Michael Caine Explained The Actual End Of Inception
And it was all a dream... or was it?
Christopher Nolan's Inception came out in 2010, but that hasn't stopped fans debating the ambiguous ending of the film to this day.
If you need a quick refresh, the film closes with Leo DiCaprio's Cobb returning home after a day of successful inceptions, and spinning his spinning top totem before being reunited with his kids.
The film ends with an extended shot of the totem still spinning, momentarily wobbling as the film fades to black.
The way totems work in the mythology of the film is like a litmus test to see if you're dreaming or not. For Cobb, who uses his wife's old totem, if he spins the top and it falls over he's awake, if it keeps spinning it means he's in a dream.
The open-ended final shot of the film left fans wondering if DiCaprio's character ever actually woke up or if he was still in a dream.
Speaking at a screening of Inception in London recently, Michael Caine -- who played Cobb's father-in-law Stephen Miles -- cleared the whole thing up as if there wasn't any debate in the first place.
"When I got the script of Inception, I was a bit puzzled by it and I said to [Nolan]... 'when is it the dream and when is it reality?'"
According to Caine, the director informed him that whenever he appeared in a scene it's reality, meaning the final shot of the film -- which Caine appears -- would be real.
Interestingly, previous interviews with Nolan contradict Caine's take on things, with the director telling EW he made sure EVERYTHING in the film was ambiguous.
"There can’t be anything in the film that tells you one way or another," Nolan said about people's theories there were hints to decipher what is real and what is a dream, "because then the ambiguity at the end of the film would just be a mistake".
"The real point of the scene -- and this is what I tell people -- is that Cobb isn’t looking at the top. He’s looking at his kids. He’s left it behind. That’s the emotional significance of the thing."
Caine might have just been told that to keep things simple, or he very well could be the marker of Cobb being awake, but what's clear is how much the 85-year-old respects his Inception director.
"I regard him as my lucky charm because when I got to an age of about 70 and the world started closing in on me, he came to me with Batman Begins and he restarted my acting life," Caine said at the screening.
"From then on when I thought you get to 70, 75, and you think it's all over I then made seven of the best movies I was ever in."
Featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures.