Inception’s HIDDEN Meanings! | Film Legends

Inception’s HIDDEN Meanings! | Film Legends

This is Jacob from the Wisecrack channel and welcome to Film Legends where we break down all the smart stuff in the most renowned films of our age We’ll be analyzing and awarding points for every single thing a movie does right. Films will get scored in the categories of style, depth, context, and technique, all to determine which movies really are Film Legends. Today’s Challenger – Christopher Nolan’s Inception, which will be scored against these rules here. Let’s get to it! According to psychoanalyst Carl Jung, water is the commonest symbol of the unconscious, so this opening image is completely on point. We’ll actually see a whole boatload of water shots throughout Inception, further highlighting this focus on the unconscious. The opening sequence nicely plays on the flashing to the end of the film trope. Like the Usual Suspects and American Beauty, Inception recontextualizes this opening ending later on. What seems to be Cobb getting captured by an old man and his goons is far more complicated than appearances suggest: Cobb: “I’ve come back for you” Major props for not flashing to one of those “x months earlier” cards. Inception trust the audience enough to figure it out for themselves Cobb: “Resilient. Highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold in the brain. It’s almost impossible to eradicate.” Cobb here references Memetics which applies Darwinian evolution to thoughts and beliefs, for Richard Dawkins a meme, aka an idea or belief, replicates like a gene but within culture itself. Like Cobb, Dawkins even goes so far as to call ideas viruses. In his essay “Viruses of the mind”, Dawkins traces how the idea of Religion has spread, virus like, throughout the world Inception wordlessly establishes how reality physically impacts dreams and how slowly time moves between the two. Who even needs exposition? Mal: “If I jumped, would I survive?” Mal’s first line nicely foreshadows her later… I guess, earlier… demise Mal is a french prefix for “bad”, fitting then that French actress Marion Cotillard plays the role of Cobb’s malevolent wife. Character names play an important role in Inception. Cobb is actually a callback to Christopher Nolan’s first feature Following which also, well, followed a thief named Cobb And Ellen Page’s Ariadne is named after the daughter of Minos who in Greek mythology guides theseus out of the maze Wow oh Sorry, just got a little carried away, but come on this hans zimmer score is awesome Heck is pretty much used into every single movie nowadays oh Wait, they’re all still dreaming Nolan intentionally confuses dreams in reality right from the start putting the audience immediately on their toes Do you want to take a leap of faith ? Or become an old man filled with regret Another ironic bit of foreshadowing as from the opening we’ve already seen sato become an old man filled with regret Oh, wait a second hype man, since we already know sato becomes an old man Is it really foreshadowing? wouldn’t it Just be like a flashback, or is it like foreshadowing flashback is that even possible? damn you Nolan! Do you want to take a leap of faith? throughout inception characters implore Cobb to take a leap of Faith? Nolan constantly places doubt on Tangible reality That cup of coffee, the table it sits on, the people walking across the street, all of it could just be a dream But simply you can’t rely on just your senses and reason instead you need to this doubt reflects Rene decarts Dream argument where the Philosopher asks if our senses can’t distinguish dream from reality then can they ever truly be trusted? He taught me to navigate people’s minds. ah the first bit of clunky Exposition instead of taking the time to establish the relationship between Cobb and Stephen, the film just has Cobb blurted out And this job this last job. That’s how I get there. Oh the old last job trope It seems like every film about a thief has this one. It’s an easy way to establish the film stakes. It’s almost too Easy I expect something a little more original from you, nolan, that’s gonna cost you you have Two minutes to design a maze that takes one minute to solve. according to psychologists Marie-Louise von Franz Mazes are a symbol of the unconscious The complicated structure of mazes Mimic our own winding often contradictory internal thoughts so it’s not a surprise Noland constantly draws out the parallels between the two In Greek Mythology the journey through a maze has been Associated with spiritual enlightenment the hero lost in the maze must confront his darker self represented by the minotaur Similarly in inception Cobb Lost within his own dreams must confront his own minotaur Mal Once the Hero has defeated the minotaur and navigated out of the maze he reaches an elevated plain of existence Just as cobb reunites his children after defeating Maul and navigating out of his own dreams or does he? Now in a dream our mind continuously does this we Create and perceive our world Simultaneously and our mind does this so well that we don’t even know it’s happening Cobb here describes Edmund Husserl Philosophy phenomenology, which