The Ending of Inception (closed)

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This discussion question is for those of you who have seen the movie Inception.

How did you like the movie? What do you think happened at the very end? I have my own ideas about that, but I would like to read about yours first.

Let me refresh your memory by listing  some of the main characters:

  • Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio)
  • Ariadne (Ellen Page)
  • Saito (Ken Watanabe)
  • Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy)
  • Mal (Marion Cotillard)

The object in the picture above is called a ‘top’.


  1. I agree with Albee’s conclusion. There is a lot of evidence in the film to support both theories (real or dream), but in much of the movie, Cobb seems to very concerned with being in control, with knowing what is a dream and what is real. At the end, he just seems to be happy with where he is and doesn’t really care whether it is a dream or not. The distinction between reality and dream is no longer important to him.

    By the way, the spinning is probably not important. It is the way the totem feels (texture, weight and balance) that is important (that’s why people don’t let others hold their totems–the feel of the totem is a secret). And the top wasn’t even his own totem (it was his wife’s).

  2. It seemed to have a happy reunion at the end of the film. However,the ending of Inception is puzzled, whether Cobb is awake or dreaming? I pondered long over the ending, discussed with my friends and also searched information on the internet. The following is my opinion on the ending of inception. The crucial evidence is the interview of Jeffrey Kurland, the costume designer of Inception. He said that the children’s clothing is different in the final scene… look again…” I deem that he has implied the puzzle of the ending. In fact, i think it’s not so important to know whether Cobb is in reality or just dreaming. If he can live with his children blissfully, it matters nothing whenever he’s is awake or dreaming.=)

  3. Inception is undoubtedly an excellent film and people,as well as me, felt confused after watching it. I was first really excited when I saw Cobb went back home because I thought that was an happy ending as Cobb also saw his children’s faces at last.Howeever,Cobb spun his totem to test reality and as I recalled my memory, the spinning of the totem meant that he was still in the dream, right?Thus, I thought mare and figured out that the appearence of his children didn’t change at all, so I also believe that Caoo was still in the dream.

  4. The movie is fantastic!!

    I agree with Eunice that I think Cobb was still in the dream at the end of the movie.

    Firstly, Cobb had taken the drugs (make him stay in the dream stably) and the drugs could work for ten hours. Ten hours were actually equal to 10 years at the level 4 of the dream. Therefore, although cobb suicided in the dream, he still could not come back to the reality because of the drugs.

    Also, the top didn’t stop at the end of the movie and it shows that Cobb was still dreaming at last.

    However, I felt sad about this ending becasue Cobb knew that the top didn’t stop but he still preferred to play with his chidren in the dream.

  5. I think that it’s one of the best film I’ve ever seen. Well, for me, I think that Cobb is not staying at his dream. After that big pile of incidents, finally he went back to his home, meeting his families—so quit a good ending for the film!

  6. This film is great.
    I think the whole film is Cobb’ s dream except the very end of the film. The characters in his dream are all the passengers around him on the plane, so I think it just a film. After watching this film, I leave the theatre, I asked to myself,” If I am dreaming?” At that time I think all the things arounds is fake.

  7. Tracey, Eunice and Marco

    I would just like to comment on a couple of the points made.

    Eunice, initially I though the same thing about the children that you did. I did do some research later, however, and found that the children at the end were played by two different, slightly older child actors. Also, according to the costume designer, the clothes of the children at the end were designed to be similar, but a little different to the clothes worn earlier. Although the children are ‘older’, however, this doesn’t make your overall observation wrong. It is still weird that they are dressed so similarly and doing similar things to the children in his dream/memory.

    Tracy, many people argue that Cobb just seems to appear at home (thus implying it is a dream). First he is in the airport. Then he is at home. It is not clear how he gets home (e.g., by bus, taxi, train or car). Of course, in movies, we don’t normally see every step of the journey anyway.

    Marco, I’m afraid I have to disagree with your logic. Your argument would mean that every movie that contains impossible things (e.g., Star Wars, Spiderman, etc). is a movie about a dream.

  8. I think the whole movie is a dream, including those “tops” and “stealing from dreams” because I think that’s impossible to steal or implant things in mind. So I think it is just a special dream of any one.

  9. I think the movie is superb and great!

    In my opinion, the ending of the movie is the real world.

    Firstly, the routine of how Cobb went home was very clear. As Cobb said to Ariadne before, when you are in a dream, you do not know why are you here. You just suddenly appear at a place. Therefore, Cobb was in the real world.

    Secondly, although the top was between turning or stopping at the very last of the movie, it doesn’t matter. This is because the top was not accurate. As Cobb said before, the top was made by Mal, his wife. As his wife made the top, his wife (which is inside Cobb’s subconscious) can control the top to make it turn or not.

    Based on the two main points stated above, I think Cobb is in the real world.

  10. This movie is wonderful and exciting.
    I think the ending is a dream.
    First of all, Cobb’s top is still turning. He said that if he is in a dream, the top will turn and it never gets wrong.
    Second, his children is not getting old. He has left home for many years but they are still the same ages as they were.
    But still, there is a chance that it is not a dream. This is because Cobb said the top is not going to work if others touch it and Peter has touched it.

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