Did You “Get” Inception?


I reviewed Inception earlier today, and I thought it was pretty brilliant, but I wanted to just take a short aside here and ask a question I didn’t get to address in the review itself. After seeing the movie twice, and hearing reactions from my friends and family, I’ve noticed that it’s a pretty polarizing film. Most loved it, but some just didn’t “get” it. And I’m wondering if that’s been your experience as well.

Nolan’s movies have always been complex, but no one was exactly walking out of The Dark Knight going, “huh?” It seems that Inception might be so layered and cerebral that the general moviegoing public just can’t get a handle on it. Sure, the movie made bank this weekend, implying that people recognize that Nolan makes good movies, but I wonder what everyone said when walking out of the theater. Critics loved it for the most part, but it’s their job to recognize well made movies, so that’s no suprise.

I’m just wondering if this will resonate with the same audience who had Transformers 2 make hundreds of millions of dollars. Is it possible for that audience to do a complete 180 and enjoy something so complex, when previously they adored giant robots crashing into each other

I realize I might be coming off as condescending here, but America in general has notoriously bad taste in movies, with many shit pictures making bank because people like CGI. Only rarely does a quality film and box office success go together to readily. It happened with The Dark Knight, but I wonder if the same thing could happen with a movie with less mass appeal as it’s not based on any sort of storied franchise. I never understood why no one ever appreciated the genius of The Prestige, despite its stars, director and masterful plot, but so far the numbers for Inception would speak to a different path for the film.

I guess I’m just wondering what the “average” moviegoer felt about the film, and if most people are willing to exert the mental strain to follow such a film during a period that’s supposed to be a “leisure” activity.

I feel like most of you who read the site are the target audience who would enjoy this movie, but I’m more curious about your friends or family. Who didn’t “get” Inception?

  • sylky

    I loved it from the beginning to the end. Most of the people I saw it with are Highly intelligent nerds so they liked it as well. My gf and one of my friends Fiance didnt “get it” but they liked the story and the acting enough to know that it was a good movie.

  • Martin

    All of my friends got the movie and liked it a lot.

  • steve

    i would say i “got” inception.

    by “got” i mean i understood the story in a way that made sense to me. what is so great about nolans films though is they can usually be interpreted in other ways.

    after getting home form the movie i did some reading on it and some people had some different ideas than i did, although their ideas/theories made complete sense based on what was shown.

    unfortunately, i think many people saw this movie because they either loved dark knight and wanted to see more from nolan, or they heard it was “the smart movie” of the summer and wanted to feel smart.

    i know when i left there was a lot of “wait, what?” from the audience. i dont mean to sound cocky, but i really don’t see what was so hard to follow. maybe that comes from years of watching LOST and david lynch films.

    i too dont get how prestige hasn’t been recognized. it is one of my all time fav movies, probably in my top 10. maybe after inception and TDK people will go back and “discover” it’s brilliance.

  • Madison

    What’s not to get? Seriously, the only way not to follow what’s going on is by not paying attention. Nolan – necessarily, I suppose – sacrificed as lot of his dialogue to provide a tutorial for his audience.

  • Alex

    About the only modern movies I can see someone not understanding are David Lynch like stuff. Otherwise when it comes to Nolan and co the only way not to understand them is either not to pay attention or be really really almost Jason Stackhouse like dumb

  • Matt

    The major concept with baffled or confused some people was the nested dreams. As a cs major, I’ve had more exposure to this kind of thought process. I had no trouble following the film, but the only film I really couldn’t get the first time through was Primer. If anyone complains it was hard to follow, just show them Primer, or teach them coding concepts.

  • Bigdog

    Both me and my lady (both of us in our mid 20’s) watched and LOVED it, and are looking forward to watching again. First thing we said when we going out the theater was “This is a first day purchase for our collection”.

    So, then I get to work today and a bunch of us were talking about it. I was the only one to have watched it, and was recommending the movie.

    So I say: “This is a top 5 movie for me for the past few years, right along with Moon, District 9, Star Trek, Dark Knight and Avatar”. Majority of the people said of that list, only Dark Knight and Avatar were “worth a damn, rest of those were boring as hell.”

    Here’s the kicker: Of the group, a few in their 20’s and some in their 40s said they would not watch Inception in the theaters and “maybe” catch it in DVD. Just flat out gave the movie no chance. This is the first time I have heard such a thing in regards to such a blockbuster.

