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[Image credit: screenshot from Inception (2010)]

   I think perhaps the biggest problem people have with Inception is that they over-think it.  It’s easy to do, harder not to do, but it’s not necessarily the best way to approach the film.  Inception poses a lot of questions that it’s not interested in answering, and that frustrates people: they expect answers, and don’t like it when they aren’t given any—or worse, are given too many.  And Inception has many possible answers, all with something to support it, and something to refute it.  That’s what makes it so much fun.  It’s personal, because it’s malleable; it’s malleable because it was made from very personal ideas.  We all dream, we all grieve, we all question.  You take what you want, because you put in what you want.  If it’s nothing more than a romance tragique, then what of it?  If it’s an elaborate therapy session, then it’s well-done.  If it’s a treatise on the art of filmmaking, then it’s well-played.  If, in the end, it’s just a heist film, then it’s a fun one.  But I think, au cœur, it’s the emotions that make it work, the strength of guilt we feel when we fail others, and fail ourselves, and the lengths we will go to to put it all back together right… And maybe that’s where the frustration lies: if we can argue that none of it was real, then what was the point of it all?  Who won?  Well, at the end of the day, Cobb won, no matter what.  Because he didn’t turn around to watch whether the top fell or not.


 

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