The World According to Ploy

July 25, 2010

Inception, or: Reality is what you believe in.

Filed under: Movie Reviews — by Ploy @ 4:41 pm

My seventh grade math teacher, Mr. Davis, once started class by talking about paradoxes. One of the ones he told us was that this world might be a dream, and when we sleep, we might be transported back to our ‘real’ lives. I’ve always thought it was a cool concept, and since that day, every time I dream, I enjoy it. I’ve had dreams about aliens, skydiving, and whatnot, and, well, I must admit that there’s a part of me that holds it in my heart that I ‘truly’ experienced it.

Anyways, so I was really excited about watching Inception. I’d already heard from my friends that the ending was a bit weird, and I’d accidentally spotted a spoiler on the ending, so I must admit it wasn’t actually a surprise. But this is not about the ending, now, is it. I’m not writing a review today, but rather, how to watch it.

(I won’t bother doing a synopsis. While it isn’t impossible, it is very difficult, to summarize Inception!)

There are many more dream layers in Inception than in a millefeuille, and if you don’t keep track of them well enough, you will definitely get lost. This is not a no-brainer, action-packed summer blockbuster…Inception is a movie that requires you to be concious (no pun intended) for 142 minutes. It doesn’t necessary need you to think and dissect everything right then and there, but it would be much helpful to keep track of what’s going on – and whose subconcious they are going into – because, trust me, once the credits roll, you’ll be wanting to discuss it.

Also, pay attention to the details in the movie, i.e. the ‘totems’ used by each character, the recurring flashbacks. They will all be useful in analyzing the movie.

You could search for many interpretations of Inception, but here’s mine. Out of respect, the text is in white, so if you want to see it, please highlight the following: There is actually a reality. Not all of it is a dream. Reailty occurs in the shinkansen train bound for Kyoto, Mombasa, and the plane. I interprety it this way because, otherwise it’d be too cruel for Cobb and the others – I just want the characters to succeed in their job and go back to their lives, and, most of all, I want Cobb to have his redemption. I think that in the end, the people who definitely ‘escaped’ are Eames, Ariadne, Arthurt, Fischer, and Yusuf. Whether Saito and Cobb escaped, I don’t know. On one hand I’m leaning towards Saito and Cobb remaining in coma – Saito never killing himself to get him out of limbo, and Cobb somehow sinking further past limbo and constructed a life with his children and his father; on the other hand, I’m leaning towards Cobb successfully pulling Saito out (further redeeming himself), and the spinning top at the end, which was wobbling, finally did topple over. But maybe that is the symbolism of that wobbling, spinning top, that you actually never know if it is a dream or a reality…but Cobb was happy and smiling in it, and he now had his children and was reconciled with his family. Maybe that is what he wants more than the ability to distinguish reality from a dream. Maybe, at the end, he has realized that reality is only what you believe in. [End of interpretation and spoilers]

If you want a refreshing, thought-provoking, philosophical movie, go watch Inception, you won’t regret it. It’s packed with enough action to kep you thrilled, and there are some light-hearted moments in the movie. But it is confusing, if you don’t keep track of it well enough. I have warned you, not it is your decision!


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