Inception Podcast

Inception is a complex film, but not from the point of view of the protagonist’s goals. Externally, there is one goal that resonates through each act: Cobb wants to reunite with his children. Internally, he must forgive himself for his wife’s suicide or the external goal will be compromised. One of my complaints with the film, only from the story’s point-of-view, is that the plot is so complex Nolan must constantly remind the audience what is happening and what the dangers are. Even the characters are confused. Hey, he’s not just a storyteller, he’s a filmmaker. In that respect, he exceeds our expectations. I’ve never seen a film like Inception before. I doubt I will again.

WAS IT ALL A DREAM?

Inception Screenplay Kids Hotel

The final shot plants that question in our minds. Here are some of my questions after the podcast with Dan:

  • Why were his kids basically wearing the same clothes in every scene? They’re also played by two different sets of actors (one of which is Nolan’s son). Is this the sign of them as a distant memory, somewhat dreamlike?
  • How the hell did Saito remember the number for his contact at customs after being trapped in Limbo for all those years? –credit goes to DC on this one!
  • If Cobb was wanted for the murder of his wife, why would the film close at his home and not the home of their grandparents? Seems like that is something, given the circumstances, too ideal for reality.

Inception Screenplay Kids Climax

BUT THE TOP WOBBLED!

For those of you who put stock in the spinning top…

INT. BATHROOM, WORKSHOP – CONTINUOUS

Cobb takes out his PEWTER SPINNING TOP, SPINS it on the marble counter...

INT. WORKSHOP – CONTINUOUS

Ariadne looks at Arthur, puzzled.

ARIADNE

Like a coin?

ARTHUR

Too common. You need something that has a weight or movement that only you know.

INT. BATHROOM, WORKSHOP – CONTINUOUS

Cobb STUDIES the spin of the top as it decays, becoming more and more ECCENTRIC...

INT. WORKSHOP – CONTINUOUS

ARIADNE

What’s yours?

Arthur holds out a DIE.

ARTHUR

A loaded die.

Ariadne reaches for it- Arthur snatches sit away-

ARTHUR

I can’t let you handle it. That’s the point. No one else can know the weight or balance of it.

ARIADNE

Why?

ARTHUR

So when you examine your totem...

INT. BATHROOM, WORKSHOP – CONTINUOUS

Cobb’s spinning top WOBBLES OVER.

ARTHUR (O.S.)

You know, beyond a doubt, that you’re not in someone else’s dream.

Cobb GRABS it like a drowning man reaching for a lifeline.

Here’s a flashback shot that shows it in Mal’s hands:

Inception Screenplay Spinning Top

You know why she had it? Because it was hers. From page 88 of the screenplay:

INT. MAL’S CHILDHOOD HOME – DAY

Mal opens a DOLL’S HOUSE. Inside is a SAFE. She opens it- it is empty. She pulls out her SPINNING TOP.

COBB (V.O.)

...she’d decided to forget that our world wasn’t real.

Mal places the top inside the safe. LOCKS IT AWAY...

Oh, Mr. Nolan, you think you had us fooled with that little wobble at the end, didn’t you?

We’ll reveal a lot more clues supporting the “it was all a dream” position in our upcoming e-book. For now, all we’ve got is this damn podcast…

Inception Screenplay Podcast

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