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Christopher Nolan's thriller about the architecture of the mind
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Noodle
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Jul 20, 2010 3:29 pm

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/07/17/%E2%8 ... on-ending/

http://chud.com/articles/articles/24477 ... Page1.html

These two have been where I've seen the most interesting discussion about the film. I'm still a little unsure of the film as a whole as I suppose I was expecting more from it due to having been looking forward to it for so long. I still think it's an awesome film, I just think I need to go and see it again.

What are your thoughts about how to interpret the film?
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Jul 20, 2010 3:53 pm

Noodle wrote:http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/07/17/%E2%8 ... on-ending/

http://chud.com/articles/articles/24477 ... Page1.html

These two have been where I've seen the most interesting discussion about the film. I'm still a little unsure of the film as a whole as I suppose I was expecting more from it due to having been looking forward to it for so long. I still think it's an awesome film, I just think I need to go and see it again.

What are your thoughts about how to interpret the film?
Welcome to the EPO board Noodle :D I saw Inception last Friday and am going again today. I've read a lot of articles since so I think I'll catch more of the plot this time. The best news article for explanation for me is here:
http://www.ellenpage.org/press/index.php?news=2780 - but (for others) DO NOT READ IT IF YOU'VE NOT SEEN THE FILM.

I'll get back to you after I see it again but I really enjoyed it although I've not sorted out my thoughts yet :yellowink:
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Jul 20, 2010 4:07 pm

That was a very interesting interview, but it is odd the degree to which all of this speculation can be taken. It's really hard to decide how to interpret it as the film has a satisfying result from any number of different ones.
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Jul 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Noodle wrote:That was a very interesting interview, but it is odd the degree to which all of this speculation can be taken. It's really hard to decide how to interpret it as the film has a satisfying result from any number of different ones.
Thanks for sharing the articles, Noodle and Jim. Having seem Inception twice already while on vacation.....I think Noodle sumsw everything up in the last sentence :super: Although I think Inception is an awesome movie....well developed story-wise and character-wise....and as Ellen mentioned in an interview "Inception is complicated, but not confusing"....
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Jul 22, 2010 10:27 pm

Just got back from seeing it for the 2nd time and to be honest, my perception of the ending has completely changed. Be warned, spoilers ahead.

Firstly:
I thought that the end, from Cobb waking up on the plane to the the very final shot, was all a dream, the rest being reality (with the obvious dream sections)

Now:
The end is clearly reality. Not sure how I missed it but, the fact that he sees the kids faces, the spinning top loses pace and the fact that Saito DID say "One phonecall from me and you will be free." clears up any problems I had.

The one problem I face now though is:
When Fischer is shot my Mal in the snow fortress, Cobb and Ariadne go into limbo to retrieve him, but how do they get there? Because it looks to me as if they entered it through Cobb's dream which is impossible right? And if that was limbo, why did Cobb wake up on the beach again when he went to retrieve Saito? This makes it seem like he died in his dream, sending him to limbo to retrieve Saito, but he was already in limbo. And when you die in limbo, you go back to reality. This has been irritating me for ages now.
In the country dead bodies live in swamps and ditches and shallow graves. A man dumps the body of a girl in a ditch. The body rotts melts into slime. Flowers pop up where the body lies, seeds fly out of the flowers and a bee sucks the flowers and makes honey. Then the family of the girl buys the honey from the store. And the family eats the girl.
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Jul 22, 2010 10:54 pm

GiveHimTheKick wrote: Now:
The end is clearly reality. Not sure how I missed it but, the fact that he sees the kids faces, the spinning top loses pace and the fact that Saito DID say "One phonecall from me and you will be free." clears up any problems I had.
I agree with you too, having seen it a second time - but I'm also OK with it being ambiguous, everyone can choose thier own ending.

Welcome to EPO GiveHimTheKick. :waving: There is also an off-topic area if you want to check it out: http://board.ellen-page.net/viewtopic.p ... &start=400
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Jul 23, 2010 12:30 am

I also just got back from my second viewing and I'm more convinced that the whole thing is a dream. There were a few clues earlier in the film and the general disability to trust Cobb's totem for multiple reasons makes me doubt its effectiveness thereby making all of the others void.

A couple of things that I noticed in the film that seemed a bit off though were: When Ellen and Leo are talking outside of the Cafe, the continuity with her mucks up a couple of times - when she leans forwards and back, and when she puts her hand to her hair. When Saito is in the "first" level of the dream after being shot and he's lying down, you can see a pad or something under his shirt that looked unintentional. When Arthur was shooting out of the window and Eames uses the grenade launcher did the geography of that seem off to anyone else? There wasn't an outside establishing shot and the way it was done just seemed like they were firing at the wrong place (could have been because of that).

