. at the end cobb puts down the gun, the thing that can awaken him, because he has chosen to believe that this is what is real and it does not mater if it is or not. the spinning top spins and we do not see it fall... because none of this is really happening, it's in limbo, it's a dream, it's a metaphor.

    level three
    the theory proposed in the link above. if dicaprio and nolan did reference felini's 81/2 then this theory has some credibility. no need to go into the theory but for those who have seen 81/2 there is a very interesting similarity between the opening scenes of the two movies-

    the opening scene of 8 1/2 marcello mastroianni is in a car on some sort of ferry having a panic attack with people watching him as he starts to freak out, then he is flying high above a beach like a kite while people below him are trying to pull him down. marcello is a washed up director who can't think of an idea for his next film. also the whole beginning is dream like.

    the opening scene of inception: cobb 'washes up' on a 'beach' he then is woken up (like people pulling on the kite) from the dream. during the dream he is searching for some answers, just as marcello is searching for a way to make his film, also cobb encounters mal and other elements from his past as well as arthur who represents the film industry just as marcello encounters his past and film people telling him what to do. people stare and attack the dreamer, just as people stare and continually seek out marcello in 8 1/2.

    the final scene of 8 1/2: focuses on the little boy, the little boy represents marcello as a young boy. marcello represents felini. the final scene of inception: focusses on the spining top. the spinning top here must represent something very significant to nolan, a sort of catalyst to his whole creative journey.

    the quote from inception 'creating dreams from your memories is the surest way of loosing track of what is dream and what is reality.' if you watch 8 1/2, that whole film feels like this quote.


    these are just brief thoughts. we could go deeper ;D

    but it is interesting how some people get frustrated when others say 'it's all a dream' or 'it was not a dream' because, well, of this line...

    'once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.'

    you watch the film as a fully formed person, with your own past, prejudices, emotional triggers so that when the story plays you will be attracted to certain aspects or more specifically, certain aspects will find it more easy to attach themselves onto you, the multi levels of the film mean that something somewhere will find it's way into your subconscious where an idea about the film will be planted, 'it's a dream', 'it's not a dream'... a fully formed idea, that's impossible to eradicate.

    but is that idea real?

  • A dream within a dream (1827-1849)

    take this kiss upon the brow!
    and, in parting from you now,
    thus much let me avow-
    you are not wrong, who deem
    that my days have been a dream;
    yet if hope has flown away
    in a night, or in a day,
    in a vision, or in none,
    is it therefore the less gone?
    all that we see or seem
    is but a dream within a dream.

    i stand amid the roar
    of a surf-tormented shore,
    and i hold within my hand
    grains of the golden sand-
    how few! yet how they creep
    through my fingers to the deep,
    while i weep - while i weep!
    o god! can i not grasp
    them with a tighter clasp?
    o god! can i not save
    one from the pitiless wave?
    is all that we see or seem
    but a dream within a dream?

    edgar allan poe

  • "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
    john lennon

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