Article written

  • on 19.09.2010
  • at 03:02 PM
  • by The Editor

Five Things about Inception (2010) 4


Christopher Nolan‘s Inception is nothing short of brilliant. You can argue that the movie has its weak moments and plot holes, but you can’t make the world go ooh and aah without actually delivering something incredible.

What’s amazing was, the movie didn’t evaporate the minute you walked out of the theater. It followed you home. It stayed when you’re eating dinner, watching TV, and even taking a bath. Then, after a long day, you decided to go to sleep. You sat on your bed, and just like Mal, you began to think, “Am I in a dream?” Right at this moment, you knew that Nolan’s real inception succeeded.

Inception is the type of movie that stays with you for days and weeks. Not only because of its charming factors as a motion picture, but also because it evokes your sense of curiosity. You have to admit that after getting out the theater, you started scratching your head and asked, “What the hell just happened?” This leads to long debates with your colleagues and friends about what really happened in the movie. You just never really sure. The movie gives you an itch you have to scratch. Questions you have to answer.

I remembered getting quite a similar reaction after seeing The Matrix Reloaded. The difference is, the majority of people that can speculate and explain the movie plot in Reloaded are computer geeks. With Inception, anyone can speculate. Especially, about the unknown ending.

Ultimately, Inception is not just a movie that can awe you, but also made you say…

1. WTF?!

First, you’re not sure about what’s happening. And then, it gets worse. You’re not sure how the story really goes.

You know the basic of the story. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a guy that specializes in mind heist, through dream infiltration. After his team failed to acquire information from Saito’s (Ken Watanabe) head, he was forced to perform an inception on Saito’s competition. Robert Fischer Jr (Cillian Murphy) aka The Mark was on the brink of global domination in energy. Saito saw the death of Fischer’s father (Pete Postlethwaite) as an opportunity to make his son break down the company. Saito convinced Cobb to trust him and continue with their strategic partnership. If he succeed, Cobb will be able to return to his children, after years of being pursued for the charge of murdering his wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard). So, with the help of Miles (Michael Caine), Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Ariadne (Ellen Page), Yusuf (Dileep Rao), and Eames (Tom Hardy), they dived deep into Fischer’s mind. And then it all goes murky.

Suddenly, you’re confused. Where are we? Are we inside Fischer’s head? Whose dream is this? How does this ‘inception’ thing work? What’s a kick again? Whose in charge of doing what? What happened on every dream level? What on Earth am I watching? Y’arr….

It’s really like a dream. The moment you watched the movie, you’re quite sure about what happened. After you left the screening, you’re not really sure anymore. Details began to escape from your mind. And then, people around the globe suddenly joined together in a mass I-don’t-know-what-happened-and-I-want-answers movement.

Of course, if you’re one of those people, you’ll soon discover that the internet is suddenly flooded with discussions about Inception. The guys at Cinema Blend tried to explain the storyline. The others, like The Mark News chose to sum up all the available explanation. And the rest, of course, speculate about what really happened at the movie’s ending.

If you already watch the movie, but you prefer a more simple and stylish way to understand the plot, then you’ll be happy to see some…

There came a time when an information feels so complicated, it had to be broken down into simple wordings, with lots of visual aid. It’s easy to find infographics about Inception. Some might be voted inaccurate, but some were considered successful in explaining Nolan’s intricate story. Not only they were informative, some were also a feast for the eye. Here are some of them:

a. Infographic from Rick Slusher

b. Infographic from Dehas (Deviant Art)

c. Infographic from Cinema Blend

3. MAL

She’s here, there, and everywhere. Mal is a part of Cobb, she lives inside his mind. She knows what he knows. She tracks everything he does. She doesn’t take orders and does whatever she pleased. She infiltrate into any place imaginable. She mess with their dreams, and jeopardize a running inception. She’s hostile, and she works like something you’re most probably familiar with.

Mal is a woman with malicious intent. And just as Agent Smith spreads like virus in The Matrix, Mal slips inside a dream, and made some damage.

It could be a joke, but Mal is, probably, a short for malware.


Christopher Nolan probably liked these guys a lot, that he decided to keep them coming for another role in his movie. If you noticed, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, and Cillian Murphy are inside Nolan’s dreamscape. Good thing that there’s no Christian Bale in this one, I would have thought it’s Batman‘s third movie.

Caine, Watanabe, and Murphy all worked with Nolan on Batman Begins. Caine and Murphy came back for the same role on the sequel, The Dark Knight.

Not only that. It turns out, the character name “Cobb” can also be found on Nolan’s previous movie, Following. To add some more recurring patterns, Nolan also used a character named “The Blonde” that appeared briefly in Inception, Memento, and Following.


Ariadne, the Architect, designed the setting in every level of the dreams. At the beginning of the movie, Cobb advised her to not recreate a dream from an actual setting. That might be something she didn’t follow strictly, because Ariadne had probably been to UCSD’s Geisel Library in  La Jolla (California).

Although the similarities are undeniable, I think she still did a good job. Who knew that a place as boring as a library could turn up as a great setting for action scenes and huge explosions?

So, that’s it from Five Things. I hope you enjoyed the list. There are still a lot of things to discuss about Inception, but we’ll just leave that to Ten Things, or something. Revisions, suggestions, and grammar corrections are warmly accepted.

See you on the next Five Things list.

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  4. maria andros says:

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