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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Inception fans,

I have a specific Inception question regarding the "kick" mechanic used in the movie. So my understanding is that it has a top-down effect. The falling sensation from a higher level is used to wake the dreamer from a lower level. At least that's how I think it was explained.

At the end of the movie, when the characters were in limbo, why would Ariadne and Robert Fischer falling off the skyscraper "kick" themselves up to the higher level?

Now one could argue that "death" will bring you up a level. That's what's implied when Cobb finds Saito and they briefly show the gun. However, the reason why they end up in limbo in the first place is because of the heavy sedation and when they die they're thrown into limbo. So wouldn't death in limbo leave you in limbo in this specific instance? I wouldn't think it'd bring you up.

Any thoughts?
 

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Elite Shackster
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The kick is really just a shock that wakes you up, like when something shocking happens in your dream and you suddenly awake. The shock can be anything, it doesnt have to be a fall per se, like at the beginning when they dunk in cold water.

At the end of the film, the characters werent in limbo as far as I could tell, just in the 3rd dream level. Are you talking about the dream set in the snowy mountains, or are you talking about the Japanese guy growing old and waiting to die though. As far as I thought, he wasnt in Limbo either, just stuck in his dream state 4 levels deep (where years pass by in a matter of hours or minutes). He was stuck there because he had mentally accepted it as his reality, which in the film is described as the danger of going so deep and what happened to Leo's characters wife.

Limbo is a catatonic state you get left in if you die in your dream when your real body is under sedation. Because they were a few levels deep, they needed sedation to get that deep down, hence if you die in the dream, you cant just wake from it as your real body is still sedated, and your mind would basically be dead even though your body isnt in reality.

At the end of the film, no body dies and goes into limbo, the Japanese guy was dying from the bullet wound and was unconscious (so they couldnt give him a kick to awaken him to the next level up - you need to be concious to get the kick), so they went into his mind a level more to slow down time again. Once they found him there (the old man, alone and waiting to die - where he had accepted it as his reality because he was 4 levels deep into his dreams), they gave him a kick to awaken him at the dream level he was unconscious in (in the snow mountains). They suggest that from there they could then bring him up to the first dream level again in sequence (alone old man - mountains - lift in the hotel - van crashing into water) and safely awaken back on the plane.

Of course they dont show you that, because they want to leave the question unanswered at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The kick is really just a shock that wakes you up, like when something shocking happens in your dream and you suddenly awake. The shock can be anything, it doesnt have to be a fall per se, like at the beginning when they dunk in cold water.
Ah, but the dunk in cold water was to get Cobb back from Level 2 (flooding Japanese mansion) up to Level 1 (rebelling wartorn area/Saito's love nest)- Top Down effect of the shock/kick.

At the end of the film, the characters werent in limbo as far as I could tell, just in the 3rd dream level. Are you talking about the dream set in the snowy mountains, or are you talking about the Japanese guy growing old and waiting to die though. As far as I thought, he wasnt in Limbo either, just stuck in his dream state 4 levels deep (where years pass by in a matter of hours or minutes). He was stuck there because he had mentally accepted it as his reality, which in the film is described as the danger of going so deep and what happened to Leo's characters wife.
Okay this is the part where I feel like maybe I watched a different movie than you. :D So, again my understanding...
The way the movie goes, for the last shared dream is:
Level 0 (real life on airplane)
Level 1 (city/shoot out)
Level 2 (hotel)
Level 3 (snow mountain/fortress)
Limbo (Cobb/Mal's architecture/Japanese mansion)

Limbo existing:
I thought it was explained that limbo existed and that Cobb had been there. This was during the scene between Ariadne (new architect girl) and Cobb within Level 1 when he told her he'd been down there w/ Mal for something like 50 years. A scene before that (still in Level 1) between Cobb and others in the safe house is that if they die then they go into limbo. (see where Cobb prevents Saito's death) So, when Saito "dies" in level 3 - he has to be in limbo.

Limbo is a catatonic state you get left in if you die in your dream when your real body is under sedation. Because they were a few levels deep, they needed sedation to get that deep down, hence if you die in the dream, you cant just wake from it as your real body is still sedated, and your mind would basically be dead even though your body isnt in reality.
Hmm... interesting. If you accept that it's real that far down. Your lifetime's worth of living - that brain would shut down... Good point. I see why limbo's bad.

At the end of the film, no body dies and goes into limbo, the Japanese guy was dying from the bullet wound and was unconscious (so they couldnt give him a kick to awaken him to the next level up - you need to be concious to get the kick), so they went into his mind a level more to slow down time again. Once they found him there (the old man, alone and waiting to die - where he had accepted it as his reality because he was 4 levels deep into his dreams), they gave him a kick to awaken him at the dream level he was unconscious in (in the snow mountains). They suggest that from there they could then bring him up to the first dream level again in sequence (alone old man - mountains - lift in the hotel - van crashing into water) and safely awaken back on the plane.

Of course they dont show you that, because they want to leave the question unanswered at the end.
This is assuming that kicks work both ways (bottom up as well as top down). However, it was never established in the movie that a self induced kick from the bottom (other than dying) can bring you up.

Hence my confusion. The two mechanics (kick of falling worked from top down) and dying (bottom up) were established. The last shared dream intentionally broke the dying mechanic because you'd end up in limbo. The kick, if shown to work bottom up as well... well doesn't work. Because, if kicks worked bottom up, in Level 1, once the VAN hit the water - why didn't everyone become shocked back into Level 0, the plane? Robert Fischer ended up on shore with his fake uncle. The others swam to shore. And Cobb/Saito were still drowning in the van.

