It’s considered one of the greatest movies ever made, but what did you make of Inception’s ending?
In the final scenes of Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dominic Cobb finally returned home to be with his children.
Yet whether this was really happening was left somewhat ambiguous and open to interpretation as far as fans have been concerned.
After all, the spinning top used by Cobb throughout Inception was a way to determine if he was sleeping or not.
In the final shot of the film, as he’s reunited with his children, the top is left twirling before it starts shaking a little and the screen cuts to black.
Now Nolan himself has spoken out on Inception’s ending, giving perhaps a little hint as to the truth of whether Cobb was awake or dreaming.
During a new interview with Wired, the journalist pointed out that the director’s movies tend to have a very “anti-nihilistic message” or “optimism” across the likes of Dunkirk, Interstellar and the Dark Knight trilogy.
The filmmaker then answered the question of whether this was true by explaining what audiences should take from the ending of Inception.
Nolan said: “I mean, the end of Inception, it’s exactly that. There is a nihilistic view of that ending, right? But also, he’s moved on and is with his kids. The ambiguity is not an emotional ambiguity. It’s an intellectual one for the audience.
“It’s funny, I think there is an interesting relationship between the endings of Inception and Oppenheimer to be explored. Oppenheimer’s got a complicated ending. Complicated feelings.”
By the sounds of it, Nolan is saying that Cobb was happy being reunited with his kids on an emotional level, which is real to him. Whether or not he’s literally awake in reality with them is an intellectual question that remains ambiguous. And the question left open to the audience is: “Does that matter?”
Oppenheimer hits UK cinemas on July 21, 2023.