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In the movie Inception (2010), was the end a dream or a reality?

It seems that there are 2 theories regarding the ending of Inception. If we accept that the entire movie is not a dream and that Cobb did in fact escape his limbo with Mal, then it is reasonable to believe he also escaped his limbo with Saito.

It is possible that the entire movie is a dream, and that Cobb never left his own limbo. Which one do you think is the correct one? Or do you have a different theory?

  • I'd love to see how this is answered. Can I say how frustrated I was with the movie's ending? I do think that it would be interesting to discuss why it was left so unsettled and how this communicates the themes of the movie. – tclaytor 3 months ago
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  • I was under the impression that the ending being ambiguous was intentional. I haven't watched Inception in ages so my memory is a lil fuzzy, but I thought the whole movie was, in essence, about questioning what is reality and what we want to be real. I think the ambiguous ending encapsulates that existential debate. I don't think there's a correct theory; at least, I don't think there should be one. – Starfire 3 months ago
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  • Nolan was greatly influenced by Satoshi Kon's 'Paprika' (2006) and I'm of the opinion that since both deal with the 'dream' world and reality, then the meaning within both 'Paprika' and 'Inception' is very much down to personal interpretation. So, either theory regarding the ending is correct - it's all about how we personally perceive it. Good topic suggestion! – Amyus 2 months ago
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