Continuing our unintended "Inception Explained!" series (where you can find here, and here), this is definitely the biggest one ever, from writer-director Christopher Nolan himself!

The latest (18.12) issue of WiReD Magazine is shaping up to be an unmissable item any self-respecting movie maniacs should be picking up. In addition to the mysterious video clip directed by Neill Blomkamp that we have reported earlier, now we have Christopher Nolan himself explaining his ambiguous Sci-Fi masterpiece, Inception.

Okay, not quite. Part of the charm (and of course, the reason for the film to STILL be in heated debates across internet forum, real-life pub brawl) is the intended ambiguity of the film. Nevertheless, do note that this is probably the best clarification you can ever get from Nolan.

Thanks to Collider, check out the excerpt from the magazine, as WiReD, armed with everything from probable deduction to straight-up jabberwocky theories, launches a full-frontal attack on the director.
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What’s happening in the movie: After the first extraction fails, Cobb spins his top to check if he is in a dream. It falls over.

“The Ending Is Not a Dream” Argument: This establishes context for the audience—the movie is not all a dream.

Nolan’s Comment: “This gives Cobb a base-line reality. But he’s an untrustworthy narrator.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Saito says he’ll clear Cobb’s name if he takes the job. He asks Cobb to take “a leap of faith.”

“The Entire Movie Is a Dream” Argument: The phrase “leap of faith” occurs over and over. It’s an artifact of Cobb’s subconscious.

Nolan’s Comment: “I don’t think I’m going to tell you about this.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Cobb starts assembling his team and trains Ariadne in dreamweaving.

“Actually, It’s About Movie-Making” Argument: All the roles correspond. Cobb: director. Ariadne: writer. Eames: art director. Saito: producer. Fischer: audience.

Nolan’s Comment: “I didn’t intend to make a film about film-making, but I gravitated toward the creative process that I know.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Cobb goes to Mombasa to get Eames the forger and Yusuf the chemist.

“Or Maybe It’s a Meditation on Architecture” Argument: A beautiful pan across the rooftops of Mombasa.

Nolan’s Comment: “I wanted to show the potential for the real world to have analogies to the dream world. The mazelike city of Mombasa does that.”
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“Actually, It’s About Movie-Making” Argument: Smash cuts, mysterious chases, implausible coincidences—the grammar of film is the grammar of dreams.

Nolan’s Comment: “I wouldn’t say that I tried to use the grammar of the film to tell the audience what is dream and what is reality.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Cobb confronts Mal in limbo, and Fischer is incepted in the hospital.

“The Entire Movie Is a Dream” Argument: Mal challenges Cobb’s reality. Faceless corporations? Chased around the globe? Really?

Nolan’s Comment: “For the ambiguity at the end to work, you need to see that Cobb’s world and the dream world are very similar. And you need to doubt Cobb.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Cobb washes up on the beach (full circle with beginning).

“Just the Ending Is a Dream” Argument: Saito honors his agreement. They build limbo to be their reality together.

Nolan’s Comment: “Uh…that’s not how I would have read the movie.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Arriving home, Cobb finally sees his children’s faces.

“The Entire Movie Is a Dream” Argument: The kids haven’t aged! And they’re in the same clothes! This is clearly all a dream.

Nolan’s Comment: “The kids are not wearing the same clothes at the end! And they do age! We were working with two sets of kids.”
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“Or Maybe It’s a Meditation on Architecture” Argument: It’s the golden-lit craftsman dream home…with a house made of blocks on the dining table.

Nolan’s Comment: “The film is about architects. It’s about builders.”
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What’s happening in the movie: Cobb spins the top—it’s still spinning when the movie cuts to black.

“The Entire Movie Is a Dream” Argument: The top doesn’t matter—Cobb can finally see his children’s faces.

Nolan’s Comment: “The important thing is that Cobb’s not looking at the top. He doesn’t care.”
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“Or Maybe It’s a Meditation on Architecture” Argument: The top itself is constructed—topologically, it’s a pseudosphere, every point curving away.

Nolan’s Comment: “The prop guys just made a top that would spin for a long time.”

“Actually, It’s About Movie-Making” Argument: The audience has to “take a leap of faith.” Nolan uses ambiguity as a storytelling tool. There isn’t just one answer.

Nolan’s Comment: “Oh no, I’ve got an answer…”

Well at least we got the part about Cobb's kids clarified, which nullified my earlier attempt at explaining the final question regarding the spinning totem in the closing shot. A mistake on my part despite going to the theater twice for the film.

Source: Collider

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