Then a couple of intentional things that I hadn't noticed: Even Alfred (Caine - Miles, etc) was wearing the same clothes as before, not just the children. And when Leo and his wife wake up from their experiment in limbo, having been hit by the train, they only go up one level (which could've just been to save time or for dramatic effect, but still seemed interesting as she doubted that it was reality).

Any other interesting things that you guys noticed or thought about?
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Jul 23, 2010 12:19 pm

I too noticed Miles' clothes, but just pushed it aside. Besides, I think his shirt was maybe slightly different? Also, with the cafe scene, when the explosions start going off, the people seem to freeze.
In the country dead bodies live in swamps and ditches and shallow graves. A man dumps the body of a girl in a ditch. The body rotts melts into slime. Flowers pop up where the body lies, seeds fly out of the flowers and a bee sucks the flowers and makes honey. Then the family of the girl buys the honey from the store. And the family eats the girl.
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Jul 24, 2010 4:55 pm

Finally got the time to see it last night. Brilliant! The best part of it was watching the audience- literally on the edge of their seats. The flutter of girls murmuring at the loveless heartache. Finally the end, applause and speculation. I haven't seen that in a very long time. Everyone was talking about it while walking out of the theatre.

I must see it a second time.
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Jul 24, 2010 6:49 pm

I've only ever seen an audience applaud at the end of a film once, and depressingly it's one of the worst films I've ever seen - 2012. I think (hope) whoever started clapping was doing it as a joke. I did enjoy in both my viewings of Inception the reaction of the audience at the end as it goes black.
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Jul 24, 2010 9:37 pm

Noodle wrote:I've only ever seen an audience applaud at the end of a film once, and depressingly it's one of the worst films I've ever seen - 2012. I think (hope) whoever started clapping was doing it as a joke. I did enjoy in both my viewings of Inception the reaction of the audience at the end as it goes black.
The reaction at the end was very interesting, no one clapped, although I've seen clapping with great movies. Everyone just went "OOOOOOOOOOO", some with a slight laughing sound, some with shock, and some didn't make a sound. Literally everyone was trying to make sense of it walking out of the theatre, I like how it did that.
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Jul 24, 2010 11:03 pm

Anyone seen the bootleg on YouTube? Filmed to capture the audience's reaction, I think it's been removed now but they went insane. It was at a midnight showing and all you could hear was screaming, laughing, and one bloke at the back yelling "WHAT THE F-... AWESOME!"
In the country dead bodies live in swamps and ditches and shallow graves. A man dumps the body of a girl in a ditch. The body rotts melts into slime. Flowers pop up where the body lies, seeds fly out of the flowers and a bee sucks the flowers and makes honey. Then the family of the girl buys the honey from the store. And the family eats the girl.
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Jul 29, 2010 7:41 am

JimH wrote:
GiveHimTheKick wrote: Now:
The end is clearly reality. Not sure how I missed it but, the fact that he sees the kids faces, the spinning top loses pace and the fact that Saito DID say "One phonecall from me and you will be free." clears up any problems I had.
I agree with you too, having seen it a second time - but I'm also OK with it being ambiguous, everyone can choose thier own ending.

Welcome to EPO GiveHimTheKick. :waving: There is also an off-topic area if you want to check it out: http://board.ellen-page.net/viewtopic.p ... &start=400
Okay I just saw it a second time as well, and similar to you two I'm completely on board with the ending being reality. I could actually go into massive deal right now explaining in complete depth why, but I won't.
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Aug 06, 2010 7:51 am

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh my God... I need a hamburger phone hahaha.
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Aug 19, 2010 4:12 am

I think the ending from my point of view is reality for a variety of reasons. But more importantly, the ending is reality from Cobb's point of view. He overcomes the guilt over Mal, escapes persecution from corporations and police forces, finally sees his kids' faces, and does not care about spinning top anymore. I consider this the third Inception in the movie:

Inception #1: Cobb performs on Mal, "Your world IS NOT real"
Inception #2: Cobb and his team perform on Fischer, "You must be your own man and break up your father's empire"
Inception #3: Cobb performs on himself, "Your world IS real"
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Aug 25, 2010 12:57 pm

First off, I'm really surprised this thread only got 15 replies so far while the recent "Six Degress" thread has already 50 of them. I mean, c'mon. This movie gives you plenty to talk about because there are so many ways to interpret various things.

I watched it twice (in German and in Englisch) and I really enjoyed it. Furthermore, I'm probably going to see it a third time in drive-in cinema soon. It's a great movie and definitely one of the most complex ever made. I can't say how proud and happy I am that Ellen is a part of it. It was the right choice to join this mind-blowing project. I will add a movie rating on EPO in the next few days, but, to be honest, I'm undecided if I should give it a straight 10 or not. Here are some points and inconsistencies that I haven't been able to clarify yet:

The phone call by Cobb's children

In the beginning of the movie, Cobb gets a call from his children while staying in the hotel in Japan. Given that he is one of the most wanted men/fugitives, how is it possible his children know where to catch him, but the rest of the world don't? I would assume his home is under constant surveillance by the US government, so he would reveal his current location by leaving a phone number.

