Posted July 17 2010 - 05:48 PM
I was also hoping they'd avoid the "and the real world is a dream, too" final shot because every movie that deals with multiple levels of reality can't seem to avoid going there. The main thing problem with it is that it robs the impact of his wife's suicide; since none of this is real, when he finally dies of old age in this world he'll presumably be reunited with her as if he'd jumped when she did.
Originally Posted by Chuck Mayer ../../..
I think the final shot is a very nice ambiguous shot. It gives everybody what they want. The symbol for me, and i am not particularly interested in determining what reality is, is the age of his children. I was very surprised that they were the same age.
That is what makes me question whether the WHOLE film was a dream, since his daughter sounded like she was twelve or so on the phone when he talked to them.
I love the structure of the film. It is all about the purpose of why they are where they are. The film doesn't let go, the hallmark of something special. As with his last 3 films, the craftsmanship is extraordinary. I can't wait to spend some time discussing the film and the narrative. But I want to see it again before delving into it too much. I imagine it will make for a very satisfying rewatch.
The structure of the film is exquisite. When you're talking about four levels of dreams within dreams, it would be very easy to obfuscate the reality being presented and leave the audience in the lurch. This film never leaves any doubt where they are, what the relationship between the different dream states are, and what the stakes are for each level. The ideas the film is playing with are very sophisticated, playing with the nature of the mind and consciousness, but anyone who watches the film and pays attention should have no trouble following the plot or understanding what's going on.
Originally Posted by Fender85
As much as I hate sad endings, I think it's likely that he is still dreaming at the end.
Why would that be considered a sad ending? He'll have a lovely, full life with his children. And then he'll wake up and be reunited with his wife and his real children. Time is relative in this universe, and the consequences of not believing his wife -- if indeed he was wrong not to -- will be gone in the blink of an eye.
I will watch a second time, that way I can pay better attention to the beginning, but here's my understanding of the beginning ... They're under the impression they've been hired by Cobol Engineering to steal information from Saito, yet we find out that Saito is actually auditioning them.
They actually were hired by Cobol Engineering to steal information from Saito's head. Unfortunately, subconscious projection Mal showed up and screwed everything up. This leads to the confrontation that Saito knew he was being deceived from the beginning, but -- knowing that he wanted to attempt inception -- decided to let things play out to see how well this team could do.
(and that Nash, their first architect, would have no reason to be turned over to Cobol).
Nash being turned over to Cobol wasn't the reason he was dumped by Saito and Cobb; he was dumped because he got a crucial detail wrong and put the final nail into the coffin on that job. Saito wasn't willing to hire the team with that weak link, and Cobb couldn't afford to move forward with that weak link. Ariadne was brought in as an upgrade, not as a mere replacement.
Of course there's the idea that a business man can make a single phone call and get you off the hook for murder. Seems a bit of a stretch. And also, when he was on the phone earlier with his kids, the grandmother was watching over them. Where was she when he returned home at the end? And unless she is divorced, why is she in the States with the kids with the grandfather teaching in France?
The grandmother is another reason I think we may have been in the real world for that phone call.