I went through a ton of information about the film and put together a little guide explaning some key points of Inception. Hopefully this will help you guys get a better grasp on what went on. I posted the guide on my blog and the link is below. Leave a comment on the blog letting me know what you think and what not.
Thanks for checking it out, it took me forever to put together and I appreciate any and all feedback!
Nice work. As for your theory that it takes 2 synchronized kicks at the deeper levels of sleep, do you think this also applies to the level3 snow fortress? Because Eames initially was planting charges within the fortress before anyone went into limbo, which would act as a kick within the level 3 dream, along with the elevator drop which would pull them out of the level 3 dream into level 2.
I would suggest amending the part on Totems. It's true that Mal's top had different behavior in dreams than in reality, but that was not the primary purpose of the totem as explained in the movie. Cobb explains that it is the only way to tell if it's YOUR dream as opposed to someone else's. This is important so that they can tell if their dreams are being infiltrated by another party. The architect that tried to create a world in Cobb's dream wouldn't know the exact weight and properties of the top, and Cobb would be able to spot the forgery right away. It is protection against other dream thieves.
It's a bit confusing that the top serves two purposes, but the other totems aren't shown to be able to help distinguish reality from dreams... only dreams from forged dreams.
Yeah, really nice write up. But I have to take exception with "This theory calls into question the very very end. When Cobb returns home his kids are in the same spot and are wearing the same clothes. Another thing to point out is that the kids haven’t aged at all either, they look the exact same."
Because they definitely have aged, and are wearing different clothes. Even the lighting and composition of the shot are different, but it's vaguely close enough to trick you on your first viewing. Watch closely and you'll see difference in Phillipa's dress, and that she now wears a blouse underneath it, and her shoes have changed into trainers. James' shirt has changed pattern, and if you listen carefeully, he has the same voice that Cobb hears on the telephone.