OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

SPOILERS!!! Discussion of Inception

POSTED BY: JEWELSTAITEFAN
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 19:07
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:40 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


This is intended to be a discussion of various points, possibilites, liklihoods of the story in Inception.

Great amounts of Spoilers and cioncept Spoilers are expected to follow.

If you have not seen the film, it is suggested you read no futher for now.

If you are planning to see the film again to see what else you can conjure, it is suggested you read no futher unless you want your conjuring curve cranked up.

Before that, did anybody think Leonardo was just channeling Ray Liotta?
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Ok.
1. Do you think the "reality" level that Cobb assumes is really reality, or a dream? What reasons or indications do you have for this?
1a. If a dream, whose dream do you think it is? What reasons or indications do you have for this?
1b. Also if a dream, why do you think he did not return to actual reality?

2. In the level that Cobb is at at the end of the film, who is the architect of that level?
2a. If he is, why does his mind rebel at the illusion, seeking confirmation of his return to the level he thinks of a reality? And who is it that is inserting the diversion to take him away from "his" totem?
2b. Do you think this level is the one he considers to be "reality" level?

3. The Mal that appears in the levels beneath what Cobb considers reality, do you think all of them are constructs from his mind, or are some of them Mal herself, inserting from the level above him?
3a. If so, what is her purpose? To get Cobb to change levels because he is spending too much time in a dream? Or to kick him out of the abyss loop (I forgot the term limbo)?
3b. Also if so, what is Mal's totem now? What was Cobb's totem when Mal used the thumbtack/top? What is Cobb's totem at the level above what he considers to be "reality" in the film?

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 8:14 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Points for or against.

1b. Mal's - Caine's character says Cobb is trying to steal "another" of his brightest students - who was the previous one if not Mal?
Cobb's - because he is in his own constructed (but self-denies it) level, he cannot do another level as architect. He can only do the dream/memory prison.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:03 AM

LWAVES


Having thought about this a little more (i.e. a hell of a lot) since seeing it last night I'm starting to think that there is no direct answer, but there may be more than one depending on what you see, what you don't see, what you want from it etc etc.

But if I start typing all my thoughts on this I won't stop so I'll just put down some ideas and thoughts and see how they fit. Not saying I believe any of them but here they are.

1. You see the characters wake up easily from what we/Cobb preceive to be the first dream level. If it was deeper it would be harder to wake up. This suggests that it is reality.
2. If the whole thing is in someones dream and they can't go deeper than their dream it could only be Miles or the young guy on the train during the initial extraction. He never appears again (I don't think so anyway) which is kind of odd and Miles never goes into a dream so it's either them or some unseen character (which would be a cheat and unlike Nolan).
3. Everytime Cobb sees his kids they are in the same positions and situation - playing in the garden. When Cobb gets to 'reality' and gets home they are in exactly the same state, just like all the dream versions and his memory of when he originally left. If it was reality then it's one hell of a coincidence. This indicates that it may not be real.
4. Cobb states to Ariadne that you never know how you get anywhere in a dream, you're just there. If the ending is a dream then why would we see him get off the plane, walk through the airport and be picked up by Miles. Surely he'd just appear there at the house. Also this discounts the idea that he's stuck in limbo because if he was Miles wouldn't be there. Miles wasn't involved in the dream sharing and if it is all Miles's dream then he couldn't get that low.
5. Cobb may be suffering from similar symptoms as Mal before she died. All he wants is his kids back but his guilt is eating him up, forcing it's way into dreams and may eventually destroy him. Not only was Mal's death his fault but he's also imprisoned her in his memories and she wants Cobb to join him and be in limbo together. Miles may just want to give his grandkids their dad back so he, and maybe the others, construct this elaborate maze/puzzle that forces Cobb to confront what he did and allow himself to let go. It was Miles after all that suggested Ariadne as the architect, the person who would ultimately get Cobb to face his demons. Would the original architect have done that?
6. I'm convinced that the sound of the spinning top changed at the end and you do see a slight wobble. This is a strong indicator that he's in reality.

My current fave idea is that we what think of as reality in the film actually is reality. The easy option I guess. But when I've seen it more times I think this idea may change quite a bit.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:45 AM

LWAVES


I decided to answer your questions but read my above post for further info.

1. Do you think the "reality" level that Cobb assumes is really reality, or a dream? What reasons or indications do you have for this?
Currently I think it's reality. The spinning top wobbles and changes sound instead of staying completely true.
1a. If a dream, whose dream do you think it is? What reasons or indications do you have for this?
Miles or the young guy on the train (see my other post).
1b. Also if a dream, why do you think he did not return to actual reality?
Mal wasn't enough to keep him in limbo, possibly because of what happened to her (he knew she died) but his kids were fine in his version of reality. In the dream levels he avoided seeing their faces but when he does see them at the end it is enough to break his need for his totem. At that point he effectively doesn't care, he just wants his kids.

2. In the level that Cobb is at at the end of the film, who is the architect of that level?
If it's real then no one. If it's a dream then my money is on Miles. Everyone else goes at least one level deeper so it can't be them.
2a. If he is, why does his mind rebel at the illusion, seeking confirmation of his return to the level he thinks of a reality? And who is it that is inserting the diversion to take him away from "his" totem?
He seeks confirmation because he knows that what you see can't be trusted. His mind is diverted by finally allowing himself to see his kids faces. The kids are the diversion and either he puts them there or Miles does if it isn't real.
2b. Do you think this level is the one he considers to be "reality" level?
He definitely does and it's one of the things that makes him ignore his totem. He believes he's out. In dreams he never saw his kids or didn't allow himself to see them. When he does see them it's a change from the norm hinting at it being real. Not seeing his kids faces may also have been a totem for him, something only he knew.

3. The Mal that appears in the levels beneath what Cobb considers reality, do you think all of them are constructs from his mind, or are some of them Mal herself, inserting from the level above him?
Cobb says you don't use memories to construct, although he and Mal did in the past. This to me says that memories are very powerful. They can break into dreams or in Cobbs case his guilt brings them in.
3a. If so, what is her purpose? To get Cobb to change levels because he is spending too much time in a dream? Or to kick him out of the abyss loop (I forgot the term)?
No. Her purpose is to make Cobb keep his promise to her, to be together forever. She wants to trap him there like he's imprisoned her and she knows that seeing his kids will do it.
3b. Also if so, what is Mal's totem now? What was Cobb's totem when Mal used the thumbtack/top? What is Cobb's totem at the level above what he considers to be "reality" in the film?
Mal's dead and is just a memory, she doesn't need a totem - unless she thinks she is real - I'm not too sure on that one.
We don't know what Cobb's original totem was and it probably doesn't matter.
Cobb doesn't think there is a level above what he considers reality but if he did it would still be the spinning top, it's always the same totem that's the point of it. When he comes back from his first share with Ariadne the top falls, indicating reality. When he spins it at the end he doesn't wait to find out. Of course when he comes back into that room later he will see it still spinning or laying on its side but that's something we will never know.

Actually now I've typed all that I am completely convinced that what is considered reality is definitely reality. I'm still not 100% on the ending version but reality as we know it before the plane journey is definitely reality.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:16 PM

KHAMBILO


Love this discussion thread already. After my friends and I saw this movie we spent the next couple hours discussing it. So here we go...

1. Personally, I think the level Cobb perceives to be reality is reality. This is supported by the top wobbling at the end, (and also because as a movie-goer, you want to see the happy ending). However because the ending of the film is intentionally left ambiguous, it is possible that the entire scenario is a dream. There's plenty of evidence for both, but for the sake of argument, I will say that all that happened was a dream.

1a. The short answer here is that it is Cobb's dream, but let's backtrack and look at the possibilities:

A. The entire movie is a dream. This means that Mal is right and that the level that Cobb perceives as reality is another level of the shared dream that he and Mal created. This is evidenced by the very nature of the film itself. Cobb tells Ariadne that in the dream world you don't remember how exactly you got there. The film is like this by way of it's cuts. I can't exactly remember, but I can't think of many shots that show Cobb or his Cohorts transitioning from place to place. When a scene starts we are always put into the middle of the action. For instance, the warehouse. We never see the exterior of the warehouse (at least I don't think so), how the characters get there, or where it is in relation to other locations. We just see a person enter or the scene opens with someone talking. Of course this can also be attributed to the editing and that cuts such as these occur in just about every Hollywood movie, but in the case of Inception, the cuts can (and, if you think the entire film is a dream, do) reinforce the dream world status of what Cobb perceives as reality.

B. The film becomes a dream after Yusuf's introduction. In this scenario, the dream is Cobb's dream. When Cobb visits Yusuf, the guy who makes the sedatives, we get a scene of the sedative being tested on Cobb. Therefore, the entire film after this point could be a dream. Before this sequence, we see how Cobb's totem works (if it remains spinning, you are still in the dream, if it falls, then you are in reality). He demonstrates this to Ariadne, and it falls. After the scene at Yusuf's, the top is never shown to fall again, meaning that the entire inception heist on Fischer is a dream of Cobb's. This could be some sort of wish fulfillment thing as Cobb wants to be reunited with his children and come to terms with the loss of his wife, both of which happen in the course of the heist. This also means that Cobb would be like one of the people shown at Yusuf's who use the dream machine to escape reality. I believe it is mentioned that for those people, dream and reality are reversed. The same happens to Cobb as he gets everything he could have possibly wished for be the end of the film and accepts it as reality and not as the dream.

1b. Cobb explains the dangers of using reality in creating the dream world, but clearly he defies his rule. In his dream within his mind containing the elevator (that Ariadne enters into), we see several recreations in the dream world of things that actually happened. His home, his children, and most prominently, the scene of his wife's suicide. We see dream recreations of reality through the entire film, which Cobb consistently rejects, that is until he's put into a position where it is plausible to believe the dream recreations of reality: He completes the heist, Saito makes the call, and he can return home. This raises a possibility that I hadn't considered before. (I am thinking and typing here at the same time). Perhaps Cobb is undergoing Inception. Cobb mentions that he is in an unsavory line of work. Perhaps an enemy of Cobb's, one mentioned in the film, uses Saito to perform inception on Cobb. The inception here would be to make Cobb believe that he is in reality when he is in fact in a dream. If Cobb were to remain in a dream, asleep, he would be removed from a line of work that we know he's good at, making way for his competitor. I'll have to flesh out this idea some more, but again this is another possibility.


2. Well from the last question, I raised the possibility that the architect could be an unnamed competitor of Cobb's or Saito. But I would have to flesh that idea out more.

