Interpretation Of The Ending

This 2010 contemporary sci-fi actioner follows a subconscious security team around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams.
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So a few fellow Nolan fans, including me, have started to form our opinion on the last few scenes of the film.

Basically, we felt that Cobb and Saito did not make it back and the final sequences that we saw were actually not reality.

The arguments for this theory:

1) It was impossible to get kicked back by dying with the sedatives they were using – hence Cobb and Saito have no way of waking up on the 747

2) The children wore the exact same clothes at the exact same pose and hasn't aged a bit - - déjà vu

3) In an earlier scene when Cobb was talking to his children, we were given the impression that the children were being taken care of by their grandmother. But in the final scene, we only see the the grandfather.

4) Cobb has given his share of the money to Yusuf, implying that Cobb is not prepared to return

Any arguments against the above theory?

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KShields MBV wrote:So a few fellow Nolan fans, including me, have started to form our opinion on the last few scenes of the film.

Basically, we felt that Cobb and Saito did not make it back and the final sequences that we saw were actually not reality.

The arguments for this theory:

1) It was impossible to get kicked back by dying with the sedatives they were using – hence Cobb and Saito have no way of waking up on the 747

2) The children wore the exact same clothes at the exact same pose and hasn't aged a bit - - déjà vu

3) In an earlier scene when Cobb was talking to his children, we were given the impression that the children were being taken care of by their grandmother. But in the final scene, we only see the the grandfather.

4) Cobb has given his share of the money to Yusuf, implying that Cobb is not prepared to return

Any arguments against the above theory?
http://www.nolanfans.com/forums/viewtop ... 6&start=30

Been talking about ending in another thread.

1) They could possibly do. Limbo is not forever, it is possible to go back to reality, but it is too long (50 years Cobb used to stay there). And when Cobb arrived, Saito was very old. They might not have to suicide to get back? But this is a 50-50 theory. They can get back to reality as the movie stories suggested.

2) This is the tricky part about Nolan. If the kids had their clothes changed, then we can be very sure he is back to reality, which is what he doesn't want the audience to believe. He deliberately keeps the same clothes obviously because he wants to bring out uncertainties in the ending, and put the audience in to imagination and debate to choose the ending they like (well u can see it as a marketing strategy). However, the kid clothes colour doesn't suggest a strong clear card support to "dreaming ending" theory as it is debatable

3) Debaters could bring out posibilities to deny such claims like "grandparents take turns to take care of the kid", yea, it will go to far in the end. No point.

4) I think it is complete opposite, he gave all shares to Yusuf because he doesn't care about money. We wants to go back home in reality. So he risked it by convincing everyone to carry the mission. If he simply doesn't have the intention of going back to State to see his kids in reality, he just have to go back to Limbo himself, no point trouble everyone to risk the mission.

The point being is. The tendency of assuming the ending as reality is relatively easier, as it fits better with the flow of the story plot.

Anyway, Nolan got his intention. He wants us to debate, to imaging the ending we like. So debating will be stupid, the point here is to sort out logic possibilities that could support the both possible endings.

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Anyway, Nolan got his intention. He wants us to debate, to imaging the ending we like. So debating will be stupid, the point here is to sort out logic possibilities that could support the both possible endings.
Exactly, exactly. I don't think we're giving enough information to assume and support one possibility over the other. That's just my opinion though. I guess the screenplay book might help when it comes out?

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Also, if Cobb and Saito weren't to wake on the plane, the entire operation would have been a failure as the rest of the team having awoken would be unable to revive the two in mid-flight. The deception would be revealed to Fischer, the evidence is all there on the plane to charge not just Cobb but the entire team. Cobb would not sacrifice every other character by not succeeding in bringing Saito back.

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If I'm not mistaken but when Cobb tells Ariadne how his wife killed herself, Cobb says they were 2 level's deep. They made it out of limbo which was level 2. But they still had to make it out of level one which Mal did.

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I don't think we can use Mal and Cobb's experience with "limbo" to compare with Cobb and Saito's. For one, Mal and Cobb simply "went to the edge of their subconsciousness" by pushing further and further into their minds. Hence they can kick themselves back to reality by killing themselvels because the normal rules of a dream applies.