    Their explanation: The one in their 40s had friends that watched it (also in their 40s) and just “didn’t get it”. Gave the WORST recommendation for the movie. The one in their 20s said it looked “boring”.

    So yeah, this movie’s response is confusing the hell out of me. It didn’t like a movie that would be “polarizing” but that’s exactly the read I’m getting.

    But because of the reaction I got from the other movies, this also seems to be a widespread thing, and not just an “Inception” thing.

  • Dave

    I think it was brilliant, and I’m no genius. Honestly I think it was pretty striaght forward, in way that most anyone could follow if they paid attention.

    Your earlier reference to Matrix was accurate, in that it’s how I described the feel of the movie to friends after I saw it, and I think it was just as easy to follow. Perhaps it was a little more involved, but certainly in a good way.

  • Bigdog

    @Madison and others

    I also agree that this isn’t THAT hard a movie to follow. The director puts everything up forward and even repeats various “main points” a bunch of times.

    If you paid attention to the movie, you will at least not be lost.

  • Guy Incognito

    I was worried that the friends I went with wouldn’t like it but they all thought it was spectacular. One said “That was the best movie I’ve seen in … ever” (I disagree but it’s certainly the best I’ve seen in a few years). It even had my fiancee saying we need to get the Blu-Ray right away to see the making-of featurette (she never cares to watch special features at all). I will admit that some of them didn’t understand it all (I was sure of exactly what was happening in each scene), but loved it nonetheless. One of my friends commented on how the premise works because they present all the rules of the film world clearly which aids in the suspension of disbelief for more cynical viewers.

    It seems to me that the bad reviews are from people that don’t “get it”. They complain that it’s too complex and the movie is trying to fool you and you never know if it is a dream or real. This is the Transformers and Twilight demographic. One reviewer gave Inception a D while giving Transformers 2, Twilight: Eclipse and several awful chick flicks Bs. I hope people look at the average rating which is quite high and ignore the reviews of people who enjoy brainless movies. This is a must see.

    P.S. I also agree with #steve that The Prestige is brilliant.

  • Jbo

    After walking out of this, my roommate looked at me and said, “You know what this movie’s going to do to people? It’s going to make them think.” America has terrible taste and this movie was the aphrodisiac it needed.

  • Random Leon

    Majority of my friends (university types, but no one too nerdy) loved it, so I’m not too worried about the movie’s mass appeal.

    Like it was said above, the plot itself is not hard to follow as long as you pay attention to the dialogue. If there is anything to be not “got,” I think it’s the fact that the ending is open for interpretation. (Also, there are some undeniable plot holes, but I thought the movie was kick-ass awesome regardless) If someone didn’t enjoy it because they didn’t “understand” the plot, there’s not much help for them.

  • cameron

    A critic said it was James Bond meets the Matrix. In cinematic layering it was a continuation from Memento; in theme, the same song as Solaris. Did anyone get the Lady and the Tiger vibe from it? If cobb can construct a nemesis(his late wife) who seemingly acts independent of himself, why not friends? It’s rare, but it happens in real life with split personality types. Who can say that his allies on this mission were not also his constructs to rationalize himself further into his dream, facets of himself? Maybe his wife truly did leave and he’s left in his isolated dream, imagining a way around her departure. Maybe the risk of loss and the pains of attainment helped to convince himself his imagined children were real. Maybe that’s what we do in life to give ourselves value… Heady stuff. Intellectuals and critics eat it up. Me? An average joe? I don’t like the suspension of belief it takes to keep an open mind: I prefer to be drawn in completely, utterly bamboozled. With a Schroedinger’s Cat story, I can’t do it, the disturbing implication in this case being that a guy is either dreaming or killing himself in order to know he has awaken: to be awake(enlightened) is to be dead. It’s not a new revelation, I guess. Without nolan’s morbid spin on it, very old Indian philosophies would have us believe that we live only in dreams, and those dreams within other dreams. If you like comic books, the Sandman stories by neil gaimen played the same game, with the Sandman every now and then giving a sly wink to the reader, asking what is real.