Bodyguards

We all know Fischer jr. spontaneously takes the 747 due to the "unplanned and unexpected" maintenance of his executive jet. How it comes that such a rich person and beneficiary of a huge business empire travels without any bodyguards or companions. Okay, the story won't work if he's under protection in the "real world", but the whole things just seems a little weird to me.

The mission

How did Cobb and Saito know that the idea has been planted into Fischer's mind and the mission was successful? Both were already in limbo when Fischer returns to the third dream level and finally enters the vault in the snow fortress. It's very likely that Eames was able to protect him and helped him to make it, but there is neither a gurantee for this nor a way for Cobb and Saito to find it out. Nonetheless, Saito immediately makes the promised call after waking up. Now the question is, did they return to the first level (Yusuf's dream) after shooting themselves in limbo (since the other levels are already collapsed), so they met the other team members and learned what happened? That would be the only plausible explanation.

Cobb's new life

I guess Saito is a very powerful man and able to fix Cobb's legal problems with a simple call. Who knows, maybe he makes some files of the inquiry go missing or simply buy a judgment. But what's up with the people who know what happened, probably still assume Cobb is Mal's murder or hunt him for several reasons like the people from corporations around the world. He has no evidences to proof his innocence, can't make them change their minds or undo what he did in the past years (steal ideas from others). Even if he is with his children again, is this really a happy ending? Is he able to begin a new life without being afraid that antagonists find him one day?

The Time-Factor

During the first training session we learn one hour in the dream state (first level) is equal to 5 minutes in the real world. They start the inception during a 10 hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. The entirety of the 10 hours translates to 1 week in the first dream level. What did Arthur, Ariadne, Eames, Yusuf and Fischer jr. do after leaving the sinking van? How did they get out? Did they simply wait for the time to count down and the PASIV device to wake them up? Due to the special strong sedative, they couldn't kill themselves without going to Limbo, so this is actually an interesting question, I think.

I ask this because they stayed in the first dream level for not more than a few hours (= only a few minutes in real life). I don't know if this is the way they've planned it - I would say 'no' since they didn't expect Fischer's projections to be agressive - but I remember they said they need some time (i.e. several hours) for the inception. Is it possible to see the scheduled time at the PASIV device when the stewardess activates it?! I really would like to know how long they planned to stay in the dream state in the first place.

Hope it makes any sense what I'm asking. It is not really easy to put it in words :rolleye:
HeartHer wrote:The reaction at the end was very interesting, no one clapped, although I've seen clapping with great movies. Everyone just went "OOOOOOOOOOO", some with a slight laughing sound, some with shock, and some didn't make a sound. Literally everyone was trying to make sense of it walking out of the theatre, I like how it did that.
I experienced a similar reaction :) The whole audience was moaning with pleasure which showed they were really into it and hoped for a final conclusion :laugh: Does the top fall or keep spinning...we'll never know, although there are people who claim if you stay through the credits, you can hear the clinking of the top falling :D
Glee Plane wrote:I think the ending from my point of view is reality for a variety of reasons. But more importantly, the ending is reality from Cobb's point of view. He overcomes the guilt over Mal, escapes persecution from corporations and police forces, finally sees his kids' faces, and does not care about spinning top anymore.
Exactly, Cobb no longer cares about whether or not it is reality - that is the reality he wants to accept. However, there are a few indicators that, I think, give you a clue. Just take a look at the color of the shoes of Cobb's children throughout the movie or try to find out in which moments he wears a wedding band :yellowhappy: Or consider it this way: The train in the streets of the first level created by Cobb shows that he can barely control his thoughts. If the "reality" is just another dream why did Mal never appear there? Cobb has a few flashbacks while he talks to his children on the phone or in the bathroom after trying Yusuf's sedative, but we never see her in person.
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Aug 25, 2010 3:05 pm

