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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Permanent Damage - Aug 4, 2010

    Steven Grant returns to CBR to help divine the absolutely true real truth about "Inception." Plus: some praise for this year's Comic-Con, a few words about "Ditkomania" and a call to kill the coming new draft.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Retro315's Avatar
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    Absolutely correct.

    I first realized that all his "accomplices" in the heist were constructs when I realized just who they were. Each character represents an aspect of his psyche - but more than that, they take on the characteristics of his interests.

    Arthur is the key to the "heist" scene, in the "office building". True to form, he dresses like a 1930's bank robber. Like John Dillinger or something.

    Yves is the key to the "assault" scene. He's like a carbon copy of an American's James Bond fantasy - he's good looking and a perfect action hero, but like the cultural representation you also find in the States ... he's also slightly effeminate - a constant thing you tend to hear about Brits over here.

    Ariadne? Honestly ... do you know anyone in real life who serves as your own personal conscience?

    That isn't to say they aren't involved in shared dreaming at the behest of Miles in the "real world" somewhere. Because Arthur's love of slick, Ocean's Eleven capers ... Yves love of James Bond ... and Ariadne's love of ... I don't know ... Harry Potter-style "finding new things while exploring seemingly normal places" and the typical "nosey girl" cliche ... could be constructs of their own making, being broadcast into Cobb's experience. But it seems more likely that they're characters Cobb created himself. In real dreams ... people tend to be amalgamations or blurs of multiple people you really know.

    Each of them fits that description. Even Saito.
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  3. #3
    Mr. Sensitive himself theorphan's Avatar
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    I think finding an interpretation that works for you and helps you enjoy the "catharsis" of the movie is really the important thing. I'm sure Nolan had an idea of the truth in his mind, but that does not mean that my interpretation or your interpretation is wrong. Inception is about film making and realizing the importance of emotion and catharsis even when it is fabricated. In movies, all emotion is fabricated, yet I still cry at the end of Forrest Gump every time I watch it. For Fischer, finding the pinwheel in his dad's safe gave him catharsis and even though it was fabricated, the emotion was still real to him. Leonardo confronting Mal or finally seeing his children's faces was fabricated or real (depending how you view the story), yet the emotions involved are no less real to him. As a member of the audience, I felt for Fischer, I felt for Cobb, and even though they are completely figments of Nolan's imagination, their emotions are no less important to me. That is what Inception was about, incepting a fabricated emotion into our minds, and it worked beautifully.

  4. #4
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    Certainly fits. The movie certainly raises the question of whether it was ALL a dream, but the kids are wearing different clothes in the last scene. I hadn't connected all the dots but had much the same idea.

    "the rules" constantly reiterated not only as an expositional gimmick for the audience but to constantly reinforce them in Cobb's mind.
    Sounds like something Nolan would do. Remember Sammy Jankis?

  5. #5
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    I prefer the "caper film" version. Though this interpretation is interesting. I feel like the end of the film is intended to force the audience to make up their own minds about what was real and what wasn't. That's why the top falters yet continues to spin. The top is Mal's and that's a good point, but they're a married couple so it's not unreasonable to think that Cobb would also use it as his totem and know it well.

    I went from thinking that Mal and the children then just the children were "inceptions" themselves and it was ALL in Cobb's head. If he had come out of the dream in Miles' basement or something and then went up to see his kids, that would remove the ambiguity and cement Mr. Grant's interpretation of the film which I do not think is Nolan's intent...that there's ONE meaning and ONE truth of the film. Which is why, for me, the caper is the truth. I'd be less than satisfied otherwise. I'd have spent hours getting to know characters (people) that are not at all real leaving me feeling cheated. In most cases, the projections don't speak and the ones that do are usually well known by the individual whose dream they're walking around in. Which could indicate that should Mr. Grant's interpretation be the one true version of the film, then the main characters would need to be part of Cobb's shared dream or people that are just well known by him.

    Also, I toyed with the idea that the other main characters were actually infiltrating Cobb's mind to pull him out of limbo which is where he went after Mal's death...instead of killing himself in the real world, he went into the dream world under a heavy sedative and killed himself thereby going down into limbo to remain with Mal for the longest possible time. But I don't like that version and there's nothing in the film to really support it.

    No matter what, excellent film...and trying to find the one true meaning of the film derails what I believe are Nolan's real goals of the film--ambiguity and individual interpretation.