focuses on how we construct our own reality through consciousness both awake and in dreams Arthur will later visualize this concept as he alters the makeup of the penrose staircase just by becoming conscious of its infinite loop Heyö Inceptions gained so many philosophical points. It’s unlocked the thinking man token inception mirrors the filmmaking process Cobb is the director, Saito the Producer, Ariadne the writer, eames the actor, and arthur is well just joseph Gordon-Levitt you never really remember the beginning Of a dream do you you always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on? Just look at how each dream sequence opens always in medias Res Exactly as Moody scenes work. Oh My goodness no one’s never gonna be able to top this awesome image Holy moly, I’m sorry I ever doubted you Chris inception city bending imagery is so influential that less than six years later films are already copying it wholesale Eams the forger is first seen forging poker chips a smart visual way to establish the supporting character with minimal dialogue the dream has become their reality who are you to say otherwise sir? this push and pull between reality and dreams embodies the philosophy of Joan baudrillard who stated The simulation of reality like a dream has replaced actual reality Later Mal will repeat this line of thinking telling Cobb, “don’t believe in one reality anymore” “so choose” Look at you inception getting all Matrix-y Trains appear throughout, inception used as a metaphor for life itself You don’t know for sure Just as in life you hope you’ll be able to achieve your dreams or in cobbs case get out of them But these goals aren’t certain. It doesn’t matter How can it not matter to you? What a train will take? Oh, I got ya Mal in the end It doesn’t matter where life takes you. It’s the people you meet and travel along with you that do And here’s where inception runs into an exposition wall when it was just comics planing dreams to ariadne The exposition worked because it set up the rules of the film but at this point We’re already neck deep in the action and yet still everything stops dead for this exposition Heck Tom Hardy even repeats all this info again just in case anybody wasn’t paying attention the first time special shout-out to cinematographer Wally Pfister he even makes Tom hardy staring into a mirror visually stunning and Father-son issues a Christopher Nolan Trademark from Batman begins through interstellar Holy plot twist Mal Committed suicide because Cobb accidentally incepted the idea in her head This is another Nolan trademark as the hero his films are often indirectly responsible for the death of their loved ones Leonard in Memento, Alfred in the Prestige, heck even Batman is indirectly responsible for the death of Rachel Dawes Tom hardy kills this line play it again mustn’t be afraid to dream with a bigger darling a A brilliant hommage to fred astaire dancing on the ceiling in Royal wedding Followed up by another great homage this time to James Bond’s on her majesty’s secret service. No one sure does know his movies Nice payoff to the Penrose staircase scene from the beginning of the film Nolan masterfully pays off early images and lines the, two children, the spinning top, mal’s train riddle and leap of Faith all come back to play an important role by the end of the film Nolan’s Longtime Editor Lee Smith really outdoes himself effortlessly intercutting between the different dream levels without once confusing the audience The central question of inception seems to be what’s real and what’s a dream at first there is a clear delineation between the two But then everything begins to blur to the point where maybe the entire film has been a dream yet by the end of the film it doesn’t matter if cobb is stuck in a dream or not if If the top spins or falls. What matters is that Cobb believes hes made it out Has been reunited with his children thus the central question of inception isn’t dream versus reality But objective versus subjective truth And what a last shot to end on you may have grown as the top kept spinning and wobbling But hey, it kept everybody talking about inception way after the credits rolled that’s a win Alright inception. Let’s see. How you did nice technique and depth not a surprise considering. This is Chris Nolan We’re talking about after all and we factor in all the multipliers and streaks Those scores sure look like a dream to me and all those is it real or not philosophical points earned inception a special bonus But will it be enough to put the rest of the competition to bed let’s head over the leaderboard and find out inception rising rising Settling in at number 4. Oh sorry inception, but it’s a little too much exposition to take that top spot still though That’s one heck of a score Be sure to come back next time as another competitor fights for the title of film legend. Oh wait I wasn’t supposed to say that was I Hey theorists if you’ve missed any of the other episodes of film Legends click here to check out the film Legends Playlist and be sure to check out our other episode on the Matrix here. Catch you guys next time toodles *Music plays in background*

