21 July 2010 @ 11:56 am
thoughts about Inception (SPOILERS)  
So, I thought Inception was pretty great. I'm not going to bother discussing what it's about, like I normally do, because frankly if you haven't seen it yet, you should stop reading this right now and just go see it. Plus I'm going to spoil some crucial stuff.

***SPOILERS***

I spent a lot of enjoyable time during the weekend kicking the movie around in my head, particularly the kicks themselves. For instance, I'm still not sure why Arthur wasn't kicked out of the hotel when the van drove off the bridge. Can the kick be intentionally ignored? If anyone could do that, I suppose it would be Arthur, who seems both very determined and highly professional (at least when he wasn't stealing kisses from Ariadne).

And then there's that damned top. Was it about to fall or not? It was certainly wobbling. I walked out of the theater wishing they hadn't shown the wobbling, so that the viewer could fully make up their own mind. But in the end I decided that it doesn't matter if it keeps spinning. What matters is that Cobb set it down and left it there, a gesture that clearly shows he's accepted the reality that he's in. Besides Saito totally handled it while they were talking in the beginning, so he could have simulated a false replica.

And I'm pretty sure the kids were dressed in the same clothes as they were in his memories, although I'll need to see it again to confirm that. So, yeah, I am inclined to believe that Cobb is still in a dream. (I also kind of like thinking that Mal really did escape back into reality by jumping off that building and that she hired Arthur and the others to go in after Cobb, with the intention of either rescuing him or incepting him with a dream level he'd could find peace in. Although, admittedly, there isn't much in the movie to back that particular theory up.)

I was surprised for a while that Nolan didn't make the dream worlds more dreamlike, but that was pretty much necessary to pull off the repeated "Am I still dreaming?" cons. And there were a few points where the audience couldn't really know the consequences of what the characters were doing, which drained a bit of the drama. The only thing that really bothered me about the movie, however, was there were way too many shots of people in snowsuits shooting guns in the third level of the dream. Those parts made me feel like I was trying to feign interest in other people playing some multiplayer video game.

 
 
Listening to: Cilla Black - "You're My World"
 
 
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micah: x-fileslaerm on July 21st, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
The top in a state of wobble I loved. I love ambiguous endings, though.

The only thing that really bothered me about the movie, however, was there were way too many shots of people in snowsuits shooting guns in the third level of the dream. Those parts made me feel like I was trying to feign interest in other people playing some multiplayer video game.

Yeah, in retrospect, this bothered me as well. At the time I was fine, but I recognize it was sorta silly now.

Now, I wonder if perhaps the Fischer inception isn't really the inception, and the real inception is the idea planted in Cobb's mind (by Ariadne, perhaps under hire Michael Caine) that he should move on from Mal's death because his children miss him. No words are spoken from Cobb waking up on the airplane until he sees Michael Caine after leaving customs. There are some glances, but nothing too notable. Perhaps this is the only level of the film that is reality. I think the film can fall this way, too.

A friend of mine pointed out that Cobb is wearing his wedding band in dreams only, not reality. When I see it again, I'll look at this and see if that can provide a clue as to whether the last scene is reality or not.
orcaarroworcaarrow on July 22nd, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Sounds wonderful. I can't wait to see Inception. I really liked the idea of Ellen Page in the movie.
Pallaspallasathene8 on July 22nd, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
We went to see it tonight. I'm ready to go back tomorrow, because I know I didn't catch everything about the kicks and the levels.

I didn't even notice the top wobble at the end, though the boys both agreed it did. I guess because I had already made up my mind as soon as I saw him spin it that they were going to end it ambiguously and was already thinking backward to where the trick was instead of paying attention.

I've kind of convinced myself that the Fischer inception was not really the inception, since we didn't get a real resolution on that, and because they went to such painstaking effort to explain with his case how inception works through very subtle suggestion (while the kicks and things felt left fuzzy) that it almost seemed like it was there merely as a clear example so that we could pick up the clues to the real subtle inception ourselves.

And because he only admitted to his role in his wife's death gradually after many levels and much prompting by Ariadne, my immediate guess was that the real inception was planting the idea that he was responsible for his wife's death. He talked about the good emotions and catharsis being the way to do it (yay, I'm getting back to my kids)...so it seems like someone incepted him by his very own methods... Good intentions of his father to help him face reality? The ending felt a bit too ominous for that to me. Bad intentions of evil company to punish him with guilt?

Was it not really an inception at all, but a disguised extraction of his valuable knowledge of how to use inception?

I'm trying not to think too hard about it until I can see it again, because it is hurting my head trying to remember things it would just be easier to watch over.

But I am really confused on is limbo. Maybe they explained it and I missed it, but how did he and his wife get into limbo to begin with? How would killing themselves with the train have woken them if being in limbo is the place you go when you are killed but can't wake up yet? Or was the train not what got them out of limbo but what got them in and they did just finally wake up naturally? Did they not really wake up yet but just keep getting shifted to new layers of tortuous limbo, being bounced from one false wake-up to the next like the two mirrors Ariadne made reflecting reflections on and on without end, and nothing is happening in the movie at all but him going nuts in limbo for an eternity?
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: angel and the ape looking backassmonkeydiary on July 22nd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I've kind of convinced myself that the Fischer inception was not really the inception, since we didn't get a real resolution on that, and because they went to such painstaking effort to explain with his case how inception works through very subtle suggestion (while the kicks and things felt left fuzzy) that it almost seemed like it was there merely as a clear example so that we could pick up the clues to the real subtle inception ourselves.

I was pretty satisfied with the resolution of the Fischer inception: the handmade pinwheel in the safe giving him the needed breakdown/breakthrough and then telling his lawyer he was going to do it (albeit in a dream level).

And because he only admitted to his role in his wife's death gradually after many levels and much prompting by Ariadne, my immediate guess was that the real inception was planting the idea that he was responsible for his wife's death. He talked about the good emotions and catharsis being the way to do it (yay, I'm getting back to my kids)...so it seems like someone incepted him by his very own methods... Good intentions of his father to help him face reality? The ending felt a bit too ominous for that to me. Bad intentions of evil company to punish him with guilt?

Yeah, Michael Caine could have definitely been the one hiring the inception team.

Something to watch for in re-viewing: In the few scenes where Cobb isn't present, how do the other characters speak of him?

Was it not really an inception at all, but a disguised extraction of his valuable knowledge of how to use inception?

That would be cool, but I think it's more of a leap. At least until we see what deleted scenes (if any) exist

But I am really confused on is limbo. Maybe they explained it and I missed it, but how did he and his wife get into limbo to begin with? How would killing themselves with the train have woken them if being in limbo is the place you go when you are killed but can't wake up yet? Or was the train not what got them out of limbo but what got them in and they did just finally wake up naturally? Did they not really wake up yet but just keep getting shifted to new layers of tortuous limbo, being bounced from one false wake-up to the next like the two mirrors Ariadne made reflecting reflections on and on without end, and nothing is happening in the movie at all but him going nuts in limbo for an eternity?

I like the idea that there's no way out of limbo and he's been trapped there alone from the get go. It would be interesting if he somehow incepted the idea of being with his kids into his mind himself to save him from the madness.
Pallaspallasathene8 on July 22nd, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
I guess it just seemed to me like because they never really let you see Fischer explicitly break up the company in the end it seemed like they were saying that was not really what it was all about. Though the whole Cobb simply coming to grips with reality could clearly be the focus without it being more complicated, I really want it to be more complicated. :P
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