Dominik wrote:In the beginning of the movie, Cobb gets a call from his children while staying in the hotel in Japan. Given that he is one of the most wanted men/fugitives, how is it possible his children know where to catch him, but the rest of the world don't? I would assume his home is under constant surveillance by the US government, so he would reveal his current location by leaving a phone number.
Cobb told Miles that "extradition between France and United States is a bureaucratic nightmare", hence I assumed that is also the case between Japan and US. So it's not that easy to catch Cobb outside the US.
Dominik wrote:We all know Fischer jr. spontaneously takes the 747 due to the "unplanned and unexpected" maintenance of his executive jet. How it comes that such a rich person and beneficiary of a huge business empire travels without any bodyguards or companions. Okay, the story won't work if he's under protection in the "real world", but the whole things just seems a little weird to me.
I noticed this as well. One plausible explanation is that since Saito bought the whole airline, he might have manipulated some things to make sure only Fischer Jr. boarded the 747.
Dominik wrote:How did Cobb and Saito know that the idea has been planted into Fischer's mind and the mission was successful? Both were already in limbo when Fischer returns to the third dream level and finally enters the vault in the snow fortress. It's very likely that Eames was able to protect him and helped him to make it, but there is neither a gurantee for this nor a way for Cobb and Saito to find it out. Nonetheless, Saito immediately makes the promised call after waking up. Now the question is, did they return to the first level (Yusuf's dream) after shooting themselves in limbo (since the other levels are already collapsed), so they met the other team members and learned what happened? That would be the only plausible explanation.
I think both Cobb and Saito had to take "leap of faith" that the Inception job was successful. Since I'm not sure how long Cobb took in limbo to find Saito, I don't know whether they returned to the first level or directly back to the airplane. Either way though they still had to take "leap of faith".
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Aug 25, 2010 5:17 pm

Dominik wrote:The Time-Factor

During the first training session we learn one hour in the dream state (first level) is equal to 5 minutes in the real world. They start the inception during a 10 hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. The entirety of the 10 hours translates to 1 week in the first dream level. What did Arthur, Ariadne, Eames, Yusuf and Fischer jr. do after leaving the sinking van? How did they get out? Did they simply wait for the time to count down and the PASIV device to wake them up? Due to the special strong sedative, they couldn't kill themselves without going to Limbo, so this is actually an interesting question, I think.

I ask this because they stayed in the first dream level for not more than a few hours (= only a few minutes in real life). I don't know if this is the way they've planned it - I would say 'no' since they didn't expect Fischer's projections to be agressive - but I remember they said they need some time (i.e. several hours) for the inception. Is it possible to see the scheduled time at the PASIV device when the stewardess activates it?! I really would like to know how long they planned to stay in the dream state in the first place.
Yes - this is troubling me now :ohman: :ohman: They seemed to be in the first level dream for less perceived time than they actually were on the flight. How can that be? The only way it can be so is if our original assumptions were incorrect. Either the time correspondence (10 hours: 1 week, etc.) is actually incorrect (unlikely since the weight of evidence is against it) or the flight was not in fact "reality".
Then which state was our reference to "reality"?? I thought I knew, but now I'm not sure :purpleconfused:
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Aug 25, 2010 9:06 pm

Glee Plane wrote:Cobb told Miles that "extradition between France and United States is a bureaucratic nightmare", hence I assumed that is also the case between Japan and US. So it's not that easy to catch Cobb outside the US.
I'm not familiar with the international extradition laws :sweating2: :laugh: But even if this is a problem, the USA could send a special force or a secret agent to catch him (just like in "Catch me if you can" :dielaughing: ) :hey:
Glee Plane wrote:I think both Cobb and Saito had to take "leap of faith" that the Inception job was successful. Since I'm not sure how long Cobb took in limbo to find Saito, I don't know whether they returned to the first level or directly back to the airplane. Either way though they still had to take "leap of faith".
Good point, especially because this is the basic message of the movie. Also consider this from Saito's perspective - Cobb came to rescue Saito because he still wanted him to keep his promise (phone call).
JimH wrote:Yes - this is troubling me now :ohman: :ohman: They seemed to be in the first level dream for less perceived time than they actually were on the flight. How can that be? The only way it can be so is if our original assumptions were incorrect. Either the time correspondence (10 hours: 1 week, etc.) is actually incorrect (unlikely since the weight of evidence is against it) or the flight was not in fact "reality".
Then which state was our reference to "reality"?? I thought I knew, but now I'm not sure :purpleconfused:
Yeah, this is a tricky thing. Maybe they have started the inception a few hours after the take off. But this is all speculative. In this context, I'm also wondering if the rest of the team woke up at the same time as Cobb and Saito or did these two stay longer in the dream world because of being in limbo. There is only one thing we know for sure: When Cobb wakes up, the stewardess asks if he wants a hot towel and immigration forms because they will be landing in 20 minutes. This means they had at least 9.5 hours to complete their mission.

Next question; Cobb wakes up unattached to Saito, which means the PASIV device has apparently been removed by the stewardess a while ago. Probably to make sure Fischer jr. didn't see it. But is it possible to "share" a dream with someone if there is no dream machine connecting you. I think this question has never been answered throughout the movie. Perhaps it was Saito's projection of Cobb who convinced him to take a "leap of faith" :purpleconfused: Oh, Mr. Nolan, what have you done with our minds :panic:

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