ScreenRant – Michael Caine Says ‘Inception’ Ending Was No Dream

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by InceptionEnding

in Inception Ending

“…Everybody and their grandmother wanted to know what Christopher Nolan truly intended, specifically with his ending. Was Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, Cobb, still in the dream-world? Or was he in that weird half-sleep, half-awake state where gremlins sit on your chest and talk to you?

Now, Sir Michael Caine claims to have the inside-track. While promoting his new autobiography on BBC Radio’s The Chris Moyles Show, Caine said of Inception’s ending:

“[The spinning top] drops at the end, that’s when I come back on. If I’m there it’s real, because I’m never in the dream. I’m the guy who invented the dream.”

I don’t mean to be a stickler here, but anything Michael Caine says about Christopher Nolan’s intended meaning for Inception’s ending technically qualifies as heresy. And besides, every film critic—or professor of critical theory, for that matter—would happily tell you that it doesn’t matter one iota what the artist says his or her movie, book, play, painting, comic book, videogame, et cetera actually means. The author of the work is responsible for, at best, just one interpretation of said work. So just because Michael Caine says Christopher Nolan intended for Inception’s ending to exist in the real world, doesn’t make it so….”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Angelo October 10, 2010 at 3:37 am

If one would observe the stability and the sound of spin of the totem, it could be seen that the totem was about to stop when the film ended. Cutting the film while the totem’s spin was till uniform would confirm he’s in the dreamworld. But cutting it just a bit while it was going to stop would logically suggest he’s already in the actual world.


Sorta Single December 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

The ending seems irrelevant…it’s obviously a ploy and we don’t know if his totem falls or not.

All of this seems like we’ve missed the point…when DiCaprio and wife went into their extended dream state, how long were they there? They had kids when going into the dream state…he said they were there for 50 years? But, what does that mean? 50 “dream” years? How long is that in “our” reality? If it’s anywhere close, or not even close, the kids would be much, much older than his visions portray.


anonymous April 20, 2011 at 7:46 am

@angelo: when the totem spins in a dream it doesnt have to be stable, it just has to not fall.

@sorta: the extended dream state, limbo, is unconstructed dream space in which the time doesnt have a fixed value. you canNOT translate reality time to limbo time because it always varies. my opinion they had just slept for one night because everything seems normal when they woke.

and no, the ending isnt pointless because if the entire movie turn out to be a dream then the plot would have no meaning whatsoever


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