63 votes
Accepted

Why was the movie titled Inception?

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?...
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  • 700
60 votes
Accepted

What was the purpose of Saito's presence during the inception job?

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 ...
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  • 33.4k
49 votes

Why didn't Mal use her totem (spinning top) before she actually died?

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 ...
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  • 99.1k
43 votes

What was the purpose of Saito's presence during the inception job?

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 ...
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  • 7,835
37 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Saito kill himself when he was stuck in limbo?

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 ...
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  • 99.1k
26 votes

Why was the movie titled Inception?

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 ...
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  • 57.3k
23 votes

What was the purpose of Saito's presence during the inception job?

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 ...
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  • 50k
22 votes
Accepted

Why do the kicks have to occur simultaneously?

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 ...
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  • 9,547
20 votes

Why didn't Mal use her totem (spinning top) before she actually died?

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 ...
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19 votes
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What is Arthur's specialty?

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 ...
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  • 99.1k
16 votes
Accepted

Why was Saito old in Limbo?

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 ...
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  • 27.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Why does Cobb wake up in the water?

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 ...
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  • 9,547
13 votes

Why can't Mal give a kick to Cobb from the "real" world if she actually escaped

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 ...
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  • 1,106
13 votes
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Why were they trying to get that letter from a locker in Inception?

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 ...
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12 votes

How is the extracted information brought back to reality?

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 ...
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  • 58.1k
11 votes
Accepted

Why did Robert Fischer really accept the inception?

A dream in the movie has the same features as any regular dream. When the unsuspecting subject wakes up, he has a vague memory of the events of the dream, whilst some personal faces can be recollected,...
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  • 9,547
10 votes
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Was it impossible to go into same person's dream each level down, or did it serve a purpose?

I think it comes down to one point - can one mind actively dream two or more states simultaneously. For the dream within a dream thing to work .... the dreamer in level 1 (Yusuf) has to dream the ...
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10 votes

At which dream level did Inception end?

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 ...
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  • 507
10 votes
Accepted

Explanation of the opening scene of Inception

The beginning of Inception is out of order of the actual events of the movie. This scene actually occurs after Saito dies in the third layer of the dream, going into Limbo. Due to the drugs that the ...
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  • 33.4k
10 votes

What was the purpose of Saito's presence during the inception job?

Saito is there to keep an eye on his investment, the job has almost incalcuable stakes for him with what hobbling his biggest competitor could do for his company's future and bearing in mind try that ...
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  • 2,856
10 votes

Why does Ariadne's totem work?

It follows the same concept as Arthur's special dice, basically the exact same concept. Consider for example, how Arthur would know the die is his. He couldn't just rely on which face the die landed ...
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  • 1,617
9 votes

At which dream level did Inception end?

There is an important clue in the final scene that is easy to miss, and David Kyle Johnson, author of Inception and Philosophy: Because It’s Never Just a Dream, believes that Christopher Nolan ...
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9 votes

Where does Limbo take place?

The following is quoted from this page - http://inception.wikia.com/wiki/Limbo Limbo exists as a space that is not dreamt by any one individual, but is a shared space where any mind can make ...
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  • 423
9 votes

Robert Fischer took the plane with Cobb's team?

This is actually explained in the film. First they find out that he routinely takes the flight Sidney - Los Angeles. Then they cause trouble with his private jet so he has to fly with public transport....
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  • 58.1k
8 votes
Accepted

How did Cobb come to the basement using the elevator?

Goof is probably too strong a word - this is a dream after all. When people are dreaming they can find all sort of things happening: Unexpected things like trains appearing in intersections ...
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  • 50k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is everyone's limbo space the same in Inception?

This is explained in the movie in the scene where limbo and the potential death of a character during the mission is first mentioned (after Saito got shot on level 1). When Ariadne asks what limbo is, ...
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  • 58.1k
8 votes

Why was the movie titled Inception?

Nij's answer covers well the in-universe explanation of what "inception" is in the context of the film: using the dream-tech to enter someone else's dreamworld and plant an idea that they come to ...
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  • 181
7 votes
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Why did Yusuf hesitate to show Cobb his dream chamber?

It seems to be more a word of warning about the people in his basement and the analogy to heroin addiction in this universe (a room full of unconscious addicts in a grimy basement is very ...
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  • 15.1k
7 votes

Why didn't Mal use her totem (spinning top) before she actually died?

A totem is an item, in the real world, with a secret, unique property. It's purpose is that, when somebody targets you for extraction and tries to counterfeit that object in the process of ...
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