However Saito and Cobb were stuck in their subconsciousness because they died in the dreams while under the influence of the drug. From what I understand the only way to get out of it would be to wait till the drug wear off. So logically Cobbs and Saito would have to have woken up before the flight landed since the drug should have wore off before then.

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I just saw the movie for the first time so I can't be sure of what I'm about to say, but well here it goes. I believe the ending showed that everyone that appears in the entire movie other than Cobb himself is the subconsious of Cobb. When Cobb's wife "killed" herself she woke up in reality,but Cobb didn't believe they were still dreaming like she did. In his dream he is on the run for her murder from his own subconsious until Saito ( another part of Cobb's subconsious) hires him for the inception job.So Cobb's own mind created the whole scenario of this whole movie. Essentially, Cobb executed a fictional heist in his mind that was executed so perfectly by himself and his "team" that he was able to believe that he could now return home. But he was always dreaming, he just doesn't know it. At least he is able to see his childrens' faces again even if their not real. Consider Ellen page's character. When I think back on her dialog with Cobb it seems like she is his therapist. But she's not his therapist. She is Cobb trying to talk some sense into himself.

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Ok here we go. Limbo is the hardest to explain because we are given the least amount of details and rules regarding it. It is possible to wake up from Limbo, which is always under heavy sedation, as seen initially by Cobb and Mal. Adriane and Fischer were also able to wake up from limbo by either a kicker or death. So yes Saito and Cobb did have a way out by shooting themselves. The key to waking out of Limbo is realizing that you are in a fake world and you want to get out. That was the whole point of Cobb using Inception on his wife otherwise he would have just killed her and woken her up. Limbo is a part of your mind where you don't want to leave and it's hard to establish reality. Another way to put it is that Limbo is your safe zone or safety blanket. It's possible to enter Limbo other than death in any of Levels as seen by Adriane and Cobb dreaming into Limbo. My guess is that to enter Limbo from any of the Levels, it has to be desired and entering Limbo from dying is more of a mental safety precaution.

Saito went into limbo first by dying due to the gunshot wound in L1 and Cobb came later from drowning in L2. That means both are taken out of the Levels and are in Limbo thus negating the point of waking them up on each Level.

Cobb wanted out of Limbo and out of the dream worlds altogether as seen by that last speech given to Mal in that he wanted real relationships with his family so he definitely had the desire to leave Limbo. Saito had the desire to leave Limbo too due to the promise he created with Cobb. It's that deal of honoring his word is what drove Saito back. The speech between Cobb and Old Saito served two functions. The first is to make Saito realize he's in Limbo and the second is to remind Saito of his promise. You see Saito reaching for his gun which could imply that he shot himself and Cobb.

The whole scene and the house is just Nolan mindfreaking everybody out. We don't know how long ago the suicide happened but judging from the sound of the kids over the phone in which they still sound relatively young, the fact that the children are still wondering where their mom is, the age of the actors(not strong evidence I know) in that they're roughly the same age. So possible max of 3-5 year gap from the suicide. In regards to the top this is obviously interpretation from what I saw, it looked like it was starting to spin out of control but it's possible it could have kept going(which might be a symbolism of the never-ending dream).

So yes it's quite possible they got out. I have a feeling this will be debated like the whole Deckard-Replica thing to no-end.

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Think Leo in the dream world.
Honestly I need to see it again.

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The key to waking out of Limbo is realizing that you are in a fake world and you want to get out. That was the whole point of Cobb using Inception on his wife otherwise he would have just killed her and woken her up.
Good catch. I always wondered why Cobbs didn't just shoot Mal. However which is the part where it was said that you have to realize you're in a fake world and want to get out? I always thought Saito and Cobbs would always be able to get out of Limbo when the drug wears off.

I think the idea of limbo is abit confusing. Mal and Cobbs explored extremely deep into their minds, till they reached the edge of their subconscious but i don't think they were ever in "limbo". However Saito was trapped at the edge of his subconscious because he died in the dreams; therefore he was in the state of "limbo".

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