Wow. I really have no idea where to even begin. This movie is easily one of my favorite movies of all time. And aside from the normal brain racking talk about how confusing it was, i found myself also amazed at the special effects and attention to detail. Going into the film i was prepared for, in cleaner terms, my mind to be screwed with. I thought it would have lots of confusing twists like Shutter Island which i also loved. The film did have many twists and turns but nothing, to me at least, was that hard to follow. After looking back on the movie, there are huge hints to certain ideas. I will get into later but, besides that, it wasn't a complete mind massacre.
The movie is simply about a man who is trained in a special kind of security(i know, movie quote). He can enter ones vulnerable state, the dream state, and find people's darkest secrets. In the beginning of the movie though, it seems that you can go into a dream of a dream. This is where people get lost at the beginning. Going deeper into dreams is much more dangerous, but can also pay off in the end and help you get what you are looking for. Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is the main guy. He is the best architect, the person who creates the dream for the dreamers to be in, that has ever lived. The problem though, is that he doesn't build the world anymore. You won't know why until the end but he is only apart of the dreams and can get any information he wants because he is extremely intelligent. Cobb is approached to do one final job. The job involves him convincing someone else to do something. Many think that this isn't possible because the person has to think it was their own idea. If someone tries to simply tell them within their dream, it would fall through and would never work. This is where the fun begins.
That's as far as i will go with about the actual story line. The special effects is something i would love to talk about. Their are some huge special effects that i find spectacular. First is how Ariadne, played by Ellen Page, takes her entire dream and folds it in half. Gravity still applies but at the same time they are walking on the ceiling of the world. Probably the most spectacular special effects are the zero-gravity scenes. The second dream they are in is being altered because of what's happening in the first dream. While the characters are in a hotel, a huge fight breaks out while there is no gravity at all. The fighting truly looks like there is no gravity. I realize that it's all wire work, but i want to recognize how well done these scenes were. The clothing, hair, and everything just seemed like it was floating in zero-gravity.
Acting was beautiful as always for these veteran actors and actresses. Sound was perfect in the huge IMAX theater i viewed it in. And the story telling was perfect. I didn't really know what else they could have done besides cut a little bit. The film was a tad bit long but hey, it was still life changing.
Theories: SPOILER ALERT
1. When you see the end, you wonder if they are in a dream or not. I have to say i really think they are in a dream and this is why. No top is going to spin that much and that long. Really though, they have to be stuck in a dream still. Cobb said that if they wake up while in the second dream with the drugs they had taken, would keep them imprisoned in their own minds. At the end of the film, the car he was in with Saito in the water, was sinking and they were still not alive. That means they had died in that dream and were both stuck in the dream world forever.
2. This kind of goes along with number one but is even crazier. The entire movie is one big dream. After Cobbs wife dies, he enter a permanent dream state and is stuck their forever. To try and explain everything to himself, he creates this entire elaborate life like he had in the real world. Mr. Saito was created by Cobb in his head so that Cobb would do all of this and finally be at peace within his mind.
Now you mind be wondering how i arrived at these conclusions. Well my friend at Inceptiontheories.com was great enough to write and article explaining everything i was thinking, almost exactly like i was thinking.
1) The children (of which I can’t find a single frame of online) at the end of the movie are in virtually the same position on the lawn as they were in Dom’s visions. They also seem to be wearing the same clothes.
2) The ages of the children are also noteworthy. Not only do they appear not to have aged from the last time Dom saw them, but there’s a moment when he’s on the phone with them and Phillipa sounds much older than she appears in these visions and at the end of the film. Of course, there is never a moment we’re told how much time has passed since Dom had to leave them, but this creates a seed of doubt (or should I say a seed of “inception”).
3) The chase in Mombasa and Saito’s (Ken Watanabe) timing. Here’s a scenario that seems directly out of a dream – an impossible chase, a tight squeeze and an improbable rescue.4) Saito’s interruption of Dom as he tries to spin the top in the bathroom. This was the one thing I kept going back to in my discussions about the movie and trying to convince others it was a dream. Dom never gets a chance to confirm he’s in reality as the top falls to the floor and never tries again after that. Are we in a dream or reality at this moment? We assume reality, but based on the rules set up by Nolan we don’t know for sure.5) Can you adopt someone else’s totem? The importance of totems is made quite clear and it’s also clear your totem should be kept to yourself and not shared. This makes me question Dom’s use of Mal’s (Marion Cotillard) throughout the entire movie. Saito spins it while the two are in shared limbo and it just keeps on spinning while falling elsewhere, but it’s not his totem. Can he get a false read from it? Or is it simply a matter of understanding a totem’s dream space design that gives the user an accurate read? This theory also opens the door to the final spin of the top… Does it spin forever? Does it fall? Does it matter?6) Ariadne’s (Ellen Page) immediate acceptance of shared dreaming can be looked at one of three ways – 1) a plot device you don’t get too upset about; 2) a plot hole meaning she accepts it quickly to save time; or 3) another example proving this is all a dream and the dreamer simply overlooks exposition and projects onto people the qualities necessary for the dream to continue.
To wrap this up, the movie was one of my all time favorite movies. It was beautifully done and completely original. It sucks though because i have recently been thinking of film ideas dealing with dreams and this just makes it so anything i create is compared to this! Hopefully i can think of something better.