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Inception [SPOILER ALERT!]- What are your theories?

  1. Jul 17, 2010 #1
    Anybody watch Inception yet? What are your theories? What is the answer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2010 #2


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    Re: Inception - What are your theories?

    For those of us that have no idea what you are talking about, could you please explain the story and what parts of it you would like to discuss?
  4. Jul 17, 2010 #3


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    Re: Inception - What are your theories?

    I'm putting a spoiler tag in this title. Apparently, this is the best movie of the year, and I've not seen it yet! :grumpy:
  5. Jul 17, 2010 #4
    Re: Inception - What are your theories?

    Since this is the General Discussion section I am obviously talking about something general. I'm talking about the biggest movie of the year Inception. I just want to hear other people's theories on if Cobb was in the real world, in a dream, or in limbo at the end of the movie. I am still on the fence about where he ended up, and am still searching for answers to come to the conclusion that satisfies me. Knowing Christopher Nolan, he probably has a "correct" answer as he said he has for his movie Memento. If you haven't watched the movie, I recommend you do. The story is difficult to explain for someone who is trying solve the mystery, so I can't do that. Sorry. I would like to discuss the entire movie obviously, as every minute of the movie is crucial to finding the answers.

    I should have done that, oops! I remember calling one of my friends last year that Leonardo DiCaprio is making a movie with Christopher Nolan, with a plot based on the mind, dreams, different realities etc. I highly recommend this movie for the Physics forum peeps.
  6. Jul 17, 2010 #5


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    I will withhold judgement since I have not seen the movie. I did read the plot and all I can say is that I hope the movie makes more sense and isn't as implausible as it sounds in wikipedia. :bugeye:

    Edit: I watched the rotten tomatoes show about it and it makes a lot more sense. I want to see it. The person that wrote the wiki review should be shot.

    It seems the one negative that everyone agrees on is how bad Leonardo DiCaprio is.

    As far as it being plausible, no, it's science fiction, just enjoy the story.

    BTW, Memento is one of my favorite movies.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  7. Jul 17, 2010 #6
    There's so many theories. There's ones on TV tropes and IMDB.

    However I have two theories:

    • Everyone is focused on the top at the end. However I think someone could have possible changed it/stole it. It was also originally Mal's totem.
    • Does Cobb ever really wake up when he goes into the chemist's basement with the people on IVs? It could be that Cobb has really been sleeping all along after encountering the chemist.

    An interesting point to make: Mal and Cobb are the only characters with real development. They could be the only real people.

    The children are the same age at the end. Some people think this means that Cobb is still in the dream. But it could be that Cobb has been gone for only a very short time, and his children haven't aged.

    Anyways I think Nolan is really smart for making the plot so open to interpretation. Many people I think, will go see the movie twice or more (more profit for Nolan).
  8. Jul 17, 2010 #7
    The movie will definitely make more sense to you once you watch it. Just make sure you pay attention to everything so you can work through it later on. It will be kind of hard without a copy of the movie at your hand. Everybody I talked with and on forums said DiCaprio was excellent, and in my opinion he was phenomenal.

    You're right. At the end of the day Nolan used inception himself. I'm going to go watch the movie again to confirm things I have doubts about.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  9. Jul 17, 2010 #8
    I second the fact that Nolan used Inception on the audience. Also, is it not possible that Mal was right all along and that perhaps Cobb was dreaming?


    Oups, I didn't read the post above me so I guess that clarifies my question. What if the ending is just another paradox from Nolan, similar to the Penrose staircase...(which was quite well used in the film!)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  10. Jul 17, 2010 #9
    I just saw this film and I thought it was amazing. Just gonna list off some thoughts and observations:

    - so the military created "dream-sharing" for military training?
    - i don't understand how the notion of the totem works in the dream. how can you bring a physical object with you in a dream? and if you were merely recreating it in the dream, how could you tell the difference between dream and reality? I understand being able to use it to tell the difference between your own dream and someone elses dream.
    - does anyone remember the exactly how much time was compunded from reality, to first dream, to second, etc. ?
  11. Jul 17, 2010 #10
    Amazing movie. Just saw it last night.
  12. Jul 17, 2010 #11
    Harry marries Ginny Weasley. Ron marries Hermoine.
  13. Jul 17, 2010 #12

    You bastard.
  14. Jul 18, 2010 #13


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    You gotta be kidding. :bugeye:
  15. Jul 18, 2010 #14
    Wrong movie?
  16. Jul 18, 2010 #15


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    Actually there was a point when Cobb was spinning the totem in the bathroom and after it falls over onto the ground, Saito sees this. So, it is possible that Saito does indeed know about the totem.
  17. Jul 18, 2010 #16
    1) I don't recall any such explanation involving military training. The movie simply implies that there exists a modern technology rendering accessibility to one's dream by injecting some compounds (the briefcase from the movie).

    2) It's a dream filled with one's subconsciousness. Has it never happened to you dreaming and having in your possession an object from the real world? Cobb's totem was a spinning top. Now, in real world the top would eventually fall and thus it is apparent that this is not a dream. In a dream however one could defy nature's laws and Cobb mentions in the movie that in his dream, the top spins indefinitely, thus implying that he is in fact dreaming. But of course there is a theory that one subconsciousness could modify the state of your totem. For instance, the top COULD fall even though the person is dreaming. Remember the end, when Cobb spins his totem but is distracted by his kids. The top slightly wobbles. Perhaps because Cobb's accept his dream to be a reality, and thus his subconsciousness reacting in the same manner. This remains very elusive...

    3) Five minutes of real time would appear as an hour in the first dream, which feels like 10 hours in the next level, and so on.
  18. Jul 18, 2010 #17
  19. Jul 18, 2010 #18
    - Yes.

    - The totem in a dream is a projection. The idea is that in someone else's dream, the totem behaves differently because that person's subconcious is not aware of how it's supposed to work. In one's own dream, this is not the case, so the totem is useless.

    - A factor of 12 at each level. That's why 10 secs before a kick will arrive, the person supervising those dreaming one level below will start playing the music, which tells the dreamers they have 2 minutes until they awake from that level, and tells those dreaming one level below still they have 24 minutes remaining (they hear the music more faintly), etc.
  20. Jul 19, 2010 #19
    I agree that Mal and Cobb are the only characters with real development.
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