2a. If he is the architect, then he is unwittingly so in all the scenarios I presented. Therefore, no one would be inserting a diversion to take him away from his totem, but because his deepest desire was fulfilled, albeit in the dream, he had reason to believe this was reality, and therefore ignore the totem in this moment of happiness.

2b. Isn't this the same question we got earlier? I'm confused. If it is not let me know and I'll give it a try.

3. To answer this question, we will have to look at the different scenarios I presented. So I'll start with the Yusuf scenario. Remember in this scenario, he's under the sedative and he's dreaming. The end is a sort of mental wish fulfillment thing. This means that Mal actually did pass away and that the images of Mal in the heist are from his subconscious. This would also be the case for the "Cobb-undergoing-inception" scenario. Now for the "entire-move-is-a-dream-scenario." If the entire film is a dream, then Mal was right the whole time, meaning she is alive. If she is indeed alive, then she is communicating to Cobb from either a higher level of the dream or from reality. Therefore every action she takes in the heist is an attempt to bring him to her level, as she seem to suggest when she seemingly commits suicide. This would explain her violent behavior as it is established that a death within the dream world causes you to wake up.

3a. I think I sort of answered this. The problem with believing that Mal is actually alive and communicating to Cobb is that her motivations are unclear. It makes believing that particularly difficult. Perhaps she want Cobb to join her. Or perhaps she really just is violently insane as Cobb suggests, except this time from a higher level. Insanity would be a good excuse to have unclear intentions. (Also the "abyss loop" I believe is called limbo)

3b. Totems are sort of like anchors, reminding those that go inside dream of reality. With this said, Cobb likely had a totem that was insignificant before taking Mal's as his own. The totem itself doesn't matter, just the fact that it anchors you. Since Mal's totem affirmed the reality of her death for Cobb, it likely served as a better totem that whatever he had before. Now if Mal is right, and she is alive and on some other level, then it is reasonable to assume that she has the same totem. In her case she would have the actual, physical totem, not the dream recreation that Cobb would have. (The fact that Cobb would change his totem seems to de-solidify reality a little more because the object he places faith in to tell him what is real and what is not could possibly be a creation of his own dream reality.)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 3:23 PM

KHAMBILO


I've spent more time considering the "inception-being-performed-on-Cobb-theory" and I think that's my leading theory. I'm seeing it again tomorrow, so we'll see if my theory holds up when I watch it again.

Also if you like Inception, I would highly recommend Satoshi Kon's Paprika. It's a Japanese anime film that deals with the intersection of dreams and reality in a similar way that Inception does.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 12:23 AM

LWAVES


This is strange for me because I'm surprised at myself for not thinking that at least part of the movie could be Cobb being 'incepted'.
I really like that idea but it will require more thought and a further viewing. If it has any truth to it the it must have been at Yusuf's, to have the whole movie be Cobbs inecption is too much of a cheat. Either way it can't be Cobb's dream. He must always be in someone else's because the rules establish that you can't go deeper than your own dream. If the whole movie is Cobb's dream then he wouldn't be able to go deeper than what we consider reality. At Yusuf's he must also be in someones dream for the same reasons.
Of course this would mean that if he is still dreaming or in limbo at the end then the spinning top wouldn't fall.

I don't know if this plays out right but if he is like the people in the beds, where dreams have become reality and reality is like a dream, then someone may be helping him. If he is lost to that world, like Mal was, they may effectively be giving him peace, giving him a puzzle which when solved will provide him the closure that he couldn't get on his own. A puzzle that allows him to be with his kids as the prize. I still say that if anyone is behind it all it would be Miles. The corporation he was working for originally are too faceless and non-descript. They don't really have any impact on the film. They may not even be real.

I really need to see this again to be better clarification.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:03 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Some points.
Cobb breaks every rule, and also pioneers the frontier, so saying he can't do something in this realm seems weak.
You cannot - cannot - use somebody else's totem. That he uses the one belonging to Mal brings suspicion upon his "reality".
In the end scenes, he goes in limbo, never wakes from the intermediate dreams, knows the financier is dead at a lower level (can't get him to his kids, will be arrested upon landing), jumps to the goal scene of awaking from the highest-up dream he recognizes, and when he sees his kids and spins the totem, grampa is the one who distracts him from the forever spinning top.
My sense of Cobb is not being incepted, but still in the dream he started with Mal, and like the addicts, won't return to reality where Mal is waiting and growing old alone (if he's in limbo before the film starts).

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 6:25 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Cobb being incepted - that's a good one! I like that one a lot. Maybe the audience was being incepted?!?

1 thing I can't get away from, and it supports the "Cobb was being Incepted" theory (and by Saito) was that the bad guys in the various levels let off a couple thousand rounds and no one was hit (except Saito). The odds of missing that much seem far greater than that they were just really bad shots, these are suppose to be trained security people after all. Compare that with the scene in the movie's reality level when Cobb runs from the hit men after seeing the forger in Mombassa. They shot at him a million times and yet he was never hit. And in an almost dream like conclusion to the sequence Saito just happens to show up in a car and get him away.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:55 AM

MAL4PREZ


I saw Inception Tuesday and haven't thought it through fully, so I'm not going to dig into this discussion quite yet. Need to see the movie again. Though I will say that I felt all through the movie that the "reality" level was suspect. The children and the wife seemed such a perfect motivator. I felt like someone was playing him. Haven't decided who or why. I doubt I'll figure it out - I suspect the movie intentionally leaves the reality/dream question unanswered, which I like. Tidy endings are boring.

But the parting shot of the kids, the way it's a perfect echo of his dream finally finishing the scene that's haunted him, and the top that doesn't stop spinning, certainly suggests something ain't right in reality land...

Oops. Didn't mean to discuss yet. Just wanted to add something else - I absolutely loved the score. The first thing I said after the movie: Whoa. Nice score. And here's a cool tidbit:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/hans-zimmer-extracts-the-
secrets-of-the-inception-score
/

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:58 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


OK, all. Think of this.
You are Mal. You're in reality, and Cobb didn't come back with you, he thinks he's in reality.
He's living weeks in the span of your seconds.
How do you get him to kick out?
You can infiltrate his dream, but he discounts you as his construct.
He's dreamt himself some high-excitement, spyworld and guns and explosions, how can you trick him into leaving?
You 2 are really the only 2 who've done this - you've lived lifetimes in the span of hours, nobody else will know until you tell them. So all these other architects are constructs, plus the CEOs of worldwide companies, etc. Exciting, but not real.
So work out the film from how she is tricking him into kicking out, without him knowing he is.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:26 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


M4P, yeah, I thought the score was great too. That opening sequence with the musical rolling dread just made it for me. No one does Grand Impending Badness like Hans.

And something else that my wife and I we're wondering - we were both trying to read the combination on the safe but only got the first few digits, 528 something. But we did see that it was the same as one of the hotel rooms. The other hotel room was 491... one of the song titles is 528491... how would Cobb or any dreamer know the combination that Fisher's dad would use unless it's ALL a dream?

Interesting JSF - I really feel like I just need to see it again to have any hope of understanding more. That last sequence between Cobb and Saito, feels like something big happened there.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:34 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
OK, all. Think of this.
You are Mal. You're in reality, and Cobb didn't come back with you, he thinks he's in reality.
He's living weeks in the span of your seconds.
How do you get him to kick out?
You can infiltrate his dream, but he discounts you as his construct.
He's dreamt himself some high-excitement, spyworld and guns and explosions, how can you trick him into leaving?
You 2 are really the only 2 who've done this - you've lived lifetimes in the span of hours, nobody else will know until you tell them. So all these other architects are constructs, plus the CEOs of worldwide companies, etc. Exciting, but not real.
So work out the film from how she is tricking him into kicking out, without him knowing he is.



So everything is actually one level deeper than what we are shown. What we see as Cobb's reality is actually a first level dream. Mal 'kills' herself (and wakes up), Cobb doesn't so he stays there, believing this to be real, Mal to be dead and it's all his fault. Which means the idea he incepted her with when he touched the totem actually worked too well for her and she got out leaving him stranded.
Michael Caine, Mal etc could all be doing this in an elaborate scheme to get him out, as you say. That means what we see at the end is still the first level of dream (Cobb's reality). Saito holds up on his promise which effectively allows Cobb's mind to see his kids at home in what he thinks is reality.
This means Caine and probably his kids are dreaming with him. The kick being when he meets/touches his kids or with his mind accepting 'the truth' and he will awake naturally.

I really like that idea and it would explain a hell of a lot. I think it's now my fave theory but
I really need to see this film again.

And just to add this to all the folks that keep bringing it up but at what point are we told that the spinning top is Cobb's totem and he is actually using it. Eames (I think) explains the totems role to Ariadne not Cobb. Yes he keeps spinning it but it doesn't mean he's using it as his totem. We know he keeps it because of what he thinks he did to Mal. I thought it pretty much established by the end of the movie that his kids were his totem.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:48 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Damn - The idea Cobb was incepted with he says over and over "I just need to go home."

Good stuff - it does explain a lot. Now I really can't wait to see it again!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:23 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
M4P, yeah, I thought the score was great too. That opening sequence with the musical rolling dread just made it for me. No one does Grand Impending Badness like Hans.

Did you read that article? All the big booming music was the wake-up tune that they played through the ear phones, slowed down. Brilliant. The deeper they go, the more time slows, the deeper, slower and boomier the music gets. I just love it.

And the boom-y sounds were lovely. Not brass, not synth, not drums, but some bizarre combination. So cool. Even without the cool storyline, I'd go to the movie again to hear that in surround a second time.

My take on the combination was that they got him to say some numbers early on, then wrote it on the later stuff (the architect can change things as she goes) The dreamer guy (I forget names) would see the numbers and feel they were familiar, which gives the dream weight for him. Because part of the challenge is to get him to open his top-secret safe. It's just a dream right - the combination isn't really a set sequence. It's just whatever the guy's subconscience believes will work.

Yeah, the scene with Cobb and Saito definitely seems central. I've been pondering whether Saito was the one driving Cobb's dream (in the it's-all-a-dream scenario). Why did the last scene mimic the first? It might have been more than Saito shaping his own limbo.

BTW, when they first talked about limbo and said you could be there for years, become an old man, did anyone think of the first scene? Right away, I knew there was a connection there. Why else was Saito old in that first scene? Definitely something fishy going on.

And yes, I absolutely must see this again!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:40 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:

All the big booming music was the wake-up tune that they played through the ear phones, slowed down. Brilliant. The deeper they go, the more time slows, the deeper, slower and boomier the music gets. I just love it.



