Christopher Nolan’s Inception is an incredible story that follows a man who wants nothing more than to be with his children again. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb has everything he ever wanted at the end of the film. That said, the film leaves viewers with an ambiguous conclusion that makes fans wonder: “Did Cobb still dream?”
Inception follows Cobb, a man haunted by his wife’s death, who prevents him from seeing his children. To see her again one day, work like a thief who can travel into a person’s subconscious and steal their deepest secrets. But when reliving a person’s dreams, a person tends to question their reality. It led to the death of Cobb’s wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), who committed suicide because she thought she was still dreaming. Cobb and his team create special totem poles with unique properties that only they can recognize to distinguish dreams from reality. For example, Cobb wears a top, and if he keeps spinning, he dreams.
After one last mission, Cobb can finally return to his children. Before greeting her, turn her totem pole to make sure she is not dreaming. However, he gets distracted by his kids, and when he finds them, the camera goes up and rotates at a strange time. Before it gets dark, however, the totem wobbles for a moment. While logic would mean that it does not mean to dream, there is a trace of every possibility that it leaves its conclusion in a constant state of ambiguity.
Given the argument that the apex always revolves around, there are a few things that the public should be aware of. Cobb clearly can not see the faces of his children when he dreams of them. This is because it refuses to connect with what is not natural and can be lost. But the moment he sees them, he is not scared and can finally get in touch with his children.
Another exciting piece is the presence of Cobb’s mentor, professor Stephen Miles (played by Michael Caine). According to the actor in a 2010 BBC radio interview, he said: “When I’m there, it’s true because I’m never in a dream. I’m the guy who made that dream come true.” This is an exciting factor to keep in mind, as Cobb would never willingly mistake him for making him believe the dream is true. Cobb’s mentor also constantly warned him not to dive into the fantasy he created. Therefore, his presence serves more to assure that he is awake.
On the other hand, Cobb should dream of the end; director Christopher Nolan has his ideas to reveal the secret. In a 2015 speech at Princeton University, Nolan spoke to the upper class, stating no definitive answer to the film. When Cobb finally sees his children, he is in his reality. He clarified and added: “… He did not care, and this is a statement: perhaps all levels of reality apply.”
Although he vaguely says that Cobb dreams, he is more interested in the idea that a plan is as valuable as reality. Everything is a matter of perception from the point of view of the manuscript. But in an interview with WIRED in 2011, Nolan said, “I think Cobb will be back with his kids because I have small kids.” Although his statements seem contradictory, they support his views on his 2015 statement.
Nolan’s ties to the protagonist prove that parents will go to great lengths to be with their children. But when certain circumstances make it harder to achieve this reality, it is easier to slip into a false reality to deal with it. With solid evidence supporting both mindsets, it shows that no answer can be the best answer. For Cobb, whether he dreams or not, he becomes the father of his children, and the reality he faces is actual for him.