See my confusion? Something about how the mechanics shown doesn't make sense to me. :dontknow: It's like a splinter in my mind that keeps me from loving it 100%. It's like a 90% because I don't understand. Funny that I get the ending. Just not the part before that.:doh:
 

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Elite Shackster
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Reading that is making me wander now :D

Maybe another watch is in order, something I intended to do anyway. I need to have another good read of what you wrote before I understand what your trying to say. As I understand things though, kicks only work one way, top down as you say. The kick for level 4 was still from the van going into the river was it not? Maybe the Japenese mansion was Limbo, not sure, but I didnt think Limbo was recoverable from. If he was dead at level 3, how could they enter his dream?
 

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Wasn't it that if you die in a dream, you usually wake up, but if sedated too heavily to wake up, then you wait in limbo, more or less stuck. Limbo works like the other dream levels, except it must take dieing to wake up - a kick won't do. The sedation had better be worn off by then for it to work, but in the movie it was- they were waking everybody up.

Loved Inception but wish it was 3D. I always dream in 3D.
 

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So the kick has to start at the deepest level. For instance, Ariadne's kick from the highrise in the fourth level got her back to the ice station where she and Eames then had the explosion to kick them back to the hotel where Arthur had to tied everyone together so his explosion on top of the elevator would be the kick to get them all to wake up in the van as it hit the water which was the final kick to get them back to the real world.

I never saw a kick for Cobb and Saito, I think they are in Limbo.
 

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Elite Shackster
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The kick works from the level up. You can induce the kick to go from any lower level to any upper level. A kick at level 2 will bring you from 3 to 2 etc, not the other way.

I think the really interesting thing is that you dont have to go down each level with the same person. You can go several levels down by going from one person to the other. They do this to stop the person in the first level realising they are still in a dream.

Cobb and Saito might be in Limbo, they might not. If they arent, they dont show you the kick process that removes them from the dream back to reality. This is intentional in order to leave that question hanging at the end. That might be an indication of a desire to do a sequel, which I would love to see happen.
 

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The kick works from the level up. You can induce the kick to go from any lower level to any upper level. A kick at level 2 will bring you from 3 to 2 etc, not the other way.
I understand how the kick works, but after reading my last post I see where my explanation is worded incorrectly. Thanks for the fix Dan.

I think the really interesting thing is that you dont have to go down each level with the same person. You can go several levels down by going from one person to the other. They do this to stop the person in the first level realising they are still in a dream.
That was interesting to me as well.


Cobb and Saito might be in Limbo, they might not. If they arent, they dont show you the kick process that removes them from the dream back to reality. This is intentional in order to leave that question hanging at the end. That might be an indication of a desire to do a sequel, which I would love to see happen.
That's why I said: "I think they are in Limbo." I would love to see a sequel and I am fairly confident it wouldn't be "The Matrix Reloaded".
 

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But I don't think the way out of limbo is a kick. I think the only way out of there is dieing there. Head on RR tracks, jumping off a high-rise, or the gun. They didn't ever show those exact moments of "death", but we see the means, opportunity, and motive.

And aren't we saying the kick pulls people out from a deeper level of dreaming. A kick in the real world can wake a person from dreaming. The kick pulls you toward it by capturing your attention. But you can't pull people further into a dream with a kick.
 

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That's why I said: "I think they are in Limbo." I would love to see a sequel and I am fairly confident it wouldn't be "The Matrix Reloaded".
Yeah I understand that. I however am not so convinced. There are a couple things that would need to be in place for the end of the film to be still in Limbo.

First off, Cobb would have to accept he is in Limbo and choose to stay there. He already decided against that before and with the possibility of returning to his real children being right there, I dont think he would have done that.

Second is Saito. What about him. He would have had to have been fooled into thinking Cobbs limbo was true reality. Would Cobb have done that to him, and with Saito's realisation he is in his own limbo, would he have been so easily fooled again. Saito could of course go back to reality on his own through the kicks I suppose, but does that seem likely? It may well have been the case that he couldnt have stayed in the dream state, as once he kicks from his limbo back to the mountains, he would automatically be stuck back in the cycle back to reality, as they were brought out of sedation on the plane.

TBH, I think they could play that anyway they choose in a sequel, using whatever story they choose. Its probably one of the reasons the end of the film was left with quite a few pieces missing.
 

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Elite Shackster
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But I don't think the way out of limbo is a kick. I think the only way out of there is dieing there. Head on RR tracks, jumping off a high-rise, or the gun. They didn't ever show those exact moments of "death", but we see the means, opportunity, and motive.
Thats a good point. Did both Saito and Cobb die when they were in his limbo, I cant remember exactly how that bit played out now, although I remember the water filling the place.

So for Cobb to be stuck in his own Limbo, he would have had to kill himself in Saito's limbo, along with Saito, and then somehow manage to re-enter his own limbo somehow. How could he have managed that?
 

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I'm probably just thinking too far ahead. After considering my theory, I have realized that it is solely based on my belief that a sequel will happen and that is going to be their way into it. It's not based on the evidence presented in the movie...... Funny how the brain works sometimes.
 

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Yes, Inception is some movie for discussion, and that adds so much to the pleasure of seeing it. Might be a good thread - movies that are almost as much fun to discuss as to see.
 

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I like the sound of that. It could be like a book reading club, where each week a member suggests a movie :D It could be the mind bending movies thread.

My first vote: Donnie Darko :yikes:

Got for it Trick :clap:
 
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