Seeing as you guys bought up the music in the film I thought I'd mention this now as I don't think anyone else has. Probably nothing to do with the plot, just a nice coincidence....

....but the music used in the earphones to wake them up was that French song about regret or no regrets by Edith Piaf. She was recently played by Marion Cotillard in a film who of course also plays Mal.
Something? Not something?



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:10 PM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:
....but the music used in the earphones to wake them up was that French song about regret or no regrets by Edith Piaf. She was recently played by Marion Cotillard in a film who of course also plays Mal.
Something? Not something?



Oh my god - you can't mean.... we all dreamed the whole thing?



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Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:21 PM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
M4P, yeah, I thought the score was great too. That opening sequence with the musical rolling dread just made it for me. No one does Grand Impending Badness like Hans.

Did you read that article? All the big booming music was the wake-up tune that they played through the ear phones, slowed down. Brilliant. The deeper they go, the more time slows, the deeper, slower and boomier the music gets. I just love it.

And the boom-y sounds were lovely. Not brass, not synth, not drums, but some bizarre combination. So cool. Even without the cool storyline, I'd go to the movie again to hear that in surround a second time.

My take on the combination was that they got him to say some numbers early on, then wrote it on the later stuff (the architect can change things as she goes) The dreamer guy (I forget names) would see the numbers and feel they were familiar, which gives the dream weight for him. Because part of the challenge is to get him to open his top-secret safe. It's just a dream right - the combination isn't really a set sequence. It's just whatever the guy's subconscience believes will work.

Yeah, the scene with Cobb and Saito definitely seems central. I've been pondering whether Saito was the one driving Cobb's dream (in the it's-all-a-dream scenario). Why did the last scene mimic the first? It might have been more than Saito shaping his own limbo.

BTW, when they first talked about limbo and said you could be there for years, become an old man, did anyone think of the first scene? Right away, I knew there was a connection there. Why else was Saito old in that first scene? Definitely something fishy going on.

And yes, I absolutely must see this again!




Yes, I did read that article, thx! Fascinating, talk about layers within layers - I want that job! If it wasn't for a complete lack of musical talent... the whole cd is very good btw, not just those big signatures, there's more variety than I remembered.

The combo - if he said those numbers earlier I missed it but definitely might have been there. It seems odd that they would use them for the hotel room numbers though - what would that mean to Fisher, the guy they were trying to take down?

"BTW, when they first talked about limbo and said you could be there for years, become an old man, did anyone think of the first scene?"

Yes, definitely (that make-up job kind of stuck with me). The fact that he was the only one shot... must see again.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:51 PM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
Yes, I did read that article, thx! Fascinating, talk about layers within layers - I want that job! If it wasn't for a complete lack of musical talent... the whole cd is very good btw, not just those big signatures, there's more variety than I remembered.

CD is out already? Excellent. I'm going to look for it as soon as I get a chance. That and the new Starcraft.

Quote:

The combo - if he said those numbers earlier I missed it but definitely might have been there. It seems odd that they would use them for the hotel room numbers though - what would that mean to Fisher, the guy they were trying to take down?
They got him to say the numbers in the "first" dream, the one with the van, but before they got in the van. My take: they got him to hand over any random six numbers, then used the numbers again in the hotel layer (and weren't they lucky to get a 500 number and a 400 number so the hotel rooms could be above and below each other - this I take to be Hollywood convenience) So by the time Fisher gets another layer deep these numbers are burnt into his brain. They have meaning, even if he can't place why. Maybe they become a totem of sorts. They allow him to open the safe and face the thing he's been hiding from.


Quote:

Yes, definitely (that make-up job kind of stuck with me). The fact that he was the only one shot... must see again.
Yeah, bad make-up. Unfortunate. It's hard to make young people look old.

But how could Cobb have known so early on that Saito would get stuck in limbo and get old? Unless there's something bigger connecting it all...

I am tempted by JSF's idea that Mal is alive out there, trying to get Cobb to come out. But I just can't shake Saito. He has to be involved. Come on - a mark that happens to be trained, and happens to put together this huge job which Cobb *has* to take because of his faceless kids, and then Saito comes along in the dream and gets shot, and his limbo was foreseen by Cobb.... It's all too much. Something's going on.

I'm also not convinced the kids are real. It's such a dream thing - he remembers escaping limbo, and he remembers his need to get back to these kids, but he has no memory of Mal pregnant, of little ones learning to walk, etc. Talk about a journey that got skipped. He can't even picture their faces.

I like to think that his kids were a carrot planted in his brain, a fantasy, to get him to do this job. Whatever the job really is.

Or I could be inventing a overly complicated fanfictional take on something meant to be much simpler. Wouldn't be the first time. :)


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Friday, July 30, 2010 12:39 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:

I am tempted by JSF's idea that Mal is alive out there, trying to get Cobb to come out. But I just can't shake Saito. He has to be involved. Come on - a mark that happens to be trained, and happens to put together this huge job which Cobb *has* to take because of his faceless kids, and then Saito comes along in the dream and gets shot, and his limbo was foreseen by Cobb.... It's all too much. Something's going on.



If we go with Mal being truly alive and trying to get Cobb out then Saito is part of the same team as Ariadne, Eames etc and even Fischer is. Everybody is dreaming from the moment we see them and everyone is playing a role with the objective of playing out this 'mission' so Cobb can be tricked into kicking. The first scene could be an early attempt to get him out but it fails or it could be the team (Saito and Mal) planting it there to use again later.

Quote:


Or I could be inventing a overly complicated fanfictional take on something meant to be much simpler. Wouldn't be the first time. :)



Aren't we all doing that in this thread?



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Friday, July 30, 2010 7:06 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


One thing I never worked out, must do on next viewing: old Saito is spinning the top, which might be Cobb's totem, and was Mal's totem. Why?

If Cobb is the architect of the dream we see as the film, cannot he dream they will go a dream level deeper, and one of his constructs is the next level architect, making it merely a sub-dream of his creation?

If the film is Cobb's dream (or one he's in), which of the characters are his constructs, and which are those inserted in from the above level (working with Mal), and which are constructs of others, or of Mal's?

I'm not seeing the kids as being Cobb's totem. Maybe I'm more inclined towards sequels, but the dream of the film may be to remove him from the exciting version of his dream (much more addicting, more rush, etc) and back to "his kids" so that it might be the same level as the exciting dream, but now he's more able to get a kick from the more stable, predictable dream - remember one year is a day is a minute and the exciting dream is so unpredictable that Mal in the level above can't get in front of the quicker dream pace effectively.


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:

Seeing as you guys bought up the music in the film I thought I'd mention this now as I don't think anyone else has. Probably nothing to do with the plot, just a nice coincidence....

....but the music used in the earphones to wake them up was that French song about regret or no regrets by Edith Piaf. She was recently played by Marion Cotillard in a film who of course also plays Mal.
Something? Not something?



There is an article out about Nolan and Zimmer concepting the score - Hans was not allowed to see the film until it was completed, with the score included. They both stated the Marion/Edith connection was not intentional, they hoped nobody thought it was a joke, and they adamantly kept that song since they felt it was integral.
So, not something.

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Friday, July 30, 2010 8:29 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
CD is out already? Excellent. I'm going to look for it as soon as I get a chance. That and the new Starcraft.



I've been buying music with Amazon's mp3 downloads, so not sure if it's in stores yet. $8.99 from Amazon. Highly recommend. There's some Vangelis and Phillip Glass in there, a lot of variety, moody and haunting as hell. 2 words: head phones. But watch you don't fall asleep!

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Friday, July 30, 2010 10:35 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
One thing I never worked out, must do on next viewing: old Saito is spinning the top, which might be Cobb's totem, and was Mal's totem. Why?



Can't say without seeing it again and understanding what he was saying. I found his voice/accent hard to understand sometimes plus the sound mix in our screening was crap as the surrounds were too loud compared to the front.

But I do have a point about totems that I thought of earlier:
The Chess Bishop: Expected behaviour is weighted at the bottom so a slight knock won't tip it over. The weight is removed making it top heavy and therefore a slight tap will knock it over.
The Poker Chip: Expected behaviour would be a normal looking poker chip. I believe it was forged so only the forger would know the errors.
The Dice: Expected behaviour is to randomly roll a 1-6 each time. This one is loaded so only one number will come up.
Then there's Mal's spinning top. Surely the expected behaviour would be to spin for a while and then fall. If it was someone else's dream this is what should happen. The unexpected would be for it to keep spinning or some other action. So does that mean when we see it spin and fall (the warehouse I think) it really isn't reality and is someone's dream? Could Cobb be mixing it up because he is using Mal's totem, not his own? Would he even know what Mal did differently to the top, I mean, it is supposed to be a secret from everyone but the totem creator. Is this a clear indication that it is a dream?

Quote:


If Cobb is the architect of the dream we see as the film, cannot he dream they will go a dream level deeper, and one of his constructs is the next level architect, making it merely a sub-dream of his creation?



Really not sure. Except that one of the rules is that you can't go deeper than your own dream. Cobb breaks every other rule so maybe he breaks this as well or his mind made it up. This will definitely require a second viewing to answer clearly.

Quote:


If the film is Cobb's dream (or one he's in), which of the characters are his constructs, and which are those inserted in from the above level (working with Mal), and which are constructs of others, or of Mal's?



I pretty much think with my own current ideas that everyone who plays a big enough part is real and they are all working to the same goal of getting Cobb out. The constructs in the dream worlds seem more like automated entities to me. They'll react to what you do etc but there is no actual connection. I mean do any of the constructs talk to the main cast or influence them aside from being chased/attacked like zombies when the dream world falls apart.



Quote:


I'm not seeing the kids as being Cobb's totem. Maybe I'm more inclined towards sequels, but the dream of the film may be to remove him from the exciting version of his dream (much more addicting, more rush, etc) and back to "his kids" so that it might be the same level as the exciting dream, but now he's more able to get a kick from the more stable, predictable dream - remember one year is a day is a minute and the exciting dream is so unpredictable that Mal in the level above can't get in front of the quicker dream pace effectively.



I think I see what you're getting at but I'm not sure. You're saying Cobb's reality is the exciting part with dream extraction, shadowy corporations etc. They then go deeper and when they get back his reality has changed because now he can see his kids and hopefully get back to true reality with whatever the kick may be.
Right?

Quote:


They both stated the Marion/Edith connection was not intentional, they hoped nobody thought it was a joke, and they adamantly kept that song since they felt it was integral.
So, not something.