    I had a thot after the movie that intellectual movies must necessarily sacrifice entertainment value to be intellectual. It could be that Nolan just didn’t fully know how to pull it off. For instance, did the audience need to see clips of a van falling off the bridge in very slow motion every five minutes for the next half of the film? Did we need to see them slosh around in the car accident to figure it out that gravity was messing with them in the next layer? And maybe Nolan had heated arguments with others as to just how much expository was needed in the first half of the movie before things started exploding. I don’t know. But often enuf I’d catch myself squirming in my chair and look around to see and hear everyone else fidgeting in their seats.

    Anyhow, it’s a decent flick, not a masterpiece but an original movie. in a summer drought of movies, that guarantees it’ll be compared to the Sistine Chapel.

  • The Mateo

    It is deffinently a movie people have to pay attention to. I don’t think it is too smart for the average person. What I do think is that is we as movie-goers have become accustomed to films that try and wrap a pretty little bow on it and answer every single question for us. Instead, Inception doesn’t just make us think but it begs us to keep asking questions that we know will never be answered. I think most people (summer movie watchers at least) are just used to mindless, easily explained garbage, where the villian, narrator or protagonist goes into some ridiculous monologue and explains every little detail of the plot.

    And that little bit at the end was amazing. It’s as is Nolan planted his own Inception in all of our minds, because we don’t know the answer to the question. Just like Cobb, the actual truth doesn’t matter because we have already convinced ourselves of whatever each one of us wants to believe.

  • Ugo Strange

    I think people want things to be needlessly complicated that they over-think them when the main aspect of it is very simple. I thought personally that Inception was fairly easy to follow. Not because I’m some genius or something, but because I didn’t question everything and I let the movie explain it’s self to me. It was pretty easy to follow. Things like “LOST”, again pretty easy to follow if you let the show explain it’s self to you rather than you try to explain it to it.

    I found that most people who don’t “get” something about something are usually hung up on one aspect of it that they’re trying to solidify in their minds themselves rather than taking the movie’s explanation and saying “Oh, that’s why!”.

    I walked out of “Cloverfield” and found people complaining about the movie because they didn’t explain where the monster came from and my reaction was, given what “Cloverfield” was and how it was done, who in that movie would know where The Monster came from and for the most part it doesn’t matter. But I’ve seen people HATE that movie and call it stupid for that sole purpose. I think people want things to be more complex than they really are, not because they’re stupid or anything but because I think on some level they DO get it but just aren’t sure of themselves and rather than looking stupid by being wrong, they’d rather just say “I don’t get it.” and leave it at that.

  • Madison

    @ Ugo Strange

    Well put. One complaint I heard about Children of Men was that “you never find out why women can’t have babies.” And it’s like, wow, you totally, 100% missed the point of the movie.

  • Ugo Strange

    Thanks Madison.

  • cameron

    Children of Men and Cloverfield are nothing like this movie. they don’t stage most of it’s settings as ideas in people’s heads. so yeah, the question if it’s really real seems exactly to the point.

    you didn’t feel there was more to the scene where ariadne brought the mirrors together to see infinite images of cobb?

    ok, have it your way. the guy saves the day, gets to go home to the exact image of his children playing on the lawn that ariadne saw in his dreams. yeah.

  • Aaron Movie man

    I have a few questions. Why was the Juno’s mirrors “impressive”? What was mr. cain a professor of? Why would Leo question if Mall was real in the tundra base? since she was obviously not real every other time she appears. I saw it twice and I am still trying to figure out exactly how they “ride the kick up the layers” does that mean the wake up in each layer successively? Thats the most complicated thing to understand, I think. And if killing yourself while in sedation leads to limbo how did Leo and mall first get to limbo in their sunset-lit living room? They never explained how they even got to limbo. and how come since they KNEW they were in limbo how come it too them a life time to finally kill themselves. and they were old too yet when they laid down on the tracks they were young. One last thing; When Leo is talking to Cain he says “I wouldn’t be standing here if there was any other way” yet he is sitting down.

  • steve

    @ugo strange

    agreed. im a huge LOST geek and i post on a few forums. the biggest/most common question i see is “why is the island special?” then they complain because there was never a concrete answer.

    you know why it was special? because damon and carlton wrote it that way. in the universe they created there was a special island. its just something that IS. its like that in most stories, but for some reason no one questions it except for stuff like LOST or inception or other “thinking peoples media”

  • Ugo Strange

    My girlfriend (MAN I LOVE HER!) has the hardest time trying to understand why The Island was under water in the afterlife, and asked him if The Island was okay in real life. After explaining it several times, I’m still not sure if she gets it…I’m not calling her stupid just saying I think she thinks she’s missing something (something that isn’t there).

