Inception is known for having a soundtrack that went BWONG every three minutes and accompanied an infuriatingly open-ended final scene designed to make you argue with your date as you left the cinema. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a widower who invades people's dreams to plant ideas in their subconscious. Each dream-planter has a personal object, or totem, to let them know if they're in a dream or in the real world, because getting lost in someone's head without realizing it is a legitimate concern in this line of work.
Cobb's totem was a spinning top: If it kept spinning forever it meant he was dreaming, and if it fell down he was not. In the last scene, Cobb makes the top spin on a table ... and then the movie cuts to black. So did it keep spinning or not? The Internet has been furiously debating this for years and we are no closer to an answer.
For our money, Cobb was definitely a replicant.
... and that's because we've been looking in the wrong direction. The top was never Cobb's totem -- it was his wedding ring all along. This is based on the fact that, every time we see Cobb's hand in the dream world, he happens to have the ring on it; you can see it in the opening scene, and again in that crazy dream in the cafe.
In fact he keeps flashing it to the chick from Juno, because he knows she's into married dudes.
Meanwhile, every time we see Cobb's hand in the real world, he doesn't have it. It's not there on any of the present-day, non-dream scenes at the beginning, and it's not there in the last few scenes ... meaning that the ending wasn't a dream. Check it out, this is right before he makes the top spin and the director pulls a The Sopranos on us:
Close the Internet, we're done.
Keep in mind, Cobb never said the top was his totem. Seriously, go back and rewatch the movie: He doesn't. We see him clutching the top in his hand when Juno asks about totems, but there's a good reason for him to do that: The top belonged to his dead wife, and, as the movie doesn't hesitate to show us, Cobb is still slightly hung up on her.
To the point where every time he goes to sleep, she chases him like a freaking Terminator.
In the movie we're told that totems must be something unique that only the owner knows well. Since the top was previously his wife's, that means Cobb must have had another totem before, right? The ring seems like a perfect choice. He stopped wearing it when she died, but was too cheap to buy a new totem.
Now that that's settled, let us put this movie to rest and overanalyze something else. What the fuck was that monkey Lincoln statue at the end of Planet of the Apes, anyway?
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