Thanks for the confirmation, although I never really thought there was a connection in the movie. It was just to mention it but with a movie like this you couldn't be 100% sure without confirmation.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Friday, July 30, 2010 11:55 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
I'm not seeing the kids as being Cobb's totem.



I just read a blog that mentioned something about this and the idea came to me.
What if Cobb's real totem is his ring?
I believe he wears it at the beach in the beginning (he may even glance at it) but I can't say for sure if he's wearing it all the way through the movie. The blog I read pointed out that he wasn't always wearing it.

Any thoughts on that one?



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:54 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:
What if Cobb's real totem is his ring?
I believe he wears it at the beach in the beginning (he may even glance at it) but I can't say for sure if he's wearing it all the way through the movie. The blog I read pointed out that he wasn't always wearing it.

Any thoughts on that one?


Boy, do I have thoughts lwaves! I saw it a second time today followed by an hour on a train with a laptop. Hence two long posts to follow. Sorry, I’ve tried to shorten them but only end up adding more. So I’ll stop now.

Technical stuff

1. It has to be repeated: the score rocks. Really really rocks.

2. The tilty fight scene and zero-g fight scene—oh yeah. Could kvetch about how no one else’s inner ears picked up the free fall, but I’ll leave that one alone.

3. I don’t know the technical terms, but the lighting and colortone throughout the film were right on. It wasn’t overdone with varying hues to give it that “dreamy” feel, or all toned brown or all toned blue or whatever. That was nice when the Matrix made the fake world greenish and reality blueish, but imho the shading is overdone these days. In this film, if reality and the dreams had been different in tone, much would have been lost. I think they played it right on, not telling what was real and what wasn’t, but making us decide for ourselves.

OK – plot things.

4. The wedding ring. Cobb has it on at the beginning, when he’s on the beach, then when he’s eating rice and talking to old Saito. But as soon as the scene cuts back to young Saito (a very sudden cut which I’ll return to) the ring is clearly gone. The only other scene where I saw it on Cobb’s hand was when the girl joined him in his elevator/memory dream. The ring showed prominently when one of them was saying that this was HIS dream, a place HE built. Which suggests that the first dream, the talk with old Saito, was also a place of his own construction.

Mal often wears the ring, but I never saw Cobb wearing it other than those two times. Most scenes, he clearly does not have it on.

I especially watched for it at the end. I definitely noted that his left hand wasn’t shown from the time he woke on the plane until the ending. I watched carefully—hand not shown. I tried to watch during the second encounter with old Saito, and I don’t think his left hand was shown there either. I’m not entirely sure. Damned hard to focus on details during such a good movie. But if I’m right, I have to think that the movie makers did this deliberately – didn’t show the hand. Again, like with the colortone, they ain’t giving shit away!

5.Reality/Dream hints. At the university in Paris, Cobb’s dad begs him to return to reality. In the opium-den-looking basement in Mombasa, the old guy tells Cobb that the addicts can’t tell dream from reality, but who is he (Cobb) to judge? When Cobb gets home, those damn kids are in exactly the same position, wearing the same clothes(?) as his memory, and they haven’t aged at all. I get the impression he’s been in exile for some time. At least a year. Kids grow fast at that age. Why haven’t they changed?

6. The spinny top. Cobb uses the spinny top to implant an idea in Mal. I assume that she opened her safe, saw it still spinning, and then figured out that she was not in reality. Cobb later uses it with the same rules—if it falls over, he knows he’s awake and safely in the “reality” layer.

But should he be trusting this? It wasn’t his totem, it was someone else’s. He used it for inception with Mal. Might someone else be using it for inception with him? To convince him that returning home to his children is indeed returning to reality? Might someone be trying to do an inception on him?

7. Back to that cut from old Saito to young Saito. The cut includes many changes besides Saito’s age—Cobb is cleaned up, there’s suddenly other people in the room, the conversation is clearly a continuation, the restaurant is full, it’s nighttime… If this was a normal movie, I would take this to mean that the whole thing is a flashback. That’s the usual Hollywood style, right?

Except that when we return to the scene at the end, it is SO not a flashback. We don’t pick up the conversation where we left off, nor repeat it, but go through it in a kind of déjà vu. The same words are said, but by different speakers, with different emphasis. It’s if these men have learned something about each other since the first encounter, and come to a new understanding. They’ve convinced each other of something. And really, I think Cobb is the one being convinced, not Saito.

Which makes me feel that, if there is a deeper manipulation happening here, it’s something between Cobb and Saito. Not the wife. I could go on about this, but this is long enough. Long story short: I’m inclined to see the children and even the wife as agents of some manipulation between Saito and Cobb.

My theory: next post.


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Saturday, July 31, 2010 12:00 PM

MAL4PREZ


Disclaimer: like Firefly and most works of genius, this movie is deliciously open to many interpretations. I’ve found one I like, but by no means am I suggesting that mine is the only one.

But I really like it.

I think the whole movie is a battle between Saito and Cobb. Saito is trying to convince Cobb that the top level shown in the movie, the one presented as reality, is reality. (But it’s not!) Saito wins in the end by convincing Cobb to stay in that top level, so he stays asleep while Saito can wake up and protect himself.

Why does this make sense? Well,

- Saito is an antagonist at the beginning. By the end, he’s a trusted friend who convinces Cobb to make a decision.

- The decision involved going deep into layers of Cobb’s psyche. Saito was present throughout, to learn Cobb’s secrets and also to see how Cobb would do an inception on someone else. Saito learned those steps and did exactly the same to Cobb.

- A single idea was implanted and slowly developed in Cobb: Being with your children at home in the US is reality. Cobb doubted this throughout, but came to acceptance when he was very, very deep down.

- Many of the encounters that made Cobb doubt reality/dream could have been his subconscious trying to warn him about Saito's manipulation. This includes his dad, the opium den guy, Mal, the girl on the team (can't remember the name)...

- Cobb’s decision was made through positive reinforcement, exactly what Cobb insisted they use on the rich guy. Catharsis was the word.

- Saito was the only one seriously hurt because he was the primary invader into Cobb’s dream.

- Saito put the final nail in the coffin durig the last scene at the restaurant. He agrees with Cobb that when they leave limbo they’ll be back in reality, and Cobb believes this to be his own idea. Inception complete!

- Another: Saito touches Cobb's totem, right at the beginning, before the cut in time. Wouldn't that give him some kind of control over it? Control over the spinny top is no small thing in this movie!

And one final: we never actually see Saito and Cobb get shot. Like a dream, Cobb makes the decision, then it's done. But the intermediate steps never happen.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 1:43 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
this movie is deliciously open to many interpretations



This may be the truest thing said about the movie. What if the 'genius' of the movie is that there is evidence to support X number of theories but no definitive answer to any one of them. So each viewer takes away what they want from it. This would account for all the folks that just see the movie as a linear action movie set across dream levels and also those, like ourselves, that see something deeper. No group is wrong it's just what each got from it, much like a dream interpretation. Unless Nolan comes out and actually says what it all means (highly unlikely) then we may never know for certain.

Quote:


4. The wedding ring. Cobb has it on at the beginning, when he’s on the beach, then when he’s eating rice and talking to old Saito.
The only other scene where I saw it on Cobb’s hand was when the girl joined him in his elevator/memory dream.
The ring showed prominently when one of them was saying that this was HIS dream, a place HE built.
Mal often wears the ring, but I never saw Cobb wearing it other than those two times. Most scenes, he clearly does not have it on.
I have to think that the movie makers did this deliberately – didn’t show the hand.



Cheers for some kind of clarification. I still don't know myself what I feel is the significance of it but I do now remember that you don't see his left hand a lot of the time.

Quote:


When Cobb gets home, those damn kids are in exactly the same position, wearing the same clothes(?) as his memory.



Overnight I 'obtained' a rough copy of the movie just to see certain bits, including this one.
In the first scene the boy is crouched wearing a plaid shirt (can't tell the colour) and the girl runs up to him wearing an orange(?) dress.
When Cobb talks to them on the phone it is the same set up but with a slightly different view, although this is most likely a genuine memory.
When Cobb and Ariadne are in the elevator they got to the beach/holiday scene (different set up and clothes but it is a memory so that makes sense) and then they go to the house and it is the same set up, same clothes.
But at the end they both start crouched, the boy is in front this time, wearing a plaid shirt, but most importantly I think is that the girl has a different orange dress with a white t-shirt underneath (you can see the shirt sleeves and straps of the dress).
So they are not the same as his memory, like we thought. This leads me to believe that it is someone elses dream and that when it cuts to black he wakes up to the proper reality.

Quote:


6. The spinny top. Cobb uses the spinny top to implant an idea in Mal. I assume that she opened her safe, saw it still spinning, and then figured out that she was not in reality. Cobb later uses it with the same rules—if it falls over, he knows he’s awake and safely in the “reality” layer.

But should he be trusting this? It wasn’t his totem, it was someone else’s. He used it for inception with Mal. Might someone else be using it for inception with him? To convince him that returning home to his children is indeed returning to reality? Might someone be trying to do an inception on him?



This is a point I tried to illustrate in my other post about the expected behaviour of the totems. The expected behaviour of the top is to spin and then fall. To me if it does this then he's not in true reality but Cobb seems blind to this or genuinely doesn't know what Mal altered on her totem. You can't have a spinning top that keeps spinning indefinitely. If you're in someone's dream then they would expect it to fall, so it would. I don't know what the true reality version would be. Maybe it's weighted/designed to not spin at all or very badly.
To push this point further if I was in your dream (you have control) and I held up a large steel ball bearing and dropped it then the expected behaviour, from your point of view, would be for it to fall heavily to the ground with no bouncing. But if I know that it's actually fake and made of rubber it should bounce, from my point of view, therefore telling me which level I was in.

As for the differences between the Cobb and Saito meetings at the beginning and the end I kind of take it that at the start Cobb was in Saitos dream trying to get the location of the secret (hidden in a safe I think) so that world would be Saito's world.
At the end Saito 'dies' first and enters limbo a good while before Cobb, which would explain the age difference. It is Saitos world again because he's the one that there, Cobb is the guest or whatever. So to me Saito plants the idea originally in Cobb that it is possible to go home, that he has a way. This grows over the job in Cobbs mind. Cobb then uses that idea to persuade Saito of the same possibility that he can go back and in the process convinces himself that he can go home too but needs Saito to fulfill his promise to do that.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 2:56 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:
Cheers for some kind of clarification. I still don't know myself what I feel is the significance of it but I do now remember that you don't see his left hand a lot of the time.