    @ Aaron Movie Man
    Riding the kick does indeed mean waking up through the layers.
    Leo ALWAYS questioned Mall’s existence. It’s something that isn’t spoken in the movie BUT…since you’ve seen it twice you would notice that though out the entire movie…we’re ALWAYS dropped in the middle of it without seeing the actual beginning of anything. “Inception” sets up the idea that reality may or may not be reality, hence the open end. WAS the entire movie from start to finish one big dream or did the events that occurred there in ACTUALLY happen?

    As for Limbo, Limbo is being in a coma. Leo and Mal were in a coma in real life. In the dream world (which they perceived as reality…at least Mal). When Leo was holding Mal and explaining what happen, he essentially re-wrote the memory as old folks. THEN AGAIN, considering those events didn’t ACTUALLY happen…does it REALLY matter?

  • MMarie

    I went to see Inception with my parents, ’cause I’m cool like that.

    My mother is an English teacher; she always points out dramatic irony, comic relief, allusions, foreshadowing, correct grammar and other (sometimes annoying, sometimes awesome) things like that whenever we’re watching movies or talking about books. But she did not understand the movie at all. Every few minutes, she would lean over and request an explanation of the scene previous.

    I agree with most of the other folks here: Inception is not difficult to follow if you’re awake and listening to/watching/taking in the movie.

    My father was not impressed in the least (he’s a humbug at a young 60-years-old). He says that he prefers The Matrix, and he now refuses to speak further of Inception. Oh, Dad.

    But I was surprised that my mother only noticed ONCE the comic relief–when Arthur has Ariadne kiss him in the “Mr. Charles” portion of the Fischer dreams/layers. Perhaps it’s ’cause she zones out once she sees a gun up on the screen.

    My best friend “got it,” but he is now afraid to sleep. So far, I have heard no other reviews or opinions from my peers, but I am anxious to hear what they have to say.

  • Aaron Movie man


    They were in a coma? I don’t think so. There was nothing mentioned about a coma. Anyways they were constructing an entire world down there and finally they decide that they should get run over by a train to wake up… why didn’t they just do that in the first place? It seems like leo would’ve known that since he was the best.

    Anyways, you think people are going to start lying on train tracks?

  • Ashweee

    One of my friends didn’t get it, he’s been reviewing movies lately, and he gave it a 6/10 and said that it had bad pacing and no emotional attachment. My real only thoughts on why he feels this way is because he isn’t that creative, he doesn’t have a huge imagination. You CAN’T get it if you can’t imagine.

    But I think for the most part people who have seen it and enjoyed it did get it. It’s similar to the Matrix in that, lots and lots of people love it and interpret it and watch it again to try to understand it better, usually America does have shitty taste in movies, but it’s good to see when a good one comes out that those same people can acknowledge an amazing film.

  • Ugo Strange

    Limbo was the name of the “place” they were in…remember the time difference between our world and the dream world. 10 hour sleep = 10 weeks and so on. Leo and his wife were in “Limbo” for 50 years…so they were asleep for a LOOOOOOOOONG time. and Leo didn’t want to leave Limbo, because they were living like Gods…who’d give that up right away ?

  • Aaron Movie man

    Oh I remember now… They chose to forget that they were in a dream. She locked away her knowledge that it was a dream. and that was the top in the safe. Thats why he had to use inception on her. to make her remember, so to speak. I don’t think they were dreaming for a long time. maybe half a day. Remember the indian guy says that in 10 hours sleep limbo could seem like decades.

