Everyone plays a role in this film.  No matter if they are a part of the team or somehow connected to the team.

The Roles:

  • Cobb (DiCaprio)- The Extractor
  • Ariadne(Page)- The Architect
  • Eames(Hardy)- The Forger
  • Robert Fischer Jr.(Murphy)- The Mark
  • Arthur(Gordon-Levitt)- The Point Man
  • Mau(Cotillard)- The Shade
  • Ysusuf(Rao)- The Chemist
  • Nash(Haas)- Architect
  • Saito( Watanbe)- The Tourist

The movie starts with a scene from the end.  The rest of the movie is what happens before that point.  Cobb, Arthur and Nash work together for a company that steals secrets from people’s dreams.  Nash is the architect who creates the dream, Cobb is the one who actually finds the secrets and Arthur is the muscle and finds out the background of the mark.  The first mark is Saito who realizes that it is all a dream and does not give up all of the secrets that Cobb is looking for.  To make matters worse, Cobb’s wife appears during the job and makes things more difficult.  When Cobb, Arthur and Nash wake up they realize they have failed the company and have to go on the run.  Before they can part, Saito appears and he has Nash.  What do you know Nash has given them up to Saito in order to save his own skin. 

Saito agrees to give Cobb his life back (be able to go home to his kids) if he helps him do an inception.  Inception is puting an idea into someone’s mind, which is the opposite of what he does and no one seems to think it will work.  With a new mark, Robert Fischer Jr., Cobb must assemble a team.  Cobb visits his father Miles(Caine) in order to find a great architect.  He is introduced to Ariadne, who is one of Miles’ top students.  The film then shows us her training, which is pretty interesting.  We learn that when doing dream work you need a totem to help you recognize when you are in a dream or if you are in reality.  Arthur continued to train Ariadne while Cobb assembled the rest of the team.  He finds Eames, who is a forger.  A forger can imitate people from the mark’s reality along with other characters.  Eames helps Cobb find a Chemist, Yusuf.  The chemist is needed to help the team go into a dream, within a dream, within a dream.  After the team is assembled Saito decides he wants to come along and becomes a tourist in the dream setting. 

The team’s plan is to get Fischer to break up his father’s company.  Saito wants this because he does not want them to have as much power as they have and his company is no longer able to compete with them.  Tom Berenger plays Browning, Fischer’s god father and also the company’s second in command.  Eames stayed close to him to learn his mannerisms and to learn more about Fischer and his father.  Saito arranges for the team to be on the same plane with Fischer in first class.  The first dream is, Yusuf’s dream.  The team wants to plant the seed into Fischer’s mind. 

Arthur is given a hard time during the first dream because he failed to find out that Fischer has had training on what to do when someone is in your dream.  So the team is attacked as soon as they enter the dream by Fischer’s subconsience and also by Maul who is apart of Cobb’s subconscience.  During the first dream Saito is shot in the chest and this causes major concern because if he dies with the level of sedative everyone has taken he will go into limbo.  The only one to come back from Limbo is Cobb.

The second level is Arthur’s dream.  The team is in a hotel and they have to do Mr. Charlie due to Fischer’s training.  This is where Cobb tells Fischer that he is in a dream and that someone is trying to steal something from him.  We see Browning but it is not Eames as Browning it is Fischer’s projection of Browning.  This helps Cobb convince Fischer that he and the team are there to help him because Browning has hired someone to steal from his dreams.

The third level is at a snow-covered fortress.  Fischer thinks that he is in Browning’s dream but it is really his own.  The team runs into some trouble when Saito finally dies and Fischer is killed by Maul.  This causes Ariadne and Cobb to have to travel to Limbo to save them both and to finish the job.  Cobb finally admits what he did to his wife.  He told her that she was in a dream world and this caused her to kill herself once she was in reality because she thought she was still dreaming.  Once he faced her he was able to let her go and be the shade that she was.  The movie then goes to the first shot when we see an aged Saito and Cobb brings him all the way out and everyone is back, awake on the plane.  Cobb is able to reunite with his kids and all is well. 

Elizabeth’s Thoughts

This movie is a must see.  If you have not seen it yet, stop what you are doing and go check it out.  I have not been this excited from a film in a while.   First,  how do you get into the dream business?  It seems very thrilling with a lot of hot coworkers!  I was kind of disappointed that Nash didn’t last longer in the movie but in the end I was very satisfied.  The way the film was shot, the direction and the excellent acting makes this movie my top choice so far for the summer.  I give this movie 5/5 stars!

So, was it all a dream and Cobb is still dreaming or was the end reality?  I am not sure.  His kids did not age or change clothes but the top did sound like it was about to drop.  Maybe I need to see it a second time.Still confused about the ending?  Check out this interview with Dileep Rao.  It may give you some more insight.

Sunshine’s Thoughts

I am with Elizabeth on this one, a definate 5 out of 5, and a definate must see in theaters for your first viewing.  This is on of those movies that you will need to see multiple times to fully appreicate.  Especially the ending.  The ending was amazing and ambiguous.  We see Cobb’s totem spinning on the table and then the screen goes black.  If the totem stops spinning he is not dreaming and is really home, but if it keeps going then he is still dreaming.  This is an ending that will drive a million debates on what really happened.  Personally, I think he was still dreaming, his kids didn’t age, they were in the same clothes and the same positions he remembers when he left.  Plus he was using his wifes totem, which to me does not bode well for his ability to seperate his dream from reality.  Great movie, go see it immediately and let us know your theories! 


About Elizabeth

I am the co-creator of S and E Pop Culture. I currently live and work in East Tennessee. I love to watch, talk and write about all things popculture. Check out the blog sepopculture.wordpress.com and let me know what you think.

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