Inception ending explained?
There are hundreds of people writing about their interpretation of the ending of Inception (Filmstalker review - No spoilers) and what the story meant, and I've kept well clear of it until now as I thought it only fair to leave it to people to make up their own minds, and I've been revelling in the mystery of it myself, not quite sure either way.
However one of the crew members on the film has a unique insight into the final scenes and what the real answer was, and it sounds rather solid, in fact it sounds like it would have been a Christopher Nolan decision without a doubt.
Obviously, before you continue on, be aware the ending of Inception will be discussed here, although my review doesn't talk about it, this article definitely will, in a bit of detail, and even if you've seen the ending, this looks like it will end the mystery.
So if you don't want to know the ending, or you're happy with the mystery, turn away now. I'll give you time. A few sentences in fact.
There. You should be gone if you wanted to by now.
Okay, so let's get onto the reveal. The clever guys over at The Playlist caught an interview on Clothes on Film with Jeffrey Kurland, the costume designer for Inception, and the man revealed something very interesting.
When asked about the ending which has people guessing, his answer was very interesting.
You'll remember that the ending of the film showed the spinning totem, seemingly spinning far too long, suggesting that Cobb might have still been within the dream. However it wobbled slightly, just as the film cut to black. The mystery was set.
Just before that we saw Cobb arriving home and seeing his children. He'd already mentioned during the film that if he looked at their faces in the dream then he wouldn't be able to leave, and each time we saw them they were just as he had seen them for the final time, from behind, playing from a distance.
In the final scene, just before we see that spinning totem, we see the children again, and this time, as he spins the totem, they look round at him and he looks to them, they are reunited and we return to that totem. Is it a dream, or is it real?
Real says the Inception (Filmstalker review) costume designer.
”Q: How much does costume reflect the inner machinations of the plot, particularly in a film such as 'Inception?' For example, Cobb’s children are wearing the same clothes at the end of the story as they are in his dream ‘memory’ throughout the film. Is there something to be interpreted here?
A: ...On to the second part of your question, the children’s clothing is different in the final scene… look again…”
Kurland gives an interesting answer to the first part of the question, which you should read over on Clothes on Film, but the final piece there is the killer that I'm interested in, the clothes are different at the end?
Are we certain the clothes are the same every time we see the children through the film? I'm not because I can't remember, but it's definitely a reason to go back and check with the film. If they were different at the end and nowhere else then perhaps that's a very strong indication of reality and the totem was about to wobble and fall.
The more important point is what does it matter? If he lives his life with his children perfectly unaware then it matters not a jot, what is reality after all?
What do you think? Can you remember the costumes? Was this the only scene they were different and does it explain it all for you?