  • cameron

    one last word, and i’ll let it go. in fact i’ll go troll somewhere else.

    i guess i didn’t “get it”. it’s a movie about juggling rubiks cubes, while solving them, while dodging bullets, firing bullets, fistfighting, … etc….and if you can stand back from it a sec and see it for that much, how much was it really?

    i picked up on this pattern from Memento and The Dark Knight, but christopher nolan has a way of confusing depth with convolution, misery with drama. his writing is to plotting what micheal bay’s directing is to explosions: you probly shouldn’t let him do it all by himself.

    did any of the character’s grip you? did you really find yourself rooting for the any of them? is there anything about the characters that sticks with you? did they say anything interesting? did the instruction manual of the first half of the movie not bring to mind an endless lecture from a teacher or professor? was there some point, in the mechanics of it all, that you felt they weren’t going to succeed? did it matter? maybe it was easier for me not to believe any of it because there’s not all that much in it that’s interesting, once you get past the novelty of a movie about dreams within dreams. the storytelling is borderline inhuman.

    i realize i’m the outstanding opinion here, the devil’s advocate, but i truly think this guy is awfully overrated. he seems to take himself a little too seriously. he’s like the latest Ayn Rand; you’ll look back and think, ‘what was i thinking? i liked that overstuffed, cerebral junk?’

    then again maybe not. there are card-carrying Rand members today, flags flying high.


  • Riffta

    I wouldn’t call any of Nolan’s work, including Memento and especially Inception as complex. Intelligent is a better suited word. All you had to do was pay attention and you’d ‘get’ Inception, I guess people are so used to dumbed down brainless action movies that when a slightly intelligent one comes along they go Whooooooo!

    Seriously, the movie was action packed and it wasn’t entirely original – but it was more enjoyable than the vapid blockbusters Hollywood has been churning off late.

    Except Joseph Gordon Levitt who was the only remotely interesting character in the mix, the others were extremely under-written and under-used.

    What irks me is the possibilities the film had – a few scenes like when Ariadne discovers the possibilities in the dream world, and JGL fight in the corridor – a director with Nolan’s calibre should have done better, instead of the mindless chase sequences that took a huge amount of screen time.

    And Leonardo DiCaprio needs to find scripts that vary. If you look at it from his point of view this is Shutter Island all over again, set in dreamscape instead of a mental asylum. Dead wife who haunts him – check, angst ridden DiCaprio – check, kids involved – check, setting out of reach for sane humans – check, stupid, idiotic mindfuck ending? Check!

    I enjoyed the movie until the last 30 odd seconds, after which I felt like slapping Christopher Nolan with a trout.

  • I am going to admit. I enjoyed this movie a lot. As others have mentioned, this is a top to bottom example of how to make a movie. While not perfect, there is little I can point fault at with a single aspect of this film. this is a perfectly crafted movie, the cast was great, the story was action filled, yet smart and engaging and the visual aspects of the film were astounding.

    Did I get it? Hmmm…the fact that over that last few days I have bounced back and forth between “He’s still dreaming” and “He’s not dreaming” at the end of the film has me wondering if I did get it or not…

    I will say though, it is a great quandary to be put in by a film.

  • Junon

    I got it just fine, the guy in the row behind me on the other hand could barely grasp the idea of the van still being drivable after flipping. Even in a dream.

  • MoFoJames

    I went with my two friends and we got it, but there were some people we heard leaving, like this one blond who said her mind was blown and she didn’t get it. But I think you just going to have that like you said most average Movie-goers may or may not get it because it wasn’t dumbed down for them. You had to think when watching and I don’t think some can do that.

  • princessjay

    I understood it fine: the concepts and rules of the dream world, as well as its philosophical implications (dream vs reality; Cobb may have dreamed it to deal with trauma; and the specter of humans dreaming our way through life a la Zhuangzi). It was quite enjoyable, but I agree with cameron and Riffta about missed opportunities and the lack of emotional depth to the characters.

    I don’t think that, in order to be intelligent and mind-blowing, a movie must sacrifice the emotional portion of the film experience. I mean, I’m not asking for tiresome in-depth character explorations, but there should be enough to establish them as living and three-dimensional beings in this fictional universe.

    Here’s the old issue with science fiction, rearing its head again, that its sufficient to play with the Big Ideas, and who cared about character development? (Asimov, Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, hmf!) And yet, being human, we need a human lens in order to project ourselves fully into the speculative. Only then could we really appreciate all the wonderful and amazingness within.

    For me, I wished Nolan could have spent like FIVE MINUTES establishing the “real-life” relationship between Cobb and Mal (just HOW was their love so goddamn “special,” so that they could live for FIFTY YEARS in happy solitude in deep dreaming AND weren’t tired of each other and he’d STILL have her haunting him like a crazed harpy after death yet couldn’t let her go??), and Senior Fischer and Junior (I thought Cillian Murphy did an amazing job showing the mixture of despair, anger, and love particular to his character, but unfortunately his was only half of their story).

