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Watch: 8-Minute Analysis Of Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' Digs Into The Mystery

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by Joshua Encinias
June 18, 2014 11:25 AM
3 Comments
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Inception

Everyone has a theory about Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” from libertarians who find Plato’s Cave/Ayn Rand-like levels of reality in the film, to fan sites dedicated to dense theories, and blogs dedicated the film’s moral evolution. One prevailing theory (SPOILER) calls Cobb’s spinning top a red herring, and that we should turn our attention to Cobb’s ring. The theory goes: Cobb is dreaming when you see him wear the ring, and you know he’s awake when he isn’t wearing it. The theory’s falsifiable and it’s simple enough to stick (it’s Cracked’s number one fan film theory).

Darren Foley is picking up the theory and is running for a touchdown, having transformed the ring-totem theory into a new paradigm for understanding “Inception.” Foley also explores Nolan’s use of film titles to introduce important concepts in the story. He said the titles for The Dark Knight Trilogy, “Memento,” and “The Prestige” include concepts that viewers can use to interpret Nolan’s topsy turvy narratives. Check out the video essay below, and let us know what you think of the ring-as-totem theory in the comments below. [No Film School]

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3 Comments

  • greg | June 19, 2014 6:05 AMReply

    problem about all these theories are forgetting the most obvious thing.. the story telling.. and cobbs goal is to go back home with his kids and his conflict is his obsession with dream vs reality (same goes with audience) thats why he got stuck in it for a long time (same goes to audiences who keeps analyzing the details) but in the end what is important is his back with his kid.... thats the real story reality vs dream is an important in the end as cobb have let go of it while the audience till now are still stuck with the obsession that stopped cobb from achieving his ultimate desire at 1st.. and thats the most obvious thing . to go back home to his kids...analyzation of dream vs reality is the full proof of the unecessary obssesion that cobb had when just likw what his father said "you know you can come back home anytime". making this analyzation another waste of time.

  • Xavier | June 19, 2014 4:47 AMReply

    I have the craziest theory of all, that Nolan meant for it to be open ended so that he didn't have to commit either way and any tiny hints you can find one way or another are accidental. The movie is just not as deep as people want to think (its a pretty fun sci fi ride though) and "analysts" have put way more time, thought and effort into it than the writers ever did (again not to say that overall, its bad writing).

  • Zach | June 18, 2014 3:40 PMReply

    very interesting! I personally took the ending as a dream (let's call it an emotional interpretation) but I agree it doesn't really matter.

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