Analyzing Inception

Move One: This movie is about people who are thieves for hire to steal intelligence from people’s minds through the use of dreams and extracting information from their subconscious. The main character, Cobb, went through this many times until eventually he and his wife, Mal, accidentally went too far down to the point where she can’t differentiate between a dream and the real world. She kills herself thinking that she will wake up from the dream and frames Cobb in order to convince him to kill himself as well, but they are already in the real world. Cobb becomes a fugitive until he is tracked down to complete one job so he can reunite with his kids whom he had to flee due to authorities thinking he killed her. 

Move Two: Each part of going into others’ dreams gets more and more complicated based on the level of dreams. Usually, Cobb and his team will go into one dream which requires a small sedative and can be woken up with a kick, a fight or flight attempt to the sleeping body of the character, or by getting killed in the dream. When going into a dream within a dream it requires a heavier sedative and the time that they feel within each dream goes exponentially slower compared to the real world. Inception, which is a dream within a dream within a dream, requires an even higher sedative to keep them sleeping. In order to be woken up from that level of dreaming a kick needs to occur in each level in order for them to ride it back to the real world. Usually, if you get killed in a dream you wake up, but as seen and explained in the movie, Mal dies in the dream and goes into limbo which is an infinite state of dreaming where time moves that much slower. People who go into limbo tend to forget over time that they’re dreaming and need a reminder if what’s real. In this case, Cobb goes to save and remind Saito that he is in limbo and that the life he is living isn’t real. 

Move Three: One thing that keeps occurring in the movie is the emergence of his dead wife Mal in his dreams. She becomes more prevalent in the dreams and poses a threat to the entire operation by sabotaging his subconscious to attack intruders in the dream. This is because the version of his wife in the dream, in his subconscious, is actively trying to convince Cobb that his life is a dream and he needs to kill himself in order to wake up. In the end, he’s able to shut her out completely accepting that she is dead and that his world is real and needs to go down to limbo to save Saito. 

Move Four: What’s implicit in the film is the idea of free will. In the dream world, the characters can do whatever they want, and when they get confused between what’s a dream and what’s reality they might think they have full free will like in a dream and control over everything which doesn’t happen in reality. 

Move Five: Inception raises many ethical questions and scenarios shown throughout the film. Is it right to steal and extract information from someone’s brain? How does it compare to the morality of stealing in the physical sense? Is planting ideas in people’s heads ethical and moral? If not what does it compare to in the real world?

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