62

The technique is specifically named in the film, as the literal meaning of the word matches well with it. Following is a dialogue from early in the film, for reference: COBB: What do you want from us? SAITO: Inception. ... SAITO: Is it possible? ARTHUR: Of course not. SAITO: If you can steal an idea from someone's mind, why can't you plant one there instead?...


59

Saito wanted to be present to ensure that the job went his way and that the team was successful. Having already experienced a failed attempt at information theft (when Cobb and co tried to steal information from him), Saito wanted to put every little thing into his favor, and the best way to do that was to be present at every step. A good example of this ...


52

Although the ending of inception was meant to be debatable and ultimately was left up to the audience, there are several factors indicating that Cobb is indeed dreaming in the end of the film. In fact if you read my whole theory you shall understand that Cobb is actually on the third dream level and you will understand why. Reason 1. Cobb told Saito and ...


49

Because you can't battle a notion once it's successfully inserted into your subconscious. Cobb: An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you. Nothing could convince Mal. Presumably, Cobb had better ways than a spinning top to prove to Mal that this is reality and that ...


41

The other answers here are correct, but they are missing a key quote that is a direct answer to your question. YUSUF: A powerful sedative. How many team members? COBB: Five. SAITO: Six. The only way to know you've done the job is if I go in with you. The "loot" from this job was not an obvious, easily provable thing like a password or a secret ...


36

Most of it is explained in the movie: Yusuf: We're too heavily sedated to wake up that way. [...] Can't even think about trying to escape [from Limbo] until the sedation eases. Cobb (to Saito): When you wake up you won't even remember that we had an arrangement. Limbo is going to become your reality. So let's tackle the relevant points one at a time. Why ...


26

As you explained, Inception is an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events. In this movie, lead protagonist Dominic Cobb(Leonardo DiCaprio) has got a task to implant an idea into Robert Fischer's subconscious mind by going into his dream. And that person will have a life and act according to what has been implanted into his mind....


23

My take on this is quite simple. He's hiring a team to encourage a competitor to walk away from competing with his company. This is an illegal activity and as a result involves hiring a team that he personally knows little about, or whether to trust them. Because this is illegal, he has no recourse to the legal system if Cobb breaks his agreement, and ...


20

I love the question. Here's a summary from a very tight explanation (with some drawings): Inception and Kicks There were two types of dreams. The simple construct with a mild sedative and the more complex construct with a strong sedative. In the simple construct, one kick is enough. Kick can be either to the self (eg: Arthur shot in the head) or a kick ...


19

In the featurette The Sound of Inception sound designer Richard King talks shortly about recording sounds from an oscillator that are played through subwoofers. That's when you can hear that bwaah sound, as you call it.     Mix Magazine has an article in which Richard King explains a bit more about using subwoofers and oscillators to create ...


19

A totem was an object with some behaviour which was considered to be a secret known only to its owner. Totems could be used therefore to determine whether someone was in someone else's dream because the dreamer would not know what the secret behaviour was, but they could not reliably be used to determine whether someone was dreaming at all, because if the ...


18

There are three ways to wake up from the dream: wait for the timer to run out; die; or receive a kick from the next level up. Because of the sedatives, dying wasn't an option; they'd just end up in limbo. And because of the multiple dream levels, waiting for the timer to run out wasn't an option, because they'd all be killed by the projections in the time ...


18

Cobb wanted to be absolutely sure that the drug was in. There was just too much at stake to leave something like that up to the hostess.


18

In the movie, Arthur is defined as the point man: Point man: A most trusted assistant or associate; the person upon whom one would most rely. Arthur is Cobb's right-hand guy and the team's detail man who's best at taking care of all the specifics. He also keeps Cobb in check (Cobb proves throughout the film that he's a somewhat volatile partner who might ...


17

Ariadne is in the process of changing the dream and Cobb’s subconscious senses the changes and begins to attack her. With the mirrors, Ariadne is discovering a way to create changes in the dream that Cobb’s mind can accept. In this instance, she creates an extended road that wasn’t there before. Cobb’s mind accepts the change in the dream because the two ...