  6. #6
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    ... It used to be that genuinely good looking women would only be at the Con if they were with their boyfriends/husbands, reluctantly, or if they were in the business, and even then it was often only in the company of their boyfriends/husbands. Now they're everywhere, in packs or singly, and they seem thrilled to be there. That may seem a shallow observation, but that's big progress in my book. ...
    Jesus, you mean there are finally some available hot chicks at this geek fest and yet they're still to busy sticking each other in the face with Sharpies!

    Are you sure they weren't there (as part of the side show) for the Vivid Batman XXX panel discussion?

    I'm joking here of course... but since I brought it up... was that Vivid company there?

  7. #7
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    Absolutly fasinating theory! I can't agree or disagree because it's been a few weeks since I've seen it but now I'm itching to watch it again. Great article.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Trey's Avatar
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    Nah....its pretty clear that its not all a dream.

    All your "evidence" was not presented on the screen. Miles was not conducting the dreams, we clearly see the device used for inception on Saito and Fisher and Ariadne. Cobb really is a mind thief. He really does put together a heist team. Saito really does hire him.
    He really defeats Mal and is able to finish the job. He wins in the dream world and then wins in the real world.

    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.

    The impact/theme of the film lies solely on the concept of conscious and subconscious. And our ability to traverse and control and explore and shape the dream side. Remove one and it all falls apart.

    There is no point of showing 98% dream and 2% reality.

    One other thing. The dreams are not like our dreams because they are controlled and shaped by the dreamnaut. The easier to accomplish the mission.
    Nolan is far more interested in procedure rather than fancy or randomness.
    Last edited by Trey; 08-04-2010 at 03:36 PM.
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  9. #9
    Pangalactic Gargleblaster W0NK042's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
    Nah....its pretty clear that its not all a dream.

    All your "evidence" was not presented on the screen. Miles was not conducting the dreams, we clearly see the device used for inception on Saito and Fisher and Ariadne. Cobb really is a mind thief. He really does put together a heist team. Saito really does hire him.
    He really defeats Mal and is able to finish the job. He wins in the dream world and then wins in the real world.

    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.

    The impact/theme of the film lies solely on the concept of conscious and subconscious. And our ability to traverse and control and explore and shape the dream side. Remove one and it all falls apart.

    There is no point of showing 98% dream and 2% reality.

    One other thing. The dreams are not like our dreams because they are controlled and shaped by the dreamnaut. The easier to accomplish the mission.
    Nolan is far more interested in procedure rather than fancy or randomness.
    Why? Who is to tell what is dream & what is reality. (& yes, I don't just mean in the film).
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Remember Sammy Jankis?
    Yes, but remember what about Sammy Jankis?

    - Grant

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by W0NK042 View Post
    Why? Who is to tell what is dream & what is reality. (& yes, I don't just mean in the film).
    Well... me, mainly...

    - Grant

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    Jesus, you mean there are finally some available hot chicks at this geek fest and yet they're still to busy sticking each other in the face with Sharpies!

    Are you sure they weren't there (as part of the side show) for the Vivid Batman XXX panel discussion?

    I'm joking here of course... but since I brought it up... was that Vivid company there?
    Not that I saw, but Batman XXX isn't from Vivid...

    - Grant

  13. #13
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    Do you mean you didn't see any representation what-so-ever from the "adult" entertainment industry at comic con this year... or just not from Vivid?

  14. #14
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    Fascinating analisis of Inception, and very well written I might add. I really must see the film again.

  15. #15
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    I'm not saying you're wrong about him being in a dream and the others being constructs, but I do think you're wrong about the ending. He's still dreaming at the end. Two questions for you.

    If it's not a dream at the end, why do his kids appear exactly as they have throughout the film? And I'm not just talking about the fact that they haven't aged (though they're clearly older when he speaks with them on the phone), but you see them exactly as he's seen them in the dream all along except that this time they turn and he sees their faces.

    Where is Mal? If she was right and her suicide was her escaping the dream, then shouldn't she be alive at the end alongside Miles and the children? More importantly, why isn't she coming back into the dream to get him? Why would it be Miles instead of her?

    You assert that the top is most certainly about to fall, but what does that matter? As you yourself pointed out, it's not actually his anyway. He has no anchor, so whether or not it falls means nothing. It's just a clever place for Nolan to cut to credits.

    The way I see it, there's nothing about the final scene that indicates he's back in reality.

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