    A good film. I’ve been recommending people to see it right and left… but it’s showing 9.3 right now at imdb. Really?!

  • Louis

    Normally when a movie spawns so many different interpretations of its content, it actually means that the director was incoherent, the movie was poorly executed, some studio executive cut out key scenes that were critical to the film to meet an arbitrary “run time”, or the story just plain sucked in the first place. I am happy to say that I don’t think ‘Inception’ suffers from any of that. In fact I would dare say that the more you actually “get” this film, the more interpretations there are of the actual story, and that this was totally intentional on the part of Nolan and that’s why I say this movie is absolutely AMAZING. It is also amazing to me how many people, even professional movie reviewers, were simply unable to peel back even the first layer of this movie when Nolan is throwing clues at you in almost every scene of the film! A spinning top? A loaded dice? A chess piece? A mobius staircase? Come on! Most reviewers out there were trapped on level 1 with the whole mental espionage plot and mental bank heist being their central focus while seemingly ignoring the other 50% of the movie! If you stop there, and think that this is all this movie is about, then it’s not a really good movie, is it? The characters are flat, there is little character development, yada yada yada, and so people come away thinking the movie wasn’t that great. Oh, for shame! No wonder you thought it wasn’t a good movie. You were snowed from the word go and you just flat out ignored everything else in the movie. Nolan pulled the wool over your eyes and you fell for it. So, for those of you who really didn’t get it, I’ll give you some clues, and I want you to go back and see it again in light of what I am going to say. For those of you who HAVE NOT see ‘Inception’ CLOSE YOUR WEB BROWSER NOW. There will be ‘spoilers’, but not really, because even if I did tell you what is really going on, we can debate the actual interpretation of that until the end of time and still not arrive at the same conclusion. First off, the mental bank heist does not take place on dream levels 1,2,3 and 4. It actually takes places on dream levels 2,3,4 and 5 with level 1 being the “reality” that we think that Cobb is living in with the other members of the dream hack team. Second, pay especially close attention to the age of Saito in the table meeting with Cobb in light of the dream state rules that Nolan is doling out. Pay especially close attention to what goes on between Cobb and Saito and Cobb and Cobb’s wife Mal. Also note that when Cobb washes up on the beach and gets taken to Saito that he is actually on level 5 of the dream “heist” where Cobb and his team are trying to crack into the mark’s mind, and where he and his wife created a vast landscape, and Cobb is causing the rest of the team to risk falling into limbo. Also pay attention to the rules of “limbo” and then define what Nolan is actually talking about when he says that Cobb is trying to get back home. If all that doesn’t yank the blinders off you and show you what “Inception” is really all about, then, well, maybe you’ll just have to sit out there continuing to think that it was just an “OK” film. ‘Inception’ is an absolutely incredible film and I feel lucky to live in the year 2010 to be able to see it. And even though I think I got 90% of it, I still have to go back and see it a second time to try and make sense of the other 10%. ‘Nuff said.

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  • Max

    Nolan coddled the audience so much with the script that it would be incomprehensible to me how anyone could get confused. The exposition is so copious it actually took away from the film.

  • JRod

    First of all, let me say that I loved Inception (watched it twice) and although it will probably wind up in my top 5 of all time, I can’t quite put it above The Prestige.

    The Prestige was almost like a perfect F U to the average movie watcher. Basically, Nolan explained how a magic trick worked and then formed the movie around that outline. You get to the end (the prestige) and you realized, holy crap, we had all the info we needed the entire time, but we chose not to see it because in reality we really didn’t want to.

    As far as “getting” Inception, I don’t really understand how anybody could be that confused. I think the strength of this movie lied more in the emotional manipulation that Nolan made us feel. From the guilt of Mal’s death to the need to see his children again.

    The biggest disappointment I felt afterward wasn’t that people didn’t get the film, it’s that they felt the need to explain it one way or the other. (did the totem fall or keep spinning)

    I think the real answer here is that it ultimately didn’t matter. Nolan’s entire point is that reality is what we make of it. Cobb was home and his children were in his arms. Who cares if the top keeps spinning or falls?

  • Nick Campbell

    So unlike most of you I came to a different conclusion and yet I feel I got the movie and maybe a better grasp of it than most. Maybe it’s the idea that we like to believe we are better than we are. So I’m going to ask two questions that will probably indicate my direction of thinking.