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I say it every time. The top makes no sense as a totem. A good example of the totem would be the weighted die, where everyone believes the die could land on any number and the character has a physical REAL object that contradicts that assumption. A top that spins forever does not exist and will eventually fall like any other. Nearly ruined the film for me because it is such an obvious oversight, and no one says anything about it.

    EDIT: AND even if the totem were to make sense, the totem can only tell you if you are in someone else's dream. Since this family dream is Cobb's, the totem would meet his own expectations…..because it's his dream. Come on Nolan. He did the same kinda shit in Interstellar.

  2. So if everything we are, from our physical aspects to mental aspects are controlled by genes… then are memes controlling us?

  3. I fucking hate this interpretation: It matters THE MOST if Cob ends up in a dream or not!!!!!!! He's trying to rejoin his family, find his children. It's not about finding "release", it's about reconnecting with his kids.

  4. you know your review is terrible when the ranking system is literally more complicated than the most confusing movie ever

  5. Y'all keep missing one huge question in Inception… why are the kids the same age as they were within the 10 year time gap… wouldn't they've been all grown up when he got back?!? woke the deuce up y'all… it was all a dream, no question.

  6. Just like Leo DiCaprio's movie "The Island" the entire movie is a dream. This is clearly shown to us through Cobb's totem!!! A object meant to verify our presence in reality by a unique sensation only the dreamer knows. Exept Cobb's totem only disprove a dream from within a dream!!!! Meaning he purposefully Surrendered his reality to his subconscious…. Further proof is the fact he makes his totem known to all. Without fear of manipulation. Because the entire cast are just his imagination!

  7. God damn this would be so much better without that fucking dude saying shit like "Sweet Viz" What the Fuck? Are you serious, WHY? YOU DO IT THROUGH THE WHOLE VIDEO AND YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE MOVIE TROPES?? FUUUCK YOU!

    I'm proud to say that I'll never know how this video ends..I really fucking hope this is the only video with Goddamn "SWEET VIZ!" over here….

  8. I have a theory for you. In inception is cobb still a sleep. I believe he still is just because through out the whole film it seem like he's having a lot of deja vu. people are saying the same thing over and over again like "take a leap of faith" , and every time he keep see his kids or think about then they are always in the same motion.he keeps seeing his wife everywhere. what if his wife has been trying to wake him up this whole time. she trying to get him to die so it would shock him to wake up and his friend are not real, its his subconscious fighting her to keep him asleep….. what do you say?????????????????????? and more ???????????????????????????????????

  9. But I think don't get why the gravity isn't gone in the deeper dream levels, when there's no gravity in the dream, where Arthur is…

  10. This is my first ever vid of yours and I love the entire concept, especially the scoring system and more specifically the voicing of the bonuses.

    I will definitely be watching more of your well thought out productions.


  11. Aw man, it's an amazing video, but the presentation, score point voice lines and the fucking music turned me off

  12. Hi guys! Does anybody know how pages like this don't get their videos flagged or taken down?

    One thing I do is use videos to look at body language, but I've gotten flagged on some videos. How can I avoid this? Thanks!

  13. Well, it sort of makes sense that the exposition is the downfall. I once spoke with an author who told me that unnecessary exposition (she called it "dumptrucking") can completely ruin the pacing of a story, and lower viewer/reader intrigue. It's a more useful storytelling tool to show something rather than tell it, and since Inception was told in a movie format, it would have been more convenient and intriguing to show the dangers of limbo perhaps with a small amount of verbal solidifications of its threat. Just a thought. Don't get me wrong, though. I LOVED this film!

  14. Doesn't matter because he has seen his children's faces and reunited with them but he still has her totem (spinning top). Originally belonged to Mal but remember he took it from the safe locked up in her mind (when Cobb tells Ariadne, Mal chose to forget). Does that mean his wedding ring 'totem' isn't as significant anymore as he stole Mal's totem and planted an idea in her mind? No because he still has that ring on when he's dreaming- even though he uses the top.
    Does it depend on who's dream they are in? They may have different totems but if everyone is in the same dream/reality wouldn't the totems have the same result as one another? So it doesn't matter who own what totem, as long as it works in whatever dream/reality?
    So at the very end where he sees his children, we're seeing this from his point of view and he's the one who spun the top (even though it didn't originally belong to him) because at that moment in time, it's his reality/dream.
    I don't really know if it was a dream or not but I like to keep an open mind 🙂

  15. it took me a few days to get a video about inception,

    can you confirm , in Titanic. if two people fit in the door?

  16. Okay, I enjoyed Frozen, but It doesn't even crack my Disney/Pixar top 5. Now you are telling me that its better than Inception. Give me a break!

  17. Guys guys come on…ya'll know we cannot trust ratings not in films apps or anything else….it just tells us weathee a film is good or not but does not tell if it's better than another film, ya gotta watch by yourselfe to decied…

  18. I'm definitely no genius, but this movie had WAY to much happening in it and was EXTREMELY confusing to me. Of course, I'm from Texas.

  19. Something broke on the film theorist channel damn youtube. But still, I'm feeling this! Can't subscribe playing on the wrong channel. I will seek you out for that sub after the video.

  20. This really seems to be made for people with fucking autism. The constant unnecessary yelling and the loud drone of irritating music in the background is just infuriating and provides no actual value to the video itself other than to keep an idiot engaged.

  21. Nolan did a great job with the ending by keeping it ambiguous, but he ultimately gave it away (very subtly) because he never saw his kids' faces until the very end

  22. I can not take anyone serious who even puts frozen and inception in the same league let alone frozen above it. A shallow as f… Disney Movie, a stupid meme dump like deadpool above it? Seriously? You should be ashamed of yourself.

  23. This movies’ so mind-blowing it’s giving me Schizophrenia 🤣🤣🤣🤣. (Don’t get the wrong idea from those laughing Emojis, it’s just a joke I’m completely fine, I promise You that my mental condition=👍🏽.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *