Everyone who’s seen Inception has walked out of the theater with one question on their mind: Was Cobb still in the dream? When the movie ends Cobb totem is still spinning and we’re left to wonder whether or not it stops. I’ve always believed that he was still dreaming, in large part because of his kids.
When the movie ends Cobb is reunited with his children for the first time after a long separation. But to me, it appeared as though they hadn’t changed from his vision of them in his dreams. They appear to be around the same age as the kids in his memory and they even seem to be wearing the same clothes as the kids in his dream. That would seem to be impossible if Cobb is truly in reality since, the odds that they’d both happen to be wearing exactly the same outfits as his fantasy version of them, are pretty slim.
But The Playlist has uncovered an interview with Inception costume designer Jeffrey Kurland who claims that, even though they may not seem different, the kids clothes are in fact not the same. He insists, “the children’s clothing is different in the final scene… look again…”
That’s huge. If the kids clothing really is different then Cobb, who always imagined them the same way when in a dream, is no longer in a dream and actually in reality. On my second viewing of the film I tried to play close attention to what they were wearing in the movie’s final scene, and to me the clothing looked identical. But Kurland dressed them, and since he would know, I’m inclined to take his word for it. I doubt this will end the ongoing debate, but for me at least, that pretty much solves the mystery of Inception. Cobb isn’t dreaming, the totem does spin off the table after the credits, and reality triumphs in the end.
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