    Did you notice that the top was Mal’s and that a totem only works if you are the only one who uses/knows it in every sense?

    One of the more pivotal lines of dialogue between Cobb and Adriadne was about how he was looking for a way to meet Mal by getting to the point where on level 3, he could see his children’s faces. Do you think he still has to go to the next level?

  • Nathan

    I just saw the movie today, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It was intelligent, almost too much for it’s own good. The whole movie you’re having to tirelessly pay attention just to understand what’s going on, all the while not ONE character grips you in any way. It’s all about the plot trying to confuse you. Not one ounce of comic relief anywhere (the “it was worth a shot” after the kiss was the best effort, and it just wasn’t very funny).

    I’ll admit there were some parts I was confused about….but I understood the main gist of it. The layers of the dreams, the inception, the “in limbo”, the simultaneous kick backs, etc….but there were also some parts I didn’t understand. Like how he performed inception on his wife when he was already in her subconscious. Like he performed it in the subconscious of her subconscious? Also I was confused how you get out of “limbo”.

    Overall it was nice to see a film that was different and made you think. But it went too far, and it lacked in many other areas. I thought the acting job by Di Caprio was one of his weakest yet. But I think a lot of that had to do with the script.

  • jewel79

    I didn’t get it… sorry. I missed the technical elements the most. For example, what was the device they used to go into the dreams? What linked them together? I missed some lab-scenes, or anything. The architectural element was so precisely showed to us, but the technology behind this whole dream-catching device was not. I didn’t even know in which year has this whole story happened… So sorry, but I was thinking about this and I really miss these parts.

  • djnine21

    @ Jewel79
    First off, no offense intended, just honestly answering your questions and posing a few of my own…

    The device they used to get into the dreams was clearly a device used to sedate people into a dream state.. what linked them together? The device, of course.

    Does it really matter if it was called the DreamCatcher3000 and worked by synchronizing the delta dream state brainwaves and processing them through the DC3000 core chip CPU? Would you really have been enthralled by a “lab scene” where they spend time vocalizing something that is clearly unnecessary?

    As for the year it takes place in… again, seeing as how the only piece of unfamiliar technology is the “DreamCatcher3000” and it’s implications for active dream creation/exploration, the door is left wide open for interpretation as to when this all takes place. But! Whether it’s 2012 or 2212, it really doesn’t matter at all to the story being told. It could just as easily be an “alternate reality 2010”. Doesn’t matter one iota to the story.

    If that’s ALL you could think about when you left his movie, yeah, you missed it big time.

    @cameron and others who didn’t feel any emotional connection to the characters.

    Personally, I felt for Cobb, big time. The desperate wish to go home and see his kids… missing his wife and not wanting to let her go (even if it’s not really her). It’s classic love all around. I do think though perhaps the connection goes unmade by viewers who have no personal reference point. If you’ve never been unwillingly away from your kids, if you’ve never lost (or even contemplated the loss of) someone you love more than anything, if you’ve never ached with every fiber of your being to be able to go home to the people and places that mean the most to you… then yeah, you probably won’t feel for Cobb nearly as much as someone who has experienced one or all of these emotions in their own lives.

    The average 20 something movie-goer has probably not found anyone yet that they love more than themselves, thus creating the issue of “no connection”. Again, not a slight, just an observation.

  • chrystani

    What was there not to get about Inception. I think it was to the point.

    You know who didn’t get it, my roommates dumbass best friend who thinks Tyler Perry movies are quality life changing movies…


    I wanted to punch a wall when I heard this.

  • JRod

    Wow Jewel missed the point entirely.

  • Eric

    Viewed it yesteday with my family. No question one of the Best Movies I’ve ever seen.

  • Bert

    I just saw it last night, and enjoyed it very much. It’s a stylish film, and I think I picked up some fashion tips from JGL’s character too! I got it in the sense that I understood the premise enough to question it. The movie was quite clear, but what I’m trying to catch now is the parts where things DIDN’T go according to the rules they set out.

    For one- when Cobb is teaching Ariadne about manipulating the dream world, SHE is the dreamer (unless I’m mistakenly remembering) and can manipulate the dream as long as she realizes she’s in it. We clearly see it’s the DREAMER who gets attacked, right? In the other dreams it’s clearly one of their cohorts who is doing the dreaming, EXCEPT when they enter Fischer’s dream. How do they manipulate Fischer’s dream?

