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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Must see movies: 'Inception', life is but a dream?

By Briana Booker

Inception is about a convoluted dream-within-a-dream-ad-infinitude storyline. But what is it trying to declare?

Director Christopher Nolan is demanding of his audience as he mind bends them for more than 2 hours of film footage! The film is spectacular in both visual effect and brain teasers! What is really the reality? Does reality really exist or is it truly a figment of our imagination?

Have not we all had those dreams we never wanted to wake up from? Have we all mistaken dreams for 'reality' until we wake up realizing it was all a dream?

What Nolan seems to desire of his audience is for us to think. He does not want to make up the ending...Nolan wants viewers to do so, plotting his own inception in the hearts and minds of movie goers!

Since we are thinking and in question mode, let us talk about  what 'actually' happened.

What is with the ending?
When expert mind-thief Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally reunites with his kids, it creates a triple twist ending in just a few seconds before the film suddenly halts.

Out of habit, Cobb spins his top, which is his touchstone to reality. In dreams it spins endlessly.  Does it fall or does it spin forever? Real or a dream?

•  If it was a dream...?
 Are the other members of Cobb's team figments of his subconscious, or are they sharing the dream with him? If they are constructs, does that mean everyone is a construct, even Cobb's wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) and his kids? And if it is a dream, whose dream is it ?
Cobb's dream, or is this dream another architect's design?

Is Cobb the real target?
 Yes, the plot revolves around Cobb's mission to implant an idea in the mind of a business man, Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy. But could Cobb be the real target of inception?

It is possible.

Some things that are suggestive of this possibility is based on multiple characters telling Cobb to take a leap of faith and repetitively warning Cobb if he does not he will become an old man,filled with regret, waiting to die alone. This idea, through out the film, is being placed in Cobb's mind at the same time he tries to pull off his own inception scheme on Fischer.

Is Cobb still in limbo?
Mal (Latin for evil), constantly in the dream begs Cobb to leave the dream world to join her. She demanded the same request when she took her own leap of faith. But Cobb still believes Mal was mistaken, leading her to an accidental suicide.

Could Mal be right? Possible when you ask the following:
  1. Why does Fischer end up in Cobb's limbo?
  2. How was Cobb's subconscious able to carefully construct dreams they were visiting? How, Cobb was never the architect of those dreams...Adriadne(Ellen Page) constructed the design. 
Cobb should not have been able to construct or populate anything in the dream. Remember Fischer is labeled the dreamer for most of the film. Fischer, Cobb, Mal are the characters that went into limbo.

But if in limbo, this limbo should be created by Ariadne. However, Ariadne never designed extremely in depth versions  of her dream design. So, limbo happenings are more likely populated by Fischer's subconscious...unless the dream was a blank slate. Yet Fischer and Siato end up strangely inside the same version of limbo created in Cobb's dream. This should not have happened, unless Cobb is the one dreaming.

The ultimate question is whether Mal is still alive.

 If Cobb is still stuck in his dream, it means one of two things: either he and Mal are both still dreaming and have yet to wake up from their initial experiment or they have woken up only for Cobb's mind to have become permanently lost.

No matter the case, Mal would still be alive. This justifies her actions through the film

In either case, Mal would still be alive, which may explain her actions throughout the film. She might be the actual heroine of the film. She may be using inception to wake Cobb up.  This explains why she never tries to kill Cobb as she does to the other dreamers. Cobb would have to be persuaded to kill himself or take a leap of faith. In the real world he would eventually die alone because she will be awake while Cobb remains to sleep.

  If this is true, then the whole movie is really Mal's complex attempt to trick Cobb into thinking the idea of committing suicide and waking  up is  the only way for Cobb to realize his own idea. But this attempt undoubtedly fails.

But overall, Inception has no definitive answer. Everyone has to decide their own truth. You must take your own journey in your own mind to find your own find your greatest achievement.

Go see Inception. You will not be disappointed.

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