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This 2010 contemporary sci-fi actioner follows Dom Cobb and his subconscious security team around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams.

Final Cut?

Posts: 1
Location: Guadalajara, Spain
Hello, I'm new to this forum. Here is a letter I want to send to Christopher Nolan.

«Dear Mr. Nolan,

First I would like to make it clear that I am one of your biggest fans. Alright, because I don't care about factual or technical mistakes (each and every movie, including CITIZEN KANE, have them), but I do care about plot holes. There are a few in Inception you might want to correct for a “Final Cut” just like Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner. I know that you are against alternative versions of your films, but also that you are a fan of Ridley Scott, so, why not to imitate him with this movie that you wanted to be your personal Blade Runner? Here are the holes:

1. When preparing for the job, Arthur proves he doesn't know how is it possible to penetrate three layers, but he previously advised Ariadne about building three dream levels, and it is revealed when the team is arguing in the garage that he knew about Cobb and Mal doing it in the past, so it is wrong that he shows any surprise. You could cut off from the footage the moment he says “three layers down, the dreams are gonna collapse with the slightest disturbance”.

2. The flight attendant could have put the sedative in Fischer's glass of water without being detected, so Cobb doing it just in front of his face makes no sense. You could cut that off too.

3. After the first kick is missed, Cobb tells Ariadne Arthur's got a couple minutes and they have about twenty. Besides the fact that this calculation is wrong (2 x 20 = 40, not 20) , I've noticed Arthur spends about 4-5 minutes (3 in footage time) preparing to drop the team without gravity, which makes Cobb to have almost two hours. I think you could cut off the moment Cobb says they have about twenty minutes and let him only say “Arthur's got a couple minutes”, but you'd still have to cut Arthur's scenes too, because it is impossible that it takes the van more time to fall to the water than it took Yusuf to throw it. I understand the zero gravity fight was quiet cool, but even without it you still have a cool and more original fight with Arthur (the rotating hallway).

4. If one can't even think about trying to escape from Limbo before the sedation eases (just as Yusuf says), then Cobb can't pretend to do it, because the fact that he is supposed to have fallen there again because of having died drown after 1 minute under the water in the first level indicates 2 minutes in this level equal the 40 years Saito has grown old in Limbo (for in the movie it seems Cobb has spent half the time he did in it), so in "real life" the sedation couldn't have eased when Cobb and Saito kill themselves. To fix this, you could cut the moment Yusuf makes the claim mentioned above.

5. Only by assuming the fact that Saito woke up a time after Cobb disengaged him from the machine when they were trying to extract him means the dream can last more than the shared dream we can say Cobb and Saito keep sleeping once they've escaped Limbo until they naturally wake up (the only way the movie still has to make sense in this point), which yet brings the next question: if that is the case, why would anybody be afraid of being dropped into Limbo if escaping was so simple as shooting yourself? Here is a possible answer: maybe one doesn't know he is in Limbo if he accidentally falls there, except Cobb, who naturally entered once, but this is contradicted in the movie, so I would suggest to cut the last part of dialog between Saito and Cobb in the garage too (after Cobb says “Limbo is gonna become your reality”), just as the one in Limbo from the moment Saito says “I’m waiting for someone” to the one he says “...waiting to die alone…”, as well as Cobb saying after that “...something you once knew” (letting him only say “I've come back for you to remind you something…”, and then, “that this world is not real”).

6. The time scale in Limbo doesn't make the protagonists be there neither decades nor an infinite time, but a huge (although concrete) lapse, which makes necessary to cut the moment Yusuf says “decades, it could be infinite” (too misleading), letting him only say he doesn't know how much time it would be.

7. At the beginning, we see the kick waking up Cobb only when he hits the water, but later we see Arthur waking up in the chair while he is falling. This is an incoherence that could be fixed cutting the shots where we see the guys pushing him, letting Yusuf only say he customized the sedative to leave the inner ear unimpaired.

8. If 1 minute in the first level equals 20 years in Limbo, Saito shouldn't be 90 years old there if he died just a minute before Cobb in the first level. They should have grown old the same number of years. Assuming Saito is already 15 years older than Cobb (which is the age difference between Ken Watanabe and Leo DiCaprio), you should make Saito be 70 (not 90) years old in the two Limbo scenes to fix this hole.

9. The team needing at least ten hours in “reality” contradicts what Eames says in the first level (“I was supposed to have all night to crack this”), because “all night” in the first level is less than an hour in the plane. To fix this contradiction you need to cut all mentions to the “ten hours”.

10. When Cobb and Mal are arguing he asks her: “If this is my dream why can't I control this?”. Then she answers: “Because you don't know you're dreaming!”. But Mal doesn't think he can control her, for she thinks it's their (not his) dream, so Cobb should say “why can't I control it?”. You could redo the sound to fix that or cut the moment Cobb says “this” and the moment Mal says “because” (“if this is my dream why can't I control...?”, and then, “…you don't know you're dreaming!”).

11. In order to keep the logic, Eames shouldn't inform of his plan to make Fischer give the idea to himself before but after the team is discussing which part of it are they going to introduce in each level, so you could alter the order of the scenes to fix this.

12. Why doesn't Fischer realize the same people who had him kidnapped helped him in his dreams (example: Saito) so they had to be the extractors and not his projections? You could answer that he doesn't have a good recall of what happened in the first level while he is down... but after he wakes up he seems to remember what happened down (he tells Browning/Eames what he's found out), so he would have to notice it now he fully remembers what happened in all three levels. You could fix this hole cutting the moment Browning/Eames says “I’m sorry, Robert”, the one where Fischer tells Browning/Eames what he's found out, and Fischer and Browning/Eames' escape from the van (since there we see it is Fischer who takes Browning, and this doesn't make sense, for he should have seen Saito then). If you feel doubts about this, I'll tell you that I think we don't need to see Fischer confessing he will be his own man as his father wanted because his look in the plane already tells us everything.

13. Cobb tells Fischer they are trying to steal something from his mind, but Fischer behaves after that as if the plot was simply about breaking the safe. What were the kidnappers supposed to pretend to extract him according to Cobb if it was all about the safe? You could say those are simply lies told by Cobb to mislead Fischer, and that's right, but... why does Fischer behavior contradict what they are telling him? Since that behaviour is apparently necessary for the story to go on, we can only say that we are dealing with yet another plot hole. To fix it, we should cut the whole dialog between Fischer and Browning in the second level after Browning says “Robert...”.

Inception is my favourite movie, but if you carefully think about it, it's a senseless jumble, a maze full of blind paths. I think you should break the walls of this tricky labyrinth, Mr. Nolan. As a filmmaker known for appreciating logic, it would be really surprising to me that you didn't feel any interest about what I've written. But if you feel sour after reading this, I have to tell you that I have made my own cut (attached to this letter) with all the aforementioned corrections except the one concerning Saito's age. The most important of all is that I have fixed the time scale goof (which is the most obvious one), making it look like Arthur didn't go upstairs from the 4th floor before being kicked, which would give him more time because he shouldn't go from one floor to the other twice. By the way, I've also cut parts of him listening to music without headphones. You have more resources than I do, so you could have the soundtrack remixed for it not to be a sloppy job like mine, make Saito be 20 years younger, and so forth.

I know you're busy, but would love to read your thoughts on my analysis and proposed alternative.

Sincerely from Spain,

...»

So what do you think? Would he care? Would he even read it? Do you want a Final Cut of Inception? Do you disagree with any of my points?
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