“As the film comes to its conclusion. Dom gets what he wants and settles in to live happily ever after. He resolves his issues deep in his subconscious and emerges purged of the ties that bound him into a dream world of recurring guilt and pain.
Here, perhaps, is the key to the film. It’s not about anything.
Heists, whatever. Inception. Dream-Sharing. Nothing. It’s all made up. NONE of it is real.
It’s actually the story of Dom Cobb’s mind dealing with the pain of his wife’s suicide.
His wife, played by Marion Cotillard – her name is ‘Mal’. That means ‘bad’ in French. An unusual name, to be sure. Highly doubt that the short form of ‘Malvina’ would be played by a French actress. Perhaps this coincidence is a bit too rich to ignore.
The guilt and pain that Dom endures after her suicide death is the hurdle that he must overcome. The entire film is about getting him to that point, from within his subconscious.
The hero of this story is no hero at all. All the heavy lifting of the actual heist is done by support characters. Cobb is pretty much along for the ride. His ultimate journey succeeds in only one thing – a clear pathway back to his children. The way in which a mind clears away what has been dragging it down to see what’s most important in life.
In Cobb’s ‘memories’, his house and children are unchanged from the film’s final moments, when he finally gets to see them again. His children haven’t aged, their hair hasn’t grown or been cut, nor has the furniture in his house been rearranged or collected dust. This, apparently after years on the run doing heist after heist.
It would make sense if these years were inside a dream state, created by a man trying to escape harsh reality, dealing with his wife’s suicide by dissolving into a booze and drug-fuelled state. The i/v use, the trips to seedy dives and empty warehouses, all point to subconscious clues of a man hitting the skids. Or, it could, quite literally, just all be a dream.
In this way, then, the emotional truth and clarity of Cobb finally seeing his children’s faces again, the faces that remind him of his dead wife, is satisfying conclusion to this extraordinary journey of the mind.”
- Film School Rejects – The Kicker: 3 Explanations for ‘Inception’ “…What follows is three different explanations for the film. You can decide how correct any or all of them are. The Jungian Archetypes Rich Knight at CinemaBlend offers a great portrait at what the characters of the film may represent personally to Dom Cobb by using the age-old Jungian archetypes....