Wednesday, August 11, 2010

INCEPTION Ending Explained!

SPOILER ALERT! The following is the worst kind of spoiler, and if you're someone who has waited even longer than I to see Inception, then stop reading, because this will ruin the whole damn thing for you. It just will. Go read something else. See you next time.

Caught this Inception thing last night, all by myself, because I couldn't convince my friend to see a "scary movie". It's actually a suspense picture - specifically a cross-breed between The Matrix and Oceans 11.

Okay, so the very last shot of Inception, a spinning top, is supposed to be at least a little ambiguous. If the top stops spinning, we are told, it indicates the scene is reality. If it spins perpetually, it's a dream. Director Christopher Nolan pans over to the top and then cuts away mid-spin, thus throwing into doubt the whole happy ending. Does Cobb reunite with his children? I mean really? No.

And screw the top.

The reason you know this is still a dream is because Cobb's children haven't aged a day since his last image of them. In fact his memory of those kids is exactly the shot we see at the end. Thus the whole implausible adventure takes place in Cobb's brain, and God only knows if that backstory about the wife isn't a dream also.

Speaking of her, there's another indication - Marion Cotilliard played Edith Piaf in a movie, and the song that the extractors are using is an Edith Piaf song... I mean, come on. Reportedly Nolan picked the song first and considered changing it when he cast Cotilliard as the wife, but Hans Zimmer convinced him to keep it. All signs point to dream!

Of course, all this is a moot point if I just DREAMED I SAW INCEPTION. Or if you're dreaming that you're reading this. Though you're not, because you don't exist. Or do you? Oh hell, whatever. I'm gettin' lunch.


  1. Am I the only one that thought Ellen Page was a horrible choice? All of the other roles were perfectly matched, hers still has me scratching my head.

  2. ahhh. I really wanted to like this film more than I did. When it started turning into a James Bond/Star Wars snow shoot out I was disappointed. Glad you pointed out the children are just a memory part, I think everyone was so focused on "is the top spinning, or not?" that it became hard to figure out.
    Ellen Page was an odd choice. And I got the Marion Cotilliard/Edith Piaf song thing right away.
    It kept me thinking for weeks though. I just wish it had not deteriorated so much...

  3. I understand that neither Page nor Cotillard were the first choices for the parts, though I'm a fan of both and they didn't bother me at all.