This question has troubled fans for really long now: Was Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreaming or was he back in reality in the ending of Christopher Nolan’s Inception? The answer to this comes after almost ten years by none other than Michael Caine.
During a screening of Inception in London, Cain (who played Dom’s father in law) revealed that he had certain questions about the final scene when got the script. He ended up asking Nolan what part was actually a dream and what was reality. The answer to this might just solve the puzzle.
“When I got the script of Inception, I was a bit puzzled by it, and I said to him, ‘I don’t understand where the dream is,'” Caine said. “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.”
In the ending, Dom successfully returns to United States, something that he wasn’t able to do due to murder charges. Here, Cain meets him at the airport and takes him home. Then, Dom spins a top to see if this is actually happening. However, Dom couldn’t see the top till the end as he rushes away to his children. The film ends here and we don’t really get to know if that’s the reality or not.
Cain explains that it was the reality indeed as Caine appears in it too. Throughout the film, Caine only appears in scenes that are a part of reality. So for all those fans who have been arguing on this scene being real, guess what, you might just be right.
While Cain’s argument does make sense, Nolan has consistently kept the ending of the film ambiguous.
“The way the end of that film worked, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Cobb — he was off with his kids, he was in his own subjective reality,” Nolan said during a Princeton University commencement ceremony in 2015. “He didn’t really care anymore, and that makes a statement: perhaps, all levels of reality are valid.”
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task: Plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.