I have a question about Inception (Spoilers) - Macleans.ca

I have a question about Inception (Spoilers)


How come when Mal is threatening to jump out the window and trying to convince Leo that they’re still living in the Matrix, she pleads with him to take a “leap of faith”? Isn’t her spinning top the ultimate link to reality? Why doesn’t she just spin it for him? If it stops, they’re in reality. If it doesn’t, they should jump.

And given the last scene: those who subscribe to the “the top will keep spinning” theory, are we to assume Leo has never done this test before?

This seems to me to be a very serious plothole.

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I have a question about Inception (Spoilers)

  1. Wasn't it that if the top stopped they were in a dream and if it continued to spin it was reality?

    • no, spin tops fall down in real life.

    • The opposite.

    • Never heard of it, but the trailer looks goo! Can I rent it or have to try the always reliable Amazon?

  2. For the last scene, I think the emphasis is that Leo chooses to hug his kids rather than see whether the top stops spinning.

    • I agree….you see the top wobble but he chose not to wait..

  3. She no longer trusted reality, including her totem.

  4. Right, but Leo never indicates that he doesn't trust it. Why didn't he just say, "hey Mal, spin your totem for me before you jump"?

    • Right but since Leo had taken her totem and made it his own, would her reality/dream state be confirmed or his? From what I gathered, two people could have the same totem or it defeated the purpose.

    • That was the original inception. Leo went into Mal's secret box and implanted the idea that what seems like reality is in fact a dream. He did that by changing the toppled top to a spinning top. So when Mal woke up, she couldn't convince herself that a toppled top meant she was out of the dream.

  5. leo stole her totem. so she didnt have it anymore.

  6. This is a common misconception about the totem. The totem can only tell you if you are in someone else's dream, someone who doesn't know your totem. So Mal could have easily believed that she was in her own dream, even if the top fell. Think about it, if Mal has a top that falls down, and has a dream, she is not going to dream that the top doesn't fall. Furthermore, if she suspected that her husband had touched/used her totem she could have also believed she was in his dream.

    • So what was the point of the final scene then?

      • I think it was ultimately what Kelvin said above: The point is that Cobb didn't wait around to watch the top. His children are real enough to him to convince him that he is in the real world.

        That's my take of course. A lot of people believe that the whole thing was in a dream (although I've yet to hear a convincing argument of whose dream they are in). And Nolan clearly did the cut to encourage that kind of ambiguity.

  7. Great…

    Now I have to go see it again…

    • Hahaha, I am with you….

  8. Forget the totem spinning endlessly at the end. The clincher is where Leo sees his children (and obviously it's been some time) and they are the same age as in his memory AND wearing the same clothing! That tells me – more than the spinning token – that he is not truly home but in fact living within his or someone else's memory.

    • I've only seen in once, but some folks who have seen it a few times say that the kids clothing actually is different, just similar colours. Will have to watch for it next time.

    • The kids weren't the same age. They were visibly older and wearing different clothes.

      • Someone on another site said when he speaks to them over the phone at the beginning of the film, the girl is obviously older than in the memory where she is maybe 5 or so. On the phone, she sounds like a tween. So I'm pretty convinced that he was in his dream/memory world and not in reality at the end. LOL. My take of course – although seems it's a toss up for a lot of people. Nevertheless it leaves open the possibility of a sequel doesn't it?

        • A sequel would ruin it. I have to go see it again and pay more attention to the clues.

        • i don't believe that she sounds like a tween. however, the kids were wearing similar clothes but the shoes were different. also, if you look at imdb, you see there are two different actors listed for each child at different ages.The ages are close enough that on quick glance you could mistake them for not having aged. Nolan probably did this on purpose. However the mere fact that there were different actors who played the kids at two different ages proves that the intent was that they were not the same age.

    • good catch 1 martha

  9. Leo did mention that he tried everything to convince her that she was was no longer dreaming, and that nothing worked.

    I don't think it was a plot hole, just simply not worth mentioning. By the time they showed her on the balcony it was pretty much a given that she was batsh!t insane.

  10. are we to assume Leo has never done this test before?

    We know Leo has done the test before because he does it early on in the film more than once.

    The problem is that Totems are supposed to be valid only for the original user – only they know how they're supposed to behave so that no one else can recreate it in the dreamstate – and the Top was Mal's Totem, not Leo's. Now, when Leo performs Inception on Mal and implants the idea that the top will keep spinning in the deepest recesses of her mind then he's co-opted the Totem itself and, therefore, you have to ask whether it's falling because Leo, as the dreamer, is making it subconsciously fall to support his own position or if it's falling because of gravity.

    You also have to consider the possibility that only part of the film is not real.

  11. For me, the better question is this:

    Once Dom had planted the idea that "This is not reality, and we have to kill ourselves to get back to our kids" in his wife's head, why didn't he just go back into the dreamworld with her and take it out?