14

I know that we can all agree that the ending is up in the air, but were he dreaming in the end, what dream level he is in, can be one of at least two possibilities. 1st level: Although we are introduced to the spinning totem early on in the film and further enlightened to its significance throughout, we only see it spin out once, in the hotel room before ...


14

I think the answer is in what Cobb says: Saito is dead by now. The by now being the important part. Based on the injuries sustained by Saito it is obvious that he only has a short time to live. And while time passes differently at the different levels, Cobb is aware it has passed. He may not know with 100% confidence but biased on how long it looked ...


14

(Personally I do have a lot of sympathy with your thought that this is a plot hole - but here is a train of thought that might explain it) To be fair on Ariadne, it is actually Cobb who first asserts that Saito is dead. From the script: ARIADNE Cobb, I'm not going to let you lose yourself in here! You have to get back to your children! COBB ...


13

I found the following dialog that I think answers my question: Ariadne: So, do you use a timer? Arthur: No, I have to judge it for myself. While you're all asleep in five-two-eight, I wait for Yusuf's kick. Ariadne: Well, how will you know? Arthur: Cause music warns me and then when the van hits the barrier of the bridge that should ...


13

To add to the answers, another key bit is that Cobb enters Limbo twice. reff: Inception Explained First time with Ariadne, when they go down using the machine to get Fischer. Here they both are aware of where they are and what they are here to do. Later on when everyone rides up using the kicks, they use oxygen masks and exit the drowning van. Here they ...


13

Cobb enters limbo through death a long time after Saito enters limbo through death. This answer covers things very well. The order of events is: Fischer dies in level-3 (reaching Limbo) Cobb and Ariadne sleep in level-3 (reaching Limbo) Saito dies in level-1 (reaching Limbo) Mal stabs Cobb in Limbo and gets shot Ariadne and Fischer kill themselves in Limbo ...


13

The 'letters' are different in different parts of the story. However the dream metaphor of the safe and the document it contains act in a similar manner. Extraction Dream (Targeting Saito) Cobb explains how extraction works to Saito at the start of the movie. The purpose of extraction is to obtain a secret from the target. They do that by providing a (...


12

I can't do much more than confirm what you already assumed, too: The only way I can think is to memorize each line on that paper, wake up and recite those lines to Cobol Engineering before he forgets. This indeed seems to be the intended approach. But I don't think you necessarily need to memorize each line, though. Those letters are likely not actual ...


12

Due to the slowed time in dream state, it's still possible that Mal woke up and is working on giving Cobb the kick, but he's perceiving that time as years. If Cobb is still several levels deep, then those years could have been only a few minutes or even seconds since Mal woke up. She could still be setting up or triggering the kick, or even waiting a few ...


11

I agree with what's been said in the other answer, but also I consider a major factor to be mood. The whole sequence is designed to give that sense of the magnitude of their (his) accomplishment, and heighten his fear and expectation as he makes it through immigration and then customs and finally freedom. Plus there is a general sense of a dream or waking ...


11

He does sound a little angry or bitter when he says that line. You could put that down to him suspecting that she is thinking that question, which would indeed make it slightly sarcastic. However, given his circumstances: a man wanted for murder, a man who operates with criminals on a daily basis who are unlikely to keep their thoughts to themselves - it ...


11

Mal is a subconscious representation of Cobb's wife. He has no control over her at all. She is an aspect of his own psyche. I would say that Mal is sabotaging Cobb's team because she is a representation of his failure and guilt over his actions leading to his actual wife's suicide. You could say that deep down Cobb doesn't want to succeed and he wants to ...


10

It seems to me that the only way that someone could safely adopt someone else totem would be for both the following to be true: To have your own totem, which you can first use to confirm that you are not in a dream For you to totally trust the person you have taken the totem from, or that they are no longer alive The second rule is just the normal "don't ...


10

Mal was right! I know I am coming at this late: According to Cob, he and Mal spent roughly 50 years building that city by the ocean. Assuming they were using a strong sedative that give you a 1:20 time dilation factor, that would mean the next level up would be roughly 2.5 years, and then 45 days, then 2.28 days, then about 3 hours. This would imply that ...


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