‘Inception’ Film’s Ending Finally Explained
The enigmas of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi action thriller Inception have long plagued movie-lovers. Now, thanks to Inception star Michael Caine, we have the truth behind the ambiguous ending that’s left fans scratching their heads for the better part of a decade.
When the film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as professional thief and expert secret-stealer Dominick “Dom” Cobb, debuted in July of 2010, it was seemingly all anyone could talk about. The one question no one could answer, however, was what really happened at the end of Inception.
After DiCaprio’s Cobb returns home to his children, he spins a top — his late wife Mal’s (Marion Cotillard) “totem,” an object dreamers use to distinguish between reality and fantasy — on the table to test whether he’s in the real world or still trapped under layers of a dream. If his sweet homecoming is real, the top will spin and then topple; if it’s all an elaborate construction, Cobb’s totem will twirl on into infinity.
Though it’s evident that Cobb has carried out this test plenty of times before given how skilled he is at his job, when he conducts it in the final moments of the film, he chooses to walk away without seeing the result and instead reunites with his young children in the backyard. Cobb hugs the tiny tots, scooping his son up into a hug, while the camera pans back to the spinning top. Viewers watch as it rapidly rotates for a few seconds before teetering slightly — and then the film cuts to black.
So, what gives? Does Inception end in a dream or in reality?
According to Caine, it’s the latter. The actor revealed to Esquire during a recent screening of Inception in London that the key to determining whether the ending is real or just another dream lies in his character — Professor Stephen Miles, Cobb’s mentor and father-in-law… Follow the article on Hands-On