Marinella A. Guansing
The context and message of dreams are not clearly understood, although many brilliant people have tried to depict this very complex concept. The film Inception further expresses the rather impenetrable and fascinating nature of dreams.
The film is centered on Cobb and his team’s job as extractors or people who steal information from people’s subconscious through dreams. The film revolves in the concept of a dream within a dream, a concept which has squeezed my imagination to its limits. The concept of limbo was also mentioned in this film. Limbo is a stretch of infinite raw subconscious.
I was astonished as I realized how fragile the mind is and that it is capable to produce the most incredible concepts and images. Nolan emphasized the concept of what is real and what is not. The film was not only about the concept of dreams, but about the concept of the mind as a whole. Decisions, strategies, and even the architecture of the dream world all came from their minds, which is an ultimately amazing thing. Everything was well constructed to the last detail. Even the time conversion between the real and the dream world was well thought of and proved to be essential in the film.
What baffles many of the viewers is the ambiguity of the film’s ending. The totem (Cobb’s top) determines if he is in a dream or not by its spinning. Constant spinning means that he is in a dream and vice versa. At the end of the film, Cobb tries to spin his totem, but upon seeing his children, he forgets about it and goes to his children. The focus is now on the top as it spins and wiggles, but before viewers could even determine if it was a dream or not, the credits roll.
According to the director, it’s up to the viewers to determine if it was a dream or not. As a film viewer, I go for endings which are positive. In my opinion, the ending was not a dream anymore. Practically speaking, the ending could not be another layer of a dream, since the whole team was present and awake, which means there will be no one left to make a kick. It was pure reality. From the way he looked at his colleagues with pride to the moment he finally held his children, all of them seemed real. It’s just a matter of perception.