Inception Ending Finally Explained

Michael Caine is here to put your Inception theory back into its dream state...

This article contains spoilers for Inception.

Michael Caine has heard some rumors and he’s about to shoot them down. No, not the ones about him being locked in an attick – completely false – these are the ones about the ending of Inception.

Christopher Nolan’s exhausting 2010 dream state thriller, about a gang of subconscious theives trying to pull the ultimate brain heist, starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a man on a mission of redemption, who just wants his kids back without being shoved inside the nearest prison for murder. At the end of the film, audiences were left with a little question mark hanging over Cobb’s triumphant return to the United States – had he really made it back to his family without the need to go on the run again, or was he still existing inside of a dream?

It’s sort of lovely to have a blockbuster film end in such an intriguing way, and Nolan himself has always claimed that the final scene is meant to be ambiguous, but Caine, who played Cobb’s mentor and father-in-law in the flick, has casually knocked the whole thing on the head.

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“When I got the script of Inception, I was a bit puzzled by it and I said to [Nolan], ‘I don’t understand where the dream is’,” Caine remarked at Film 4’s Summer Screen, via The Independent. “I said, ‘When is it the dream and when is it reality?’ He said, ‘Well, when you’re in the scene it’s reality.’ So get that — if I’m in it, it’s reality. If I’m not in it, it’s a dream.”

Since Caine shares the screen with DiCaprio at the very end of the film, that means Cobb really did make it through, against the odds.

Welp. Okay. Shall we just just sweep that little spinning top right off the table and into the trash, then?

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