TheTelevisedRevolution – Understanding Inception

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by InceptionEnding

in Inception Ending

“…There are so many theories circulating regarding the meaning of the film Inception. Upon my first viewing, my theory was solid in my mind during the warehouse scene in which Eames demonstrates to Arthur that he“musn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”

The entire film is a dream. Dom Cobb has been dreaming, and everyone in the film is a projection of his subconscious. Dom and Mal explored dream sharing, dreams within dreams, and she realized that even though they thought they woke up from several dream layers, she and Dom were still asleep. Until she jumped off the building. (She’s awake somewhere and waiting for him to wake up.)

The one thing that solidified this idea for me was the line that Mal (a projection of Dom’s subconscious at the time) uttered in the infamous hotel room: “No creeping doubts? Not feeling persecuted, Dom? Chased around the globe by fictitious corporations…” Even his own subconscious is trying to tell him he’s still dreaming.

Each character is an aspect of his own subconsciousness, of his identity. Ariadne is his most recent fragment, and throughout the film, her goal has been to expose Dom to the rest of the team, to himself, really. Think about it, Dom is the one who used “inception” on Mal to save her from the dream world. He’s clever enough to know deep down inside that he’s still dreaming. (But, I think Dom is okay with that in the end. He let Mal go, and he “returns” home and finally allows himself to be “reunited” with his children.)

But, really, this is just a theory. It’s my interpretation. Just as you look at a work of art and see and feel one thing, and I look at the same work of art and see and feel something else, Inception is a different experience for everyone. Even for Christopher Nolan.

Nolan is the artist, and as such, I’m inclined to think that in many ways, he is Dom Cobb. And, in many ways, we all are. Inception is our story. This is why Inception is so beautiful and brilliant. It’s a well-layered, emotionally resonant and relevant story, that’s universally relatable. (And, intellectually stimulating.) “If you’re going to do a massive movie, though, you’ve got to be able to unlock that more universal experience for yourself as well as for the audience.” –Christopher Nolan 2 This is the stuff artists dream of achieving.

After seeing the film a second time, something in my mind clicked, and a door unlocked on my vault of ideas. The door that had been locked (due to several of the aforementioned fears) was opened, and a small crash of waves of creativity washed ashore in my mind regarding my latest script. I realized something: The act of creating is something that I have no control over, and to attempt to control it is the equivalent of locking it away.

I believe the artist’s best way to create is to do so as if in a dream, to live in that moment of creating and perceiving as if in a dream, to allow the ideas to form naturally from the subconscious. I want to be standing in the center of that circle that Cobb drew for Ariadne when he explained how the mind performs when we dream.

That’s what Inception is about. Inception is a work of art reflective of Nolan’s desire to create and perceive simultaneously. “That’s the whole thing you’re trying to do: You’re literally presenting this thing in which you’ve put words into people’s mouths, and you’re trying to watch it as if you’re fresh to it.” –Christopher Nolan…”

Related posts:

  1. Volokh – Understanding Inception “…here’s an alternate understanding. Cobb, the guy whose dream we’re watching, is not in true Reality (level 0) a professional dreamer who can get into other people’s dreams. He’s just a regular guy having a very elaborate dream. And it happens to be a dream in which Cobb learns some...
  2. WeGotThisCovered – Dream A Little Bigger: A Guide To Understanding Inception “…12. So what happened at the end? The ending is the most confusing part of the film. There are a couple of theories as to what happened. The theories are as follows: 12a) Nothing Ever Happened The nothing ever happened ending is the simplest. Some people believe that nothing ever...
  3. Chicago Sun-Times – What the heck is ‘Inception’ about anyway? “1. The most straightforward interpretation: Saito hires Cobb and his team to plant an idea in Fischer’s mind. They succeed, and Cobb is rewarded with a trip home, where he is finally reunited with his children. He will never see his wife in his dreams again. The last scene is...
  4. 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....
  5. MovieFone – ‘Inception’ Ending and Theories: What Just Happened?! “…• So if it was a dream…? If it was real, of course, then there’s not a whole lot to strain your brain over. But if that top is still spinning on some cutting room floor, then a whole new slew of questions open up. Are the other members of...

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