The Hidden Meaning in Inception – Earthling Cinema


Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema.
I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Inception, starring hunky Renaissance painter Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by his friend, Chris. The film follows a human named Cobb, who uses a cybernetic briefcase to get inside people’s dreams and steal their brain goo. The only problem: Cobb’s ex-wife, Mal, is always showing up and harshing his mellow. Typical mental projection of a woman. But extraction is not enough for Cobb and his bros — the next big thing is inception, or planting an idea in someone’s head, which is impossible for a species that can barely process ideas. But these guys wanna do it anyway, since they don’t give a “f.” And because a rich guy is paying them to. They assemble a crack team: the jock, the
nerd, the nerd, and the nerd. They catch up with their target, Fischer, on an aeroplane and roofie the shit out of him. The first dream level is a boring, city street. Yawn. They kidnap Fischer, and then Cobb accidentally summons a train because he sucks at his job. So, they hop down to the second dream level, which is a swanky hotel. Alright, now you’re speakin’ my language. Figuratively, of course — human vocal chords didn’t have the dexterity to actually speak my language. Cobb tells Fischer it’s a dream and convinces him he’s there to protect him. “I’m the head of your security, down here.” So, they all escape to a quaint ski chalet on the third dream level. The rich guy and Fischer get killed, sending them dancing down to Limbo, the secret fourth level. Cobb and the girl nerd chase after them, because shit, they’ve already come this far. Cobb reveals that he and Mal spent decades in Limbo back in the day, and it was there that Cobb incepted Mal and turned her crazy. Once back in the real world, she killed herself and framed him, all in an attempt to force him to go back
to Limbo with her. Wow, she must have really loved him in Titanic. The girl nerd kills Fischer, which for some
reason sends him back up to level three, where he has a nice heart-to-heart with his mean, old dad. They all use “kicks” to jump back up through the levels, except Cobb, who stays in Limbo to find the money man. He does, but he’s really old, even though Cobb hasn’t aged a day. Guess the rules of Limbo are more complicated than we thought. Especially because then they just wake up without having to go through all the other levels. But, who cares! They’re awake and in Los Angeles, the city where all dreams come true. The inception works, and Fischer shuts down his father’s company to go join the Ice Capades. “That’s what I’m gonna do, Uncle Peter.” The money man clears Cobb’s criminal charges, allowing this suspected murderer to be reunited with his children. He spins his dreidel — oh yeah, there’s a whole thing — but the movie ends before we can find out whether he wins any Hanukkah gelt. Inception explores the labyrinthine world of the human mind, so naturally, it is very simplistic and easy to unpack. One important idea is: dreams vs. reality. “We’re dreaming?” In Cobb’s memory, Mal is on the ledge across the street. How did she get there? Is it because his memory has warped the event? Or did she go to the trouble of accessing the corresponding room in a neighboring building just for theatrical effect? In the final scene, Cobb actually sees his
kids’ faces, which seems to indicate that it’s reality, since he never could in his earlier projections. On the other hand, the kids don’t seem to have aged at all. So, is it a dream? Or is it real? Or did his formerly faceless kids get new faces surgically attached? Does Cobb actually make it back to reality
at the end? Was he dreaming the whole time? Does he ever have that dream about showing up to the first day of school with all his gills exposed? As the last shot suggests, it’s deliberately ambiguous. The film argues that in the face of uncertainty, one must take a leap of faith. “Do you want to take a leap of faith?” “Take a leap of faith.” “Take a leap of faith.” As philosopher Rene “The Tart” Descartes says, “There are never any sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep.” Unless you’re wiping that weird gunk out of the corners of your eyes. You never do that in dreams. But still, this leap of faith is why Cobb doesn’t stay to see if the dreidel stops spinning. Whereas before, he would obsess over it with a gun in his hand, now he just lets it spin to its heart’s content, while he gets some QT with the pipsqueaks. He no longer cares what’s real. And neither does the audience. Yeah, I’m
talkin’ about you! Give yourselves a hand. Okay, stop. Your moment’s over. Inception cleverly draws a parallel between the logic of cinema and the logic of dreams, and how watching a film is a kind of “shared dream experience.” In a chase sequence, Cobb nearly gets stuck in an alley that narrows to a point, a curiously ill-conceived design that heightens the cinematic conflict. It also taps into the idea of claustrophobia, a common anxiety found in human dreams and nightmares, possibly from living in such a small galaxy. Next, the money man conveniently
shows up in a car. What is he doing there? Did they send him a pin or something? But these kind of conveniences happened in Earth movies all the time. “Pure creation.” Furthermore, just as a dream never starts at the beginning, a scene in a movie often starts in the middle of the action. “You never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.” An audience accepts that a film may jump forward in time and cut to a new location, like an establishing shot, or something. One must accept narrative ellipses in order to become invested in the story. “You bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their subconscious.” Take me, for example. You only ever see me in this chair, but that doesn’t mean I’m just sitting here motionless in between videos, waiting for my next assignment. Is that all I am to you? A puppet? Alright, fair enough. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Sleep tight, and don’t let the space bugs bite. Observe the Earth tradition of clicking the subscribe button to be notified of new episodes. More artifact explorations are around the corner including The Hunger Games, There Will Be Blood, and all five seasons of Breaking Bad. And for more of that movie action, be sure to check out our friends at Screen Rant. For videos about movie mistakes, easter eggs, secret facts,hidden messages, and more. Their newest video is about secret meanings in movies which explores the deep significants of Hollywood films. Click here for their channel page and to subscribe. Alright these eyebrows are pooped. Night Night

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