    Sticking with that dream, I noticed something that seemed to have an alternate interpretation. Being that items from Cobb’s subconscious kept showing up (Moll, his kids) – the subconscious attackers that shoot the Japanese guy aren’t because Fischer’s had training in how to defend against Extraction, they are because COBB has. He knows Ariadne is trying to resolve his subconscious issues with Moll and his kids, and his subconscious is trying to protect his “Elevator Dream World” from being erased.

    There are a lot of other questions I’ve got, which means I need to see it again. But it was fun, interesting, and made me think!

  • dxr

    I had heard a lot of people around the web saying it was confusing, so I entered the movie theater thinking it would be like ‘primer’ or ‘donnie darko’, ready to stay at full attention to keep up with the plot.

    What I got instead was a very much straight forward movie. I really can’t see why anyone would be confused by it. It’s perfectly clear what’s going on in every scene; they just about spell it out for you.

    I enjoyed it very much though, and the movie, especially the ending, is open for a lot of interpretation. but having theories about a movie is a different thing altogether from not being able to follow the plot.

  • kirsty

    tbh, im a 17 year old girl.. not the best movie as i did not get it one bit :S i dont know if its because of the length i may not have paid as much attation to some parts as others, but again i did not get it one bit, althrough the ending of the movie i found amazing, left me thinking.

  • Morag

    I’m a 45 year old woman and normally go to the cinema with my young kids to see things like Toy Story, Harry Potter etc.

    I don’t normally get to see proper grown up movies, because my older partner only does “retro” (if it isn’t in black and white, he doesn’t want to see it) and doesn’t watch modern films. I persuaded him that he can’t slag off modern films if he never sees any. So I persuaded him to go to the cinema with me that evening.

    And boy, was that a mistake!

    I found the film a little confusing, I have to say. But then I don’t normally get to see thought-provoking films. But I got the gist and enjoyed it for the most part, though I thought it was rather too long (and was that van EVER going to hit the water?!). It was definitely the sort of film you’d want to mull over at leisure and maybe watch a second time.

    But what primarily spoiled it for me was my partner, who I could tell really wasn’t interested. Of all the films to choose to introduce him to the idea of modern films, I think Inception was probably a little too challenging (his own kids, 21 and 23 enjoyed the film)!

  • Ken

    Understanding the concept of layered dreams does not mean you understood what happened in this movie. The ending of the movie leaves room for interpretation so how can anyone get it from start to finish?

  • kit

    I felt it was straightforward and easy. I’m now at the age of life where I really don’t care about movies much and don’t get things often, but I got this. What I hated was the open ending for interpretation. Did the top fall or not?!?!

  • marr

    (IMO) Leonardo is a rubbish, forever ‘boy’ actor and the plot was cleverly designed to make movie goers only ‘feel’ intelligent. Any movie with a dream sequence or being about dreams is doomed to be second rate. Thing I liked however was the PARTI of the film being about the concept of a PARTI itself, typically layers of meaning within an architectural design – our consciousness lies within our bodies, bodies within space, space within architecture = on what level do we really lie?

  • Sam

    Gee what a bunch of wankers

  • Scott Neufeld

    I totally loved it, although, I thought (about halfway through the first time watching it), that everything, and I mean everything, was set up to find out if Dicaprio’s character actually killed his wife or not, not to actually do what they said they were going to do(perform inception on the business man’s son). I was expecting more of a twist like that.
    Most of my friends said they had to watch it twice to “get” more of it, I “got” it after once, such a good movie!

  • Kimberley

    I couldn’t believe it when people started coming out of that film going – ‘I don’t get it what happened?’ I mean it’s hardly Primer or Mullholland Drove, which yeah, you can be forgiven in getting a little confused. This was a Hollywood blockbuster, it was made for the masses to ‘get’, it was explained bit by bit, it led the audience though every single concept by the hand. It was brilliant, although I was slighlty dissapointed it wasn’t (imo) up to the same ‘reveil’ standards as the Prestige.

  • From Blade Runner:

    Holden: You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down…
    Leon: What one?
    Holden: What?
    Leon: What desert?
    Holden: It doesn’t make any difference what desert, it’s completely hypothetical.
    Leon: But, how come I’d be there?