Dream-waking: Christopher Nolan’s explanation of Inception will steal your sleep


inception poster


By NewsGram Staff Writer

Was the spinning top about to fall or Leonardo DiCaprio’s stuck in an endless dream? The question has worn the brains of many cinephiles thin since Christopher Nolan’s Inception hit the theaters in 2010.

Finally the master of mindf#@% cinema has broken his silence on the ambiguously open ended closing shot of Inception. However, just like the movie, with his explanation he has left everyone awestruck and wanting for more.

Addressing a class of Princeton University graduates, Nolan shed some Rembrandt lighting on the curious case of spinning-yet-about-to-topple top in the last glimpse of Mr. Cobb’s reel life in his 2010 dream/fantasy/psychological thriller.

Although Christopher Nolan’s speech might not have been able to spill the beans about Inception as succinctly as many would have wanted, he has undoubtedly broken major metaphysical ground in philosophy with it.

Starting off with the reality-dream duality of life, Nolan went on to deconstruct the entire fabric of reality to the Princeton grads.

“In the great tradition of these speeches, generally someone says something along the lines of ‘Chase your dreams,’ but I don’t want to tell you that because I don’t believe that. I want you to chase your reality.”

“I feel that over time, we started to view reality as the poor cousin to our dreams, in a sense….I want to make the case to you that our dreams, our virtual realities, these abstractions that we enjoy and surround ourselves with – they are subsets of reality.”

“The way the end of that film worked, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb — he was off with his kids, he was in his own subjective reality. He didn’t really care anymore, and that makes a statement: perhaps, all levels of reality are valid. The camera moves over the spinning top just before it appears to be wobbling, it was cut to black.

“I skip out of the back of the theater before people catch me, and there’s a very, very strong reaction from the audience: usually a bit of a groan. The point is, objectively, it matters to the audience in absolute terms: even though when I’m watching, it’s fiction, a sort of virtual reality. But the question of whether that’s a  dream or whether it’s real is the question I’ve been asked most about any of the films I’ve made. It matters to people because that’s the point about reality. Reality matters.”

It’s doubtful whether or not the audiences can understand/appreciate Inception any better, but one thing is for sure, a good number of those kids who attended professor Nolan’s metaphysical lecture will surely have a hard time believing things now.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Inception had truly left people dumbstruck with its ending! Open ended movies have a very unique ability to attract audience’s attention quickly and easily.