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Inception theorizing

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Inception theorizing

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LJ cut for those who haven't seen the movie and don't wish to be spoiled.

I've got a theory,

SO. My thought.
Cobb is definitely in a dream. His wife isn't there anymore- whether she's deceased or not is an academic question. If Cobb's in a dream, the question of the top falling over or not just after the camera cuts away becomes irrelevant-- because the only way we know that the top will fall over in reality is because one character in a dream mentions it to another.

The various members of the inception team, I have two thoughts. Either A: they're all aspects of Cobb's psyche (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as superego- which is why he and the awfully id-like Tom Hardy clash so... Ariadne as anima)- possibly excepting Saito, who would be the dreamthief who's coming to extract Cobb.
Or B: they're a team who've found their way down deep enough to snag Cobb's attention.

One thing that makes me think it's a dream, as well- notice how the closest Cobb comes to being harmed at any point is being washed up on a beach? Everybody else on the team gets the crap kicked out of them, and at least one dies (maybe two, if the Cillian Murphy character is a part of this extraction team). But Cobb? Completely unharmed, completely ignored by the projections in all 3 levels, despite his apparent intrusion.

It was an interesting film- I hope to stop mulling it around at some point in the near future.
  • You may enjoy http://www.trebleentendre.com/ItM/index.html Inception: The Musical.

    My sole contribution to theorizing:
    It's obvious that Cobb at least is dreaming when he is reunited with his children, because the kids are *exactly the same* as they were in his memories - same age, same outfits, same house, same position in the yard. That's not natural.
    • Though Nolan claims to have used different kids in that sequence.
    • Actually, I checked for that the second time I saw it. They actually are different kids. The full cast and credits lists "Phillipa (3 years)" and "Phillipa (5 years)", along with "James (20 months)" and "James (3 years)".

      The house being the same is completely natural; whoever's taking care of them in Cobb's absence (Michael Caine's wife, perhaps?) has no strong reason to sell the house and move away, and a decent reason to keep the kids there for some small sense of continuity and stability in their lives.

      • My suspicion is that the older actors are only used for the telephone call (i.e. audio only).
  • I like to believe that its all just a daydream of Michael Caine's character, musing about how he'd use the technology in his psych research.
    • That seems just a smidgen too turtles-all-the-way-down for me, but it's an intriguing conceit!
  • I heard a truly delightful (and likely; we'll get there) scenario.

    It is actually Nolan's dream about moviemaking.

    Note that the various members of the team are the director, the actor, the tech guy, etc.

    DiCaprio worked on the idea / script with Nolan and mentioned in passing that the movie it was most like was Fellini's 8 1/2. And then he goes ahead and plays Nolan.

    And a movie is a director's dream that he shares with the audience and then we wake up. All sorts of plausible symmetry; if you are too clumsy about breaking the fourth wall, for instance, the audience "wakes up" and can be jerked out of the story.

    (As for the top, it wasn't his, creating even further confusion on that front.)

    I love that it was such a great movie AND begins so very many great conversations.
    • Well yeah, any film is at least somewhat autobiography for the author, like any other work of fiction. Sticking to the internal logic of the film, though... I dunno, there's a lot of loose ends with the theory this is intended to explicitly be Nolan about Nolan's moviemaking.

      Add in that he first pitched the script immediately after Memento and...
  • http://inception.davepedu.com/
    • Unfortunately (and I've tried repeatedly), dead link.

      (yeah, it's working now)

      Edited at 2011-01-08 07:58 am (UTC)
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