Christopher Nolan does it again! He yet impresses us with his complexity in film making. For those of you who have seen some of his other work you know that his directing style is not straightforward. Titles like Memento, The Dark knight, Batman Begins, and others all have traits that surpasses that of a common director. The Film Inception is in my opinion the best of them, one could argue that The Dark knight is better, though you may find that many people just aren't that into comics or anything to do with Batman....(which is sad, because it should have gotten "Best Picture"). But overall I would call Inception his most successful film simply because it reaches a wider range of audiences and its overall quality.
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The "Ending" Theories
It was all a dream....
After you watch the ending of the film you are left with the top wobbling about to fall over signifying that he is finally in reality, but instead it cuts to credits before you actually see anything. Now because of this ending there is the possibility that during the whole film Cobb was actually just dreaming. During the movie you see all sorts of hints that this could very well be the case, for example the unknown agencies that cobb is being chased by, also his wife says during the film "You don't know you're dreaming!" etc etc. Keeping this theory in mind everything starts to make a little more sense. Also near the end of the film, how did Cobb's father know to be at the airport to greet him? Did he call him or did he just randomly show up similar to the qualities of a dream?
The basic "The Movie said it all"
There is also a wide chance that the basic plot of the movie was the correct one. Cobb's wife thought she was dreaming and killed herself etc. He got blamed for her death and he was being pursued throughout the movie by organizations because he was an accomplished "Mind thief". Yes this is possible, but I don't think Christopher Nolan would be that simple....plus I like the idea of a climatic ending such as "OMG WAS HE DREAMING??!!??"
The Ring on his finger
Some viewers did notice during the end scene when Cobb left the top spinning for us to watch as he walked to his children he was not wearing his wedding ring. This fact led to a lot of different assumptions about what happened during the film and people went back to check in film when he had it on, and when he didn't. The supposed theory from this is that Cobb is wearing the ring when he is dreaming and is not while he is awake. Now if you go back and watch the movie and check his ring finger this theory holds up.....except for one flaw....
Ring Theory Continued.....my opinion.
Considering all the possibilities this one has the most evidence, but something occurred to me while I was watching it. Perhaps Cobb was still dreaming even though he wasn't wearing his wedding ring during the end scene. Remember when his wife was trying to explain to him that those weren't his kids and that he was still dreaming but didn't know it....could it be possible that maybe she was right? What if....Cobb only "thought" that he was awake as his wife explained it...and that was the reason his ring was off because in his imagined reality his wife was "dead". He did mention in the movie that they got lost in the layers of their dreams and grew old together in their world. When they died they awoke young again maybe it was cobb that was lost in his dream and not his wife, maybe it was his mind that was infected with an idea. I haven't really gotten to far into this theory but I would like to point out one more piece of evidence. The scene where Cobb is trying to talk Mal down from the ledge and she begins to say "You're waiting for a train. A train that'll take you far away." Well if you look at both interiors of the buildings you will notice a striking similarity, as well as the exterior too....almost like the structure of a dream....odd.
There could be a correct answer to this movie that we are all missing, or maybe Nolan left out certain things for us so we could never come to a definite conclusion or answer. I believe that there is an answer to this movie, but it's so elaborate that I don't have enough time or energy to put the effort into figuring it out. I really hope Nolan did put something in the movie where we could solve this ourselves, it wouldn't be fair to lead us in circles. Let me know what you think, maybe you guys have some ideas or evidence that I missed regarding the End scene. Thanks!