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Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception was something of a mindfuck - and deliberately so. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as dream thief Dom Cobb, who infiltrates people's subconscious when they're asleep to steal information from them.
Not only did it have a stellar supporting cast that included Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and Michael Caine, but it was a deep, well-thought movie that made you think as much as its action sequences kept you entertained.
Much of that was down to the movie's mingling of reality with dreams, which consequently made you question if what was happening was actually happening. For what it's worth, falling asleep while watching it for the first time only added to the layers and levels of intrigue, complexity and confusion.
Anyway, eight years after the film came out, everyone's favourite nosey neighbour, Michael Caine, who played Cobb's father-in-law and mentor, has shed some light on its ending - when Cobb, who was trying to get back home to his children, successfully performs an inception job on Robert Michael Fischer (played by Cillian Murphy) and is then given safe passage back to his home and family.
Or did he? Over the years, a lot of people have wondered whether Cobb, at the end of the film, was back to reality or still dreaming, because the shot of spinning totem, that he uses to work out whether he's awake or not, cuts away.
If he spins the top and it topples over, he's awake, but it continues to spin, he's dreaming. When the shot cuts short, we're left in the dark. Now, however, we know for sure.
Taking part in a panel at Film4's Summer Screen series at Somerset House in London recently, Michael Caine definitively answered what a lot of us have been wanting to know for a very long time.
"When I got the script of Inception," he said, "I was a bit puzzled by it, and I said to him, 'I don't understand where the dream is.' 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."
Given that Michael Caine appears in the final scene with Leonardo DiCaprio, that means the end was real and that Cobb did indeed make it home to his family.
Nothing like a happy ending, is there? Even if it takes almost a decade to know for sure that it is happy...
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
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