Inception: Anticlimactic or Satisfyingly Open-ended?

Inception is a highly popular film with an incredibly divisive ending. The whole movie takes the audience on a journey through exciting and complex dreamscapes, as Dom Cobb tries to pull off a reverse, mind-heist. Instead of stealing secrets from unconscious victims, he must plant an idea into someone’s head. Even though the film was wildly successful, the ending was very anticlimactic. At the end of the movie, the top spins. If it stays spinning, the characters are still in a dream. If it stops, the characters are living in reality. The characters watch the top spin one last time, to find out their fate. While the top is spinning in the most suspenseful part of the film, the film ends. The audience is left not knowing if the top was going to keep spinning, or come to a full stop. Was this a satisfying end, or a complete cop-out?

  • Really interesting open question about open-endedness. Could definitely reference the similar (although in my opinion, much less successful) end to Tenet too. – Marcus Dean 3 years ago
  • I loved the movie Inception and really like this topic. I think that exploring the other works of Christopher Nolan e.g. Interstellar, Tenet, Dunkirk etc. would aid in exploring Inception's goals as a movie through the lense of Nolan's directing approach and treatment of time, space and reality. – rbryan14 3 years ago

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