The shots where you do see the ring - on Cobb or on Mal - are very specifically done. The ring is clearly placed in the frame. Movie makers don't do this stuff by accident. At least, not this caliber of movie maker! I think it means something, though I'm not sure what.

Re the kids: good to know about the clothes. So the exact details vary but the general style and color stays the same, and the boy is generally sitting, digging, the girl standing beside him. This is still the case when Cobb goes home.

And don't forget that age thing. Not only are the kids exactly the same age, but the season is the same, the angle and color of the sunlight, the grass and trees. Either he's been gone a few months tops, or the place isn't real.

Quote:

So they are not the same as his memory, like we thought. This leads me to believe that it is someone elses dream and that when it cuts to black he wakes up to the proper reality.


Like cuts to black end of movie? I took it to be just the end of the movie. Interesting thought though, that he woke up.


Quote:

This is a point I tried to illustrate in my other post about the expected behaviour of the totems.
I disagree. You're saying:

if it doesn't fall: Cobb's in his own dream
it if falls: Cobb's in someone else's dream

But how about when it falls in reality? Which it would do. Must he then take reality to be someone else's dream?

See, I understand it quite differently - I think the totem is a reality detector, not a dreamer ID'er. Hey look - there's wikipedia about this movie already! Totem is defined as: "an individualized object carried by extractors in order to tell when they are dreaming. Cobb's own totem is his wife's: a spinning top. If the top spins indefinitely, Cobb knows he is in a dream; if it slows down and eventually stops, in accordance with the laws of physics, then he is not."

The times Cobb gets most stressed over the spinner in when he's in "reality," when he sees Mal and so isn't sure if he's really awake. So he spins the top - if he's dreaming, it will spin forever. In the movie's "reality", it falls. So he believes himself to be awake.

Hence the ending - if it falls he's awake. And it seems about to....

The thing I've theorized is that maybe the spinner lies. Saito did touch it, after all. (I know this is a pretty thin fanwank, but still....)


Quote:

As for the differences between the Cobb and Saito meetings at the beginning and the end I kind of take it that at the start Cobb was in Saitos dream trying to get the location of the secret (hidden in a safe I think) so that world would be Saito's world.
That's after the cut to young Saito. Watch it again when you get a chance - much shifts when we go to young Saito. It could be an entirely different dream. Could be a flashback. I'm not sure what the difference is, but there is a difference. The ring goes away, for one...

But after, when they're talking about the cracking the safe, it's Arthur's dream. Mal says something to that effect.


Quote:

At the end Saito 'dies' first and enters limbo a good while before Cobb, which would explain the age difference. It is Saitos world again because he's the one that there, Cobb is the guest or whatever.
Not so - apparently Limbo belongs to no one. It's a "shared" level, whatever that means. Check out the figures in the other Inception thread. (I think this is primarily a way of explaining why there are no random people in Limbo to come after the non-dreamers. It's the only way Cobb and Mal could spend years there without being hunted by each other's subconsciousness.)

Quote:

So to me Saito plants the idea originally in Cobb that it is possible to go home, that he has a way. This grows over the job in Cobbs mind. Cobb then uses that idea to persuade Saito of the same possibility that he can go back and in the process convinces himself that he can go home too but needs Saito to fulfill his promise to do that.
Which is totally what I think, only I think "going home" could be a metaphor for accepting a dream as reality. Like Cobb changed "Break up the empire" to the more positive and meaningful message: "Be my own man". Cobb would never have accepted the idea to "Stay in the dream," but "Go home to your kids"? Sure.



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Sunday, August 1, 2010 4:04 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Like cuts to black end of movie? I took it to be just the end of the movie. Interesting thought though, that he woke up.



Yes the cut at the end of the movie. Going on the idea that the whole movie is a dream why show any proper reality. It starts with him beginning a dream and ends with him waking up. We don't see anything before or after that because we are watching the dream, kind of like a passive viewer. We can see it but can't alter anything and because it is a dream we can't see Cobb's true reality. I guess we (the cinema goers are also sharing this dream with the characters in an odd way).

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This is a point I tried to illustrate in my other post about the expected behaviour of the totems.



I disagree. You're saying:

if it doesn't fall: Cobb's in his own dream
it if falls: Cobb's in someone else's dream

But how about when it falls in reality? Which it would do. Must he then take reality to be someone else's dream?

See, I understand it quite differently - I think the totem is a reality detector, not a dreamer ID'er. Hey look - there's wikipedia about this movie already! Totem is defined as: "an individualized object carried by extractors in order to tell when they are dreaming. Cobb's own totem is his wife's: a spinning top. If the top spins indefinitely, Cobb knows he is in a dream; if it slows down and eventually stops, in accordance with the laws of physics, then he is not."

The times Cobb gets most stressed over the spinner in when he's in "reality," when he sees Mal and so isn't sure if he's really awake. So he spins the top - if he's dreaming, it will spin forever. In the movie's "reality", it falls. So he believes himself to be awake.

Hence the ending - if it falls he's awake. And it seems about to....

The thing I've theorized is that maybe the spinner lies. Saito did touch it, after all. (I know this is a pretty thin fanwank, but still....)



It may lie (or maybe Cobb makes it lie because he thinks he's in reality) but my thing is we don't know what Mal did to make it react differently, what she was looking for when she spun it. What makes this top react differently to every other spinning top in thw world. If you or I see a someone spin a top then we would know that eventually it would fall. This same rule applies if it was someone spinning it in our dream. We wouldn't expect it to keep spinning forever so therefore it would eventually fall. In true reality it would have to react differently. I agree in true reality it wouldn't spin indefinitely but it could do something else like not spin at all because the weight was lobsided or something, I don't think the movie ever mentions what Mal did to the top as it can't be a normal top in the same way that it's a loaded dice, a top heavy bishop and a forged poker chip.

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Not so - apparently Limbo belongs to no one. It's a "shared" level, whatever that means. Check out the figures in the other Inception thread. (I think this is primarily a way of explaining why there are no random people in Limbo to come after the non-dreamers. It's the only way Cobb and Mal could spend years there without being hunted by each other's subconsciousness.)



Okay that is correct I do remember that it belongs to no-one now that you've mentioned it and at the start as well with it being Arthurs dream. There's so much to think about some bits get lost.

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So to me Saito plants the idea originally in Cobb that it is possible to go home, that he has a way. This grows over the job in Cobbs mind. Cobb then uses that idea to persuade Saito of the same possibility that he can go back and in the process convinces himself that he can go home too but needs Saito to fulfill his promise to do that.



Which is totally what I think, only I think "going home" could be a metaphor for accepting a dream as reality. Like Cobb changed "Break up the empire" to the more positive and meaningful message: "Be my own man". Cobb would never have accepted the idea to "Stay in the dream," but "Go home to your kids"? Sure.



Yes 'going home' is a metaphor for going to true reality, that's the way I meant it. But I don't think it's the home/reality we see at the end, I think that is one level below true reality and when his kids turn and he sees them it's enough to pull him away from the totem and when he actually touches them it cuts to black as the film ends which leads me to think that actually accepting his kids on this level at this time may have been the kick to bring him out all the way.

As a side note to earlier it may have been his belief and reliance on Mal's totem that helped keep him one level short, that it could be lying to him as you stated. I really need to figure out what the behaviour of the top is supposed to be from when Mal created it but I think I might be out of luck.



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Sunday, August 1, 2010 5:36 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:
Yes the cut at the end of the movie. Going on the idea that the whole movie is a dream why show any proper reality. It starts with him beginning a dream and ends with him waking up. We don't see anything before or after that because we are watching the dream,

Well, and also because a movie can't go on forever. Really, if they did mean that Cobb's dream was going to go on and on, are you saying they could only accomplish that by never ending the movie? Or might they suggest it by resolving all his difficulties, putting him in a peaceful place, and showing a spinny top that doesn't fall?


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kind of like a passive viewer. We can see it but can't alter anything and because it is a dream we can't see Cobb's true reality. I guess we (the cinema goers are also sharing this dream with the characters in an odd way).
Ah yes. I like the idea of the movie goers sharing the dream. It certainly had that feeling. Could you feel how entranced the audience was? No one talked, though I heard gasps occasionally. Not just at effects and action, but at some of the lines about true creativity. It was such an engrossing movie.

I saw it NYC both times, and experienced some pretty intense surrealism coming out into the streets again. Especially walking through crowded Times Square. It was bizarre, and very much like waking up confused by a dream.

BTW, have you ever had a waking dream? I have. In fact, had a little bit of one the night after I saw this movie the first time. Interesting parallels to Ariadne's first experience.

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It may lie (or maybe Cobb makes it lie because he thinks he's in reality) but my thing is we don't know what Mal did to make it react differently, what she was looking for when she spun it.

Yes - this is exactly what I'm trying to get at. There are too many reasons to distrust this totem. I don't think we'll know what Mal's original idea with it was unless they make a sequel. I really really hope they don't. Leave this beauty as is and don't do what the Matrix did!

Anyhow, there's also the possibility that the spinny totem is part of Saito manipulation. We do first see it in his hands, after all. Perhaps he added it, perhaps he took it from Cobb's mind and changed it. It could be like the will in Fischer's dad's safe: an object purely meant to help the subject construct the implanted idea.

What do you think of Saito being active in this way? I've pretty much convinced myself of it. Obviously LOL! But I like hearing other ideas.


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Yes 'going home' is a metaphor for going to true reality, that's the way I meant it. But I don't think it's the home/reality we see at the end, I think that is one level below true reality
Yeah, that's different from what I'm seeing.

[ETA: we agree on where reality is, but I think we disagree as what Cobb understood to be reality. I think he was convinced that this home/kids dream was real. You think he was just passing through it, and on his way up to "true" reality. Right?]

What you're saying is certainly possible, and it does has a beautiful symmetry, but I don't see much evidence to support a immediate post-movie wake-up. Why would he wake up then? Where was the kick? He didn't think he was dreaming. He was quite convinced that home and kids were real. He didn't fall, he wasn't killed, none of the main characters were around to shoot him. Every circumstance puts him in a smooth, steady state, with no reason to wake up.


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Sunday, August 1, 2010 8:05 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Well, and also because a movie can't go on forever. Really, if they did mean that Cobb's dream was going to go on and on, are you saying they could only accomplish that by never ending the movie? Or might they suggest it by resolving all his difficulties, putting him in a peaceful place, and showing a spinny top that doesn't fall?



