Scene Review: Inception Final Scene
Here we are with another addition to our scene reviews, and today we have an incredible scene from the phenomenal film Inception. The scene we’ll be concentrating on will be the very last one, where we see Cobb and the team wake up from each of their dreams.
Inception is a film about entering other people's dreams to access information about that person, of which they may not necessarily give up in reality, as well as making them unaware this theft has happened, due to them thinking everything that happened in their dream was just a figure of their imagination. This is how the film starts off anyway, but as it progresses, we come to realise that not only can you access peoples dreams to steal their thoughts, it is possible to also implement an idea, so that when this person wakes up, they have this thought in their head and will act on it, this being called inception.
This leads us to the final section of the film, which is an incredible bit of film making, and I am going explain why, but first let’s break the scene itself down. We start off with Cobb, the lead character in this film played by Leonardo DiCaprio, awaking from his dream, where him and his team have been trying to incept an idea into a newly inherited business owner’s mind. This owner’s name being ‘Fischer’, played by Cillian Murphy. The first thing that strikes me is how we see Cobb wake up. It is the exact same way we all wake up when we have had a mental dream, a dream where we can’t quite work out if it was real or not. Cobb then looks around, trying to properly come to, and soak in everything around him, to try and make sure if he is in reality. As he looks around he see’s all his team members already awake, all waiting on him. We then see Fischer who is sat directly in front of our lead character, deep in thought, as he tries to work out what has just happened within his dream. Cobb still in a slight daze finally realises what is going on and changes his focus toward Saito in hope that he was successful in saving him from Limbo (a land you go to when if you die within a dream). Saito hired Cobb and his team to execute this inception, in return for immunity for Cobb and to be allowed back into America, so that he can see his children again. As the mission seemed successful, Cobb stares at Saito in hope that he keeps his end of the bargain, and can still actually even remember it, as he has been trapped in a dream that for him felt like many years. To Cobb’s relief, Saito turns over, picks up his phone and starts to make a call, which tells us he is aware and making the call which will allow Cobb entry to the US, a call which is very urgent, as this all takes place on a flight to LA, of which if Cobb has not got his immunity by the time they land, he will not be allowed through immigration, and therefore will be arrested.
The scene continues on then showing us Cobb in the airport waiting to be allowed through immigration. As he reaches Passport Control, the officer takes his passport off him, and looks at it for maybe 1 or 2 seconds longer than you would expect, making the audience worry for just a moment, until you see the passport get stamped and security welcomes our lead character home. The relief on Cobb’s face is portrayed really well by DiCaprio, but this is to be expected from such an incredible actor, who should have been awarded an Oscar way before The Revenant. We then follow Cobb through the airport, as he picks up his bags and meets his father, played by Michael Caine, at the exit. What I found to be a lovely touch was, as Cobb makes his way to the exit, he walks past every member of his team all acting as if they don't know each other. As well as seeing his team we also see Fischer, of which the new business owner spots Cobb, and gives him a bit of a look as if he recognised him, this being another nice touch here, as we all know Cobb has just been in Fischer’s mind.
We now see Cobb at home, walking into the kitchen where there is door opening out into the garden, where you can see his to children, James and Philippa playing. As Cobb’s father goes to grab the children, Cobb pulls out his totem, which is a spinning top and spins it on the dining table. To clarify, a totem is a object that the character knows perfectly so that if they were in a dream, they could access their totem and know they were in a dream as it wouldn’t carry the same characteristics as if it were real life. In this instance Cobb’s spinning top would just keep spinning forever and never topple if he were in a dream. As he is watching his totem spinning away, in hope he see’s it fall, as he feels this moment is too good to be true, he becomes distracted by his Dad calling his children's names, and therefore runs to them, leaving the top spinning away. As Cobb rejoices with his family, the camera slowly pans towards the spinning top, as we watch it spinning away, making the audience ask for it to topple over, so that Cobb can live happily ever after. As we continue staring at the totem in hope it falls over, we surprisingly witness it wobble ever so slightly but then are suddenly cut off by the credits, leaving the audience never really knowing if Cobb was in a dream or awake.
An absolutely breathtaking bit of cinema, where only the slightest of things happen physically but represent an incredible portion of the film. This could only have never have been done without the incredible acting talent of DiCaprio, and the world class directing of Christopher Nolan. The film itself is a masterpiece but this really does sum it all up for me.
There is one thing I have purposefully missed out when describing this scene, and that is the music score of which is played in the background. The track is called ‘Time’ composed by Hans Zimmer. This, in my opinion, is one of the best pieces of music to have ever been created. The way it builds from just simple chords on a piano, all the way up to this powerhouse of orchestral music, and then dropping back down to the simple chords we are introduced with, as we stare the spinning top, without blinking, is nothing short of incredible. Not only is this track perfect for the scene, really drawing your emotions as we follow Cobb through his journey home, it is a incredible piece of music to listen to by itself.
The combination of the phenomenal acting, directing and music score really makes for a legendary scene, and not only is it one of my favourite scenes ever it is a scene that has really made its mark on the film industry.
Here is something for you to leave this article thinking about, have you ever listened to what James says to Cobb when he picks him up? Check out the scene above, it may just blow your mind!