TimCourtois – The end of INCEPTION: What does it mean?!?!

by InceptionEnding

in Inception Ending

“…I tell you that the true meaning behind the ending is what it tells us about ourselves.  I saw the movie the second night it was out.  When the screen cut to black at the very end, the whole audience GASPED.  I talked with a friend who saw it on opening night and the audience’s response was the same.

I suggest to you that the true genius of Inception’s ending is contained within that collectivegasp: It’s an instinctive, emotional response from those who see the movie, and that response tells us something about ourselves: That no matter how much our culture tells us that truth doesn’t matter, something inside of us still says that it does.  Our heads may buy into the idea that truth doesn’t matter, that one truth is as good as another.  But in the end, our hearts will betray our longing for something real.

At the end, Cobb decides that he doesn’t care anymore if he’s in reality or a dream: He leaves his totem behind and runs to his kids.  But THE AUDIENCE ISN’T WITH HIM.  The audience is back at the table, saying, “Wait!  What about the top!?!?”

If you go to see the movie, and you hear – as I did – a collective gasp when the screen cuts to black, know that you are surrounded by people who, whatever they may sayabout truth, long in their heart of hearts for an ending to their story that is not merely happy, but also true.


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  2. Kotaku – Did Video Games Help Me Accept Inception’s Ending? “…The struggle people are having with the ending is sorting out what the next moment would be after the final scene. The final scene of the film makes it clear that one of two possible events will happen next. Some Inception viewers are convinced that event A will happen; others...
  3. MattOnACarPhone – My Interpretation of the Inception Ending “…Analytically, despite several smaller themes throughout the 148 minutes, the over-arching theme, to me, is that of blurring the line between perception and reality. Cobb’s sub-conscious projection of Mal, a character who appears in almost every dream, is obviously not real in the sense that she is a living breathing...
  4. RevolvingDoorProject – INCEPTION: Wait.. What happened? “…Was Cobb dreaming or was he not dreaming? Why did Nolan choose to not show the top, and keep the ending open for interpretation? The answer to the second question is simple. He didn’t keep the ending open. It’s a trap! …After multiple viewings of Memento, Nolan doesn’t seem like...
  5. Entertainment Weekly: Let’s talk about that ending That top could’ve fallen the split second before the screen went to black and I’d have been just as happy with it. Yet, I can’t help but obsess over the fact that it was a mystery left for us to discuss. So PopWatchers, over to you: Was Cobb dreaming or...

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Daniel August 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

That was the best version of the It-doesn’t-matter argument that I’ve seen – particularly about the camera staying with the top and not following Cobb.


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