Hahahaha! No, the movie obviously couldn't go on forever and that's not exactly what I'm saying, although I can see how you got there. This links in to a point further down but I think the movie ends because Cobb wakes up. It doesn't show him getting a kick but it also doesn't show what hapens to the spinning top. We agree that it wobbles but as we seem to have different ideas on this particular totem it means different things to us both. I just think he does get a kick and it may be his kids, or Miles, or something we just don't know about. We have no way of knowing it just fits with my overall theory in my head.
They could have shown several things at the end but instead left it open by stopping where they did. Any more footage and we could have seen evidence to push one theory more to the front than others or even clarify too much and where would the fun be in that.

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Ah yes. I like the idea of the movie goers sharing the dream. It certainly had that feeling. Could you feel how entranced the audience was? No one talked, though I heard gasps occasionally. Not just at effects and action, but at some of the lines about true creativity. It was such an engrossing movie.

I saw it NYC both times, and experienced some pretty intense surrealism coming out into the streets again. Especially walking through crowded Times Square. It was bizarre, and very much like waking up confused by a dream.

BTW, have you ever had a waking dream? I have. In fact, had a little bit of one the night after I saw this movie the first time. Interesting parallels to Ariadne's first experience.



Here in England the audience don't react the same way as I've seen US folk do. It makes me laugh when I see footage of US viewers reactions, especially at horror movies. They are so OTT.
But when it got to the end of Inception I could sense a guy in the seat behind me move forward and there was a definite sound of folks exclaiming "Nooo!", "Whaat!" and various other similar expressions. And as we left there was more of a hubub (sp?) of noise with people talking than we usually get.

No I've never has a waking dream, I tend not to remember mine. I did sleep talk for a couple of months as a kid but it soon passed.

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I don't think we'll know what Mal's original idea with it was unless they make a sequel. I really really hope they don't. Leave this beauty as is and don't do what the Matrix did!



Having seen a few interviews with Nolan it won't be him that makes it which means that it could be ignored quite easily. I would like to think that even the studios would leave it alone but stranger things have happened. I eagerly await the slew of rip-offs and sound-alikes that will inevitably turn up.

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Anyhow, there's also the possibility that the spinny totem is part of Saito manipulation. We do first see it in his hands, after all. Perhaps he added it, perhaps he took it from Cobb's mind and changed it. It could be like the will in Fischer's dad's safe: an object purely meant to help the subject construct the implanted idea.

What do you think of Saito being active in this way? I've pretty much convinced myself of it. Obviously LOL! But I like hearing other ideas.



I agree that Saito is a major player, he showed up at the right time, gave them the job, got himself on the team etc. I think he was in on the plan from the early on. My current thinking is that Mal (the one who is really alive after her suicide kicked her out) or Miles or both hired Saito to do this job of getting Cobb out. He may even be an extractor like Cobb but I might be reaching a bit there and am not convinced myself.
So your idea of him manipulating the totem in some way is quite feasible.

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I think he was convinced that this home/kids dream was real. You think he was just passing through it, and on his way up to "true" reality. Right?



I still think he thought the home, kids and Miles was real, it's just that IMO it wasn't. It was there to get him to give up the totem, to be somewhere he felt safe and secure so that he could finally let go of everything (he let go of Mal and his guilt earlier) that held him in the dream world and then he could properly wake up.

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What you're saying is certainly possible, and it does has a beautiful symmetry, but I don't see much evidence to support a immediate post-movie wake-up. Why would he wake up then? Where was the kick? He didn't think he was dreaming. He was quite convinced that home and kids were real. He didn't fall, he wasn't killed, none of the main characters were around to shoot him. Every circumstance puts him in a smooth, steady state, with no reason to wake up.



As I said above we don't see a kick but then we also don't know what exactly is required for a kick. If it did occur at the moment of going to black then there's no way we could know, going by my theory, because we don't see the real world.
The fact that the scene has a dreamlike quality to the lighting definitely doesn't help one way or the other.

I think I'm going to rewatch the ending carefully (and a couple of other bits) and get back to you on that one. I need some clarification of points and what exactly happens when. Probably be tomorrow when I get back coz my brain's frying nicely at the moment and I'm late for tea.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 12:42 PM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Lwaves, M4P, JSP + others - great thread reading, thx for all the speculation. I have not been able to see it again and am chomping at the bit - so I have no speculation, just some thoughts and more questions.

- I loved the way the film started. Dropped down in the middle like that, a complete mystery as to what was going on, and then playing catch up the whole time. I spend too much time in a lot of movies thinking, "oiy, that makes no sense, why would..." I end up watching the film making instead of the film. I know that there were plenty of Hollywood types that said this movie would fail because it was too long and it asked too much of the audience. Hah! Turns out we actually have brains and we do like to use them. Seeing the press and reaction this movie is getting it's almost like we were starving for a movie like this. I think you're right Lwaves, that we'll be seeing rip offs, hopefully some will rip off that part.

- The top/totem. Can you trust anything in a dream? If it fell couldn't that just be a manipulation?
I keep thinking that the answer to the following question about the top would be huge in unraveling the ending, but I don't have the answer, only the question, (and it's not does the top stay up or fall):

Why would Cobb even spin the top at the end? What would be the point if he didn't even stop to watch? What was he thinking?

A. He knew it would fall, so he didn't have to watch.
B. He didn't care where he was because he was home and he had his children, Reality or Inception complete.
C. Doesn't matter - Nolan used it because he knew it would be a great visual to end the movie with.

Just found this while looking for the script...

Wikipedia says: "At the end of the credits, a small noise is heard, possibly indicating that Cobb's totem has fallen." Maybe someone just dropped their keys...

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Monday, August 2, 2010 1:31 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
I know that there were plenty of Hollywood types that said this movie would fail because it was too long and it asked too much of the audience. Hah! Turns out we actually have brains and we do like to use them. Seeing the press and reaction this movie is getting it's almost like we were starving for a movie like this.



I like some some of the bigger blockbuster movies but look at what Hollywood gives us. Remake after remake like The A-Team or Clash Of The Titans. Then we get Transformers etc which are all heavy on the CGI and not much else. Then they give us repetitive romantic comedies which recycle the same plots with different actors and situations.
Ocassionally of course there are one or two movies that stand out from the dredge but they are few and far between.
When something comes along that is genuinely intelligent they would feel threatened. If the cinema going people found an appetite for this style of movie then Hollywood would be in trouble, unfortunately this probably won't happen.

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Why would Cobb even spin the top at the end? What would be the point if he didn't even stop to watch? What was he thinking?



I think he had doubts about where he was, after all he had taught himself not to trust anything. The same way that a lot of people are convinced that the kids at the end are in the same clothes and positions (I was one of them) Cobb may have had similar thoughts, so he spun the top.
But the kids then move and turn to him which is different from his dreams. At that point (to him) he has his proof and doesn't need the spinning top.

Nolan obviously ended the movie that way to get viewers guessing and thinking about what they'd seen. If it had been a clear ending that made things make sense then it wouldn't be as great a movie. This thread wouldn't be here either.
Like with the rest of the movie he was playing with us, making us work. It's why I still think there may be no definitive answer. It may have been designed to have multiple answers depending on what you see or don't see. I have my incomplete theory, M4P seems to on the same lines as me but we do differ on some points. I'm still not sure that either one of us is wrong on these points.

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Just found this while looking for the script...



I went looking for the script but had no luck. It was only a quick search though.
Did you find it? If yes then could you tell me where or could you send it to me?



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Monday, August 2, 2010 4:43 AM

PIZMOBEACH

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LWAVES: No, I didn't find a script other than from those free/commercial download sites but I just don't trust them.

I have to say that I'm not a fan of the ambiguous, "pick your own" ending. That seems kind of like lazy writing to me. I don't mind tough endings, actually love those, but if it turns out that's the case here I'll be royally pissed!

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Monday, August 2, 2010 5:30 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Scattered points:
1. Top at the end. He spins it to see if this is a dream where he sees his kids. He looks at it to see the result. THEN the diversion - dad appears, go look at the kids, ignore the top, nothing going on here, move along now.
The thing that bothers me is who instigated the diversion? They had to plan ahead into Fisher's dream to make his diversion there, so who'd idea was it to divert Cobb here?

2. Don't let somebody else touch your totem. I think this causes a sort of corruption of the validity or truthfulness of the totem. The top is Mal's totem. So why is Cobb corrupting it? Why Saito?
I don't recall Cobb spinning the top at any level other than the level he thinks is reality - the highest level we see in the film. Am I wrong?

3. In each dream level the audience is omniscient - seeing everything, different players, all separated. At the level of "reality" we only seem to see what Cobb sees. Am I wrong? What does this tell us?

4. The kids don't age.
If the film is showing the reality level, then most of these views are from his memory - he hasn't been able to see them age.
If the film is not at the reality level but the last scene is, he's been dreaming for a year or more, but reality hasn't elapsed the same time - the kid's wouldn't have aged much, but that doesn't explain the same scene playing out - digging dirt at the same spot, etc. And then, where is Mal?

5. I don't get your originations of Saito. If the film is Cobb in a dream, either Saito is a construct of Cobb's or the architect, or he's inserted from the reality above. Mal is working with Saito in the Safe scene of the dream within a dream. But Mal and Cobb were pioneers in the reality above, how much time did Mal have to bring in all these players, including Saito, while Cobb only spent a year or so in the level he's at? How much time could have passed in reality?

6. I don't see the constructs as mindless zombies. Fisher's construct were lethal shooters, not highly predictable. Maybe fewer people got hit because in his successful experience his team didn't get many casualties. Also some non-real but also non-constructs are partial constructs with an imposter imitating somebody in Cobb's "reality" until Cobb fills in the details, like Fisher did with the Tom Berenger character (Brown?).

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Monday, August 2, 2010 7:22 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
Scattered points:
1. Top at the end. He spins it to see if this is a dream where he sees his kids. He looks at it to see the result. THEN the diversion - dad appears,

Good point! I hadn't caught this, but it fits my ideas... I'll come back to it.

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2. I don't recall Cobb spinning the top at any level other than the level he thinks is reality - the highest level we see in the film. Am I wrong?
Another very good point. The only time I can recall him using the top out side "reality" is when he spins it up in Mal's dollhouse in limbo. And that was a flashback.


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6. I don't see the constructs as mindless zombies.
I didn't really mean that, I just couldn't drag the word "construct" out of my brain. Seriously. It wouldn't come.

Although, they were mindless in the sense of not being autonomous. They're not independent individuals, and so a bit zombie-ish. And, btw, they're damned convenient in the Hollywood sense because the good guys could shoot them without any moral ramifications.

But whatever, let me address to your points 3, 4, and 5. But I can tell I'm going to have to get into it a bit. Let me write something up and post separate.

And thank you for giving me something to do. Soooo bored today LOL!



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Monday, August 2, 2010 8:27 AM

MAL4PREZ


mal4prez’s story of inception, told from Saito’s POV. (This is purely fanwank, the usual disclaimers apply, and it should not be taken seriously by anyone not desperately trying to avoid unpleasant chores.)

Opening scene in Japanese restaurant, Saito says to himself:
OK, so there’s a guy in my dream trying to steal my secrets. He’s pretty good. Damn. I must stay calm. I’ve been trained for this. Lots of training. I can take this guy. So what am I supposed to do? Right, can’t just shoot myself, because I might be doped and end up going crazy in limbo. I’ve got to take control of this dream and find a way out. And I’ve got to make this Cobb guy stay here so my people can come back in and search his brain.

OK, that’s the beginnings of a plan. Gotta get to Cobb. So what do I know about him?

*rummages around in Cobb-brain, sees the obvious baggage*

A-ha! He has a spinny thing that’s very meaningful to him. Not sure why, but it's important, and he pretty much just handed it to me. He’s also got this memory of two kids. And what’s this I see? A dead wife. History there, much guilt... I can use this. Hmm... maybe I can get him take dream for reality forever if I can make him connect the dream to his home and kids. I can use the wife and the spinny top to push him along, if I can dig the truth out...

Damn, he’s got strong defensive walls. But here’s a good thing—he thinks his job with me failed, and he almost thinks he’s awake. He’s not entirely sure, and it won’t last, but it’s a start. I have to make him believe that this IS reality, and he has to think it’s purely his own idea. Ha! I’ll hire him to do to someone else what I want to do to him. He’ll show me how to perform an inception. This will also allow me to work with him, get close, win his trust.

So I can get really really close, I’ll take away his architect and supply another, one who’s cute and young and idealistic. She’ll work her way in and he’ll tell her everything. What she knows, I’ll know, and I can make use of it...

[And – CUT]

So, JSF, Cobb’s dad supplies the new architect. Dad also serves as the vital distraction at the end. Cute, huh?

As the plot continues: Saito learns the steps to inception and copies them. He gets in deep, learns Cobb’s secrets about Mal and the spinny top. There’s a powerful catharsis, then a positive reward.

So I don’t think Mal “brought in” Saito. In my fanwank, Mal isn’t real. Perhaps, no one in the whole damned movie is real except Cobb and Saito. The rest could be memories, forgeries, and manipulated constructs.

And just so we’re clear – this is such overcomplicated fanfiction. I don’t at all think it’s necessary. Just fun.


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:19 AM

PIZMOBEACH

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Ok - saw it again last night and I have a new theory: when someone coughs INCESSANTLY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE FILM it's worse than talking.

And: I'm back to thinking it plays better if its Reality/Dream layers are legit the way they are presented, that thinking "it's Saito turning the wheels" is fun, but it's over thinking.

Saito as auditioner works for me. Cobb's trickery of Mal and it's back firing and causing her death (he changed her totem to make her think she was in a dream so she jumps to kick herself into Reality (btw DiCaprio's anguish over her jumping was really well done imo), that works for me. Cobb not wanting to spend eternity in Limbo with the version of her constructed from his memories of her because they would be too perfect and too perfectly imperfect, that makes sense to me - it would only emphasize how dead she was and that leads back to his guilt at causing her to jump.

And Saito's motives are not clear enough to me. To observe Cobb is possible, but guys like him just hire people, and the more successful the better. It's not likely he would take what he learned and teach another crew.

But! I still have some questions about the straight read of it. There's a bunch of things at the very end when Cobb and Ariadne and Mal and Fischer (and soon to be Saito) are in Limbo:

First, before Limbo, in the concrete snow dream, when Mal shoots Fischer, Cobb says, "well that's it, mission over, we failed." He sticks to that even after Eames questions it. Finally, Ariadne convinces him to go further, into Limbo. That is puzzling unless you think maybe she's working for Saito, or unless she's a very dedicated team member. But it struck me as odd that it would be her to push them to the films conclusion. Was Miles in on it? Why was he in LA from Paris when Cobb landed?

- in Limbo, when all the kicks are starting to happen and limbo is crumbling, Ariadne pleads with Cobb to come and join her jumping off the balcony to kick them back up, but Cobb says no, "Saito will be down here as he's probably dead by now, I have to save him from Limbo." So that's the 2 of them from the beginning - but why is Cobb so much younger than Saito when they meet again?

- And I still don't get what kicked Cobb and old Saito out of Limbo. They have this moment of recognition across the table, then Saito reaches for the gun next to him, and then cut to Cobb & Saito back on the plane.

- How did Saito know that the mission was successful?

- and just in case anyone was wondering, I stayed through to the end of the credits and there wasn't any sound of the totem falling at any point - I think wiki got incepted with an internet rumor.

ETA - there were 2 sets of child actors in the credits, ages 3 and 5, so they are suppose to have aged.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010 5:54 PM

SINGATE


First off, this has been one of the better threads I've seen on this site in a long time.

There was a bit in an earlier post about audiences being starved for a movie with some serious depth to it. My reaction is that I am really surprised this movie has been so successful. I have a firmly held belief that most people don't want to do any heavy lifting when it comes to entertainment. Hence the success of mindless sequels and reality TV. Now on to the film itself.

I really like the idea that there is no clear cut answer to what was really going on. I'd prefer that no one in the inner circle divulges the truth as it would ruin these wonderful discussions.

So here's my theory. I think Mal is dead and Cobb is the one who was responsible. Cobb is also the mark but I don't think he was inside throughout the entire film. A partnership between Saito and Miles was brokered with dual intent: to find out exactly what happened to Mal and to learn how inception can be performed. So Ariadne is the architect, Miles is the dreamer, and Saito is the extractor. At the end Cobb is still inside. The similarity between his "real" children and the memorex version is too close for comfort. If I'm not mistaken the only other person to see his children during the film was Ariadne. I'm thinking that was the template she used in the final scene.

What's really stuck in my craw is exactly when they began working Cobb. Were there any players other than the three I mentioned or was everyone else drawn from his subconscious? If the other main characters were in on it this would be one hell of a conspiracy.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 3:44 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


I know the brain speedup was necessary in Inception to turn the dream state into a 50 year jail sentence. It also makes zero-gee fistfights of fantasy a reality. But after Inception was over and my friends started a discussion, we realized that this key part of the story smells of absolute bullshit.

Cobb's mind speeds faster than normal in a dream. Either 20, 400, or 8000 times faster, depending on how deep he goes. Were that fastest speed possible, 15 minutes in a dream equals 2000 hours of thinking in the real world. Every movie scriptwriter in Hollywood who is on a deadline would be using Cobb's device to finish their screenplays early. Every writing room for TV shows would be equipped with "conference" beds so the group of writers could take power naps together. No one would ever need to work on Sunday to finish a script for a Monday morning meet with studio executives.

A writer's workday would start with a late afternoon lunch. Then they put on Cobb's dream machine and take a nap. Having finished another Castle script in their sleep, they go to happy hour for drinks. Then it is back to the studio to watch Nathan Fillion film exterior shots with what's-her-name, Nicki Heat.

That's a lovely vision of the future, but it's impossible. And by impossible, I don't mean very difficult, yet science will triumph in the future. I mean that so long as human brains are made of protein a 20-fold speedup will never happen, let alone a 8000-fold speedup. And now you know it, too.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 10:51 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by singate:

There was a bit in an earlier post about audiences being starved for a movie with some serious depth to it. My reaction is that I am really surprised this movie has been so successful. I have a firmly held belief that most people don't want to do any heavy lifting when it comes to entertainment. Hence the success of mindless sequels and reality TV.



I would agree that that is what most of the general cinema going public wants and gets. CG heavy but plot-lite fodder for their weak brains. It has it's place and can sometimes be entertaining. These days though there's too much of this type.
And then on very rare ocassions you get a movie like Inception. Normally a movie like this wouldn't be coming off the back of something like The Dark Knight which must help from a marketing viewpoint. It has a large, recognisable cast to anyone that watches movies even if you don't know their names. It has DiCaprio who is one of the biggest (and better) actors around. Plus the advertising was intriguing enough to make others curious to see what it was about.
For me, if you add these factors together, it's enough to make the intelligent cinema going public turn up and get the general public in as well. Some would be surprised and some wouldn't have a clue as to what to make of it. These would be the ones that have called it crap, pointless, boring, completely unoriginal etc etc (look on IMDB for these folks).

To me that why it's been so successful. It has ticked all the 'studio' boxes so they seem happy and it's now made lots of money. It has a fantastic plot, brilliant directing, top-notch acting, looks visually stunning (without excessive CGI, it has action, drama, tension, a little bit of humour and an ending that has left viewers talking about it and word of mouth pulls in even more viewers.

I just hope we see of few more examples of big intelligent movies before we are deluged with dross again. I'm not holding my breath.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:50 PM

MAL4PREZ


Pizmo: "And: I'm back to thinking it plays better if its Reality/Dream layers are legit the way they are presented, that thinking "it's Saito turning the wheels" is fun, but it's over thinking."

Well, I told you so myself, huh? LOL! No but really - my whole spiel may be overcomplicated, by I'll lay money that more is going on with Saito. The two showdowns between Saito and Cobb are brimming with something beyond the obvious storyline...

Quote:

Originally posted by singate:
There was a bit in an earlier post about audiences being starved for a movie with some serious depth to it. My reaction is that I am really surprised this movie has been so successful.

Me too. Both times I saw this I had moments of: "Holy shit I can't believe a movie studio actually allowed these people to put this story on screen. Thank God!"


Quote:

So here's my theory. I think Mal is dead and Cobb is the one who was responsible. Cobb is also the mark but I don't think he was inside throughout the entire film. A partnership between Saito and Miles was brokered with dual intent: to find out exactly what happened to Mal and to learn how inception can be performed. So Ariadne is the architect, Miles is the dreamer, and Saito is the extractor. At the end Cobb is still inside. The similarity between his "real" children and the memorex version is too close for comfort. If I'm not mistaken the only other person to see his children during the film was Ariadne. I'm thinking that was the template she used in the final scene.
I like it! I have had that stuck in my craw as well - the idea that the dream Cobb ends in starts up somewhere in the middle. I think it makes more sense, actually, than what I was saying before.

So many good possibilities!

Two: the Hollywood pseudo-technology that bugs me more was this idea that many brains shared one dream, but that one dreamer controlled the dream, and yet a third person was the designer. It's all handy for putting the plot together and defining people's roles, but it's not so realistic.

So the timing thing - yeah, smells of BS. But it's just so cooooool! LOL! I mean, the movie is so good that I can allow the bad science.

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 5:09 PM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Two: the Hollywood pseudo-technology that bugs me more was this idea that many brains shared one dream, but that one dreamer controlled the dream, and yet a third person was the designer. It's all handy for putting the plot together and defining people's roles, but it's not so realistic.

So the timing thing - yeah, smells of BS. But it's just so cooooool! LOL! I mean, the movie is so good that I can allow the bad science

I've already tried to gut-shot Inception for bad neuroscience, i.e. our meaty minds can't really run at 8000 times normal speed. But no one will listen to me because I am cranky! Today it is rated #3 on the Top 250 Movies of All Time www.imdb.com/chart/top

I’m with Dana Stevens www.slate.com/id/2260582/ and Chris Orr www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/07/inception-summers-best-mos
t-disappointing-blockbuster/59855
/ in finding Inception a bit too hollow on an emotional level to really be great despite many admirable qualities. But what neither of them mentions is the strange political economy angle.

It’s clear that Saito really wants to see that competing conglomerate broken up. The events depicted in the film are not cheap. Instead of investing all that time, energy, and money in a longshot cinematic dream-busting effort, wouldn’t it make more sense to just launch a PR and lobbying campaign to get anti-trust authorities (or other regulators) to do the job? That’s all even perfectly legal. And the film makes it clear that Saito has a fair amount of political pull as is.



The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Monday, August 9, 2010 2:44 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


After watching a second time, I wondered if Murphy and Caine are the only carryovers Nolan brought from Batman. Anybody know?

The constructs as autonomous? No. Mal wreaks havoc everywhere, conspiring with Saito in the audition piece, shooting Fischer. If she is a construct of Cobb's, as Cobb thinks.

I had the impression that Cobb knew none of these characters in the real world but Miles, Mal, the kids. Everybody else is from after Mal gets him in trouble. If the "reality" level isn't, everybody else could be a construct.

Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:

Cobb's trickery of Mal and it's back firing and causing her death (he changed her totem to make her think she was in a dream


WHAAAAAT? That never happened. Does anybody else think this happened? Please explain this jump from script.
Quote:

so she jumps to kick herself into Reality (btw DiCaprio's anguish over her jumping was really well done imo), that works for me.




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Monday, August 9, 2010 4:23 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
I’m with Dana Stevens www.slate.com/id/2260582/ and Chris Orr www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/07/inception-summers-best-mos
t-disappointing-blockbuster/59855
/ in finding Inception a bit too hollow on an emotional level to really be great despite many admirable qualities.

I read that review too. I just don't agree. I thought Cobb and Mal's story was very emotionally engaging, and that was enough for me. Digging into every character would have been distracting. And then there's the possibility that none of the other characters have depth because they're not real...

Quote:

But what neither of them mentions is the strange political economy angle.

It’s clear that Saito really wants to see that competing conglomerate broken up. The events depicted in the film are not cheap. Instead of investing all that time, energy, and money in a longshot cinematic dream-busting effort, wouldn’t it make more sense to just launch a PR and lobbying campaign to get anti-trust authorities (or other regulators) to do the job? That’s all even perfectly legal.

Yes yes yes. But this argument can be made for every movie and TV show out there. At some point, you have to make peace with the fact that Hollywood is not realistic, that no movie worth watching would ever really happen. Especially not science fiction. Hey - I'm a writer and a scientist. I have to turn that shit off to some extent when I go in a theater, os I'll never watch a movie again.

And anyway, as much as the dream thing cost, the political path might have been more expensive, Saito's involvement in it would have known, and there would be no guarantee that he'd succeed. How has Apple done at forcing Microsoft to give up part of the market? Sure hasn't done shit through the kind of political means you're suggesting.


-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Monday, August 9, 2010 5:40 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
I thought Cobb and Mal's story was very emotionally engaging, and that was enough for me...

At some point, you have to make peace with the fact that Hollywood is not realistic, that no movie worth watching would ever really happen. Especially not science fiction. Hey - I'm a writer and a scientist. I have to turn that shit off to some extent when I go in a theater, or I'll never watch a movie again.

Mal and Cobb's story worked for me. But...

I have to watch a movie like Inception at the theater. Just turn my brain off and soak-up the experience. Seeing it on DVD would ruin it for me. Hitting the pause button on a vaguely realistic Hollywood movie is like pushing the plunger on a dynamite detonator -- destroys it for me.


Movies on DVD, where if I want I can stop them and analyze and restart, like Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, or Matrix 1 are the kinds of movies I enjoy without feeling any need to pick at their nits. But those are cartoonish, unlike Inception. I guess my tastes are immature. Or I need a shrink.

Try Five Ways of Looking at Inception www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/browbeat/archive/2010/07/20/five-ways-of-loo
king-at-inception.aspx


Try this review: www.aintitcool.com/node/45790 “Nolan makes one, small, somewhat pretentious, mistake in the film that undercuts its power and keeps it from attaining the level of brilliance it stands upon the precipice of achieving.”

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Monday, August 9, 2010 11:31 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
The constructs as autonomous? No. Mal wreaks havoc everywhere, conspiring with Saito in the audition piece, shooting Fischer. If she is a construct of Cobb's, as Cobb thinks.



Mal is a memory, or at least a construct from memory, not just something thats been made up. Cobb tells Ariadne that you don't use memories or real locations even though he has broken these rules himself. I took it that because she was a memory it made her stronger (dangerous?) and she could break through into the dreams featuring Cobb by using his guilt. Or something along those lines.

Quote:


After watching a second time, I wondered if Murphy and Caine are the only carryovers Nolan brought from Batman. Anybody know?



I know and I'm not telling.
Actually there is another. Murphy and Caine both appeared in both Batman movies and Ken Watanabe also played the 'fake' Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins.
Nolan seems to like using the same actors in different movies which has fed the speculation of who will appear in Batman 3. Joseph Gordon Levitt as The Riddler? Marion Cotillard as ??? (Poison Ivy maybe? Catwoman?). I even remember Empire magazine touted Ellen Page as Batgirl before Dark Knight was released.
We'll just have to wait and see.

As for the movie itself I wonder if Nolan will do a commentary on DVD/Blu-ray?
He's done one for all his other releases except Dark Knight (which had some pointless BD Live commentary).
It could confirm soooo much but it could also spoil, what to me is, the fun part of the movie. Talking about it after, sharing thoughts, ideas and theories. Do we really want a definitive answer??



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:53 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by two:

I have to watch a movie like Inception at the theater. Just turn my brain off and soak-up the experience. Seeing it on DVD would ruin it for me. Hitting the pause button on a vaguely realistic Hollywood movie is like pushing the plunger on a dynamite detonator -- destroys it for me.

I could own Inception, jsut so I could be free to look for all those little details. I think it'd stand up to several viewings. As did the Matrix, though I've worn that one out now. There's bits of dialogue that make me cringe.

But definitely the big visuals must be seen in the theater. The only movies I've gone out to see in the past year were Inception and Avatar, twice each. Because it just won't be so good on my little TV. Oh, and Knight and Day, but I was forced into that one. It was either Tom Cruise or the Twilight movie. *shudder* (sorry Twilight fans I just can't do it)

I've opened those links and will read them when I have more time. Very limited internet these days!



-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:24 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


I am back to attack Inception with another's comments because I'm cranky and soulless. I just can't appreciate great art:

Cliché and Pastiche in Inception
by Matt Yglesias http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/cliche-and-pastiche-in-incep
tion
/

LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers a criticism in the form of a question about Inception: “Why are the movie’s architectural settings, for the most part, so hackneyed?”

It seems to me that there’s a perfectly good answer to this question. As Hawthorne notes later in his piece, the reliance on cliché physical forms is of a piece with the film’s general repackaging of very familiar cinematic tropes:
Quote:

Christopher Nolan's hyper-complex psychological thriller doesn't just make architecture a central theme; the whole story hinges on the ability of architects to design buildings, neighborhoods and whole cities inside other people's dreams. Early on, Leonardo DiCaprio's brooding hero, Cobb, gives us reason to look forward to those invented worlds when he warns the young architect he's hired, Ariadne ( Ellen Page), that she should "never create places from memory" and "always imagine new places." (Sounds promising, right? Sounds like a manifesto! Sounds like the Bauhaus circa 1920!) In the same scene, Ariadne's skittish subconscious causes a whole section of Paris to fold deliriously in on itself, as if Baron Haussmann's grand boulevards had suddenly turned to rubber.

From then on, though, the architectural set pieces grow increasingly trite and familiar. The bulk of the dream sequences take place in the following spaces: on the streets of downtown Los Angeles, including a wide intersection in front of a Famima store; the inside of a van; a hotel room; hotel hallways; an elevator; an elevator shaft; and a quasi-Brutalist mountainside complex where, in the deep snow, you can make out the boot-prints of both James Bond and Jason Bourne.

We've seen all this before, haven't we? The infrastructural guts of the modern city as a setting for explosions, gunfights and increasingly manic race-the-clock scenarios? How many movie heroes have climbed atop an elevator, as the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt does? How many more have plotted an ingenious route through a building's air ducts? These places aren't new. They're architectural clichés, dredged up from Hollywood's collective memory bank. www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-architecture-inception-201008
08,0,6654866.story

This is just one of the film’s pet notions—that life inside the dreams of hardened psychics resembles action movie clichés in which vast quantities of heavily armed goons assault you with terrible aim. Similarly, near the beginning of the film you’re given a series of very cliché heist movie “getting the gang back together” scenes complete with Joseph Gordon-Levitt swearing he’s just trying to pull one last job. Whether you like this or not (my dad [the screenwriter] said the movie is “too postmodern” for him) being original by creating a pastiche made up of individual clichés is the whole movie and there's nothing in particularly different about its treatment of architecture.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:45 AM

LWAVES


That Hawthorne guy obviously didn't get the movie or the reason for the architecture styles in the dream levels.
It's purpose was that they didn't want Fischer to know he was dreaming until they told him. This means that each level had to look realistic to Fischers POV. If Ariadne had put the Eiffel Tower or the some other famous building in the LA chase scene Fischer would know it wasn't real. Same thing if they'd used fantastical architecture or physics (like the city folding over) that too would have told him something was wrong and the plan would have failed.

As for cliches then every single movie and TV show out there uses cliches, including Serenity. You can't escape it. The guy needs to loosen up a lot or stop watching movies.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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