Christopher Nolan’s dream-centric action thriller Inception has been in theaters for months now, so most of you have probably seen it at this point. Are you still scratching your head over the ending? Well, scratch no more, as Michael Caine has an explanation — and needless to say, spoilers lie ahead!
The actor appeared on BBC Radio’s The Chris Moyles Show and discussed his work on a number of projects, including revealing the previously reported May start date for Batman 3. In addition to that, Caine blew the roof off of something considerably more safeguarded… the ending to Inception!
In the final scene of the film, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally returns home to reunite with his children. He begins to spin his top on a nearby table — if the totem falls, he knows he’s not dreaming, but if it keeps spinning, he might want to pinch himself awake — but Dom is too distracted by the joy of his kids that he doesn’t stop to notice whether or not the top drops… and, as a result, the audience is left to wonder if the whole movie was a dream.
But Caine has a concrete answer to consider: “[The spinning top] drops at the end, that’s when I come back on,” he said in his radio appearance. “If I’m there it’s real, because I’m never in the dream. I’m the guy who invented the dream.”
There you have it, folks. Or, really, you don’t. Caine is hardly the leading authority on all things Inception and certainly not on all things Christopher Nolan, as he famously started a wild rumor that Johnny Depp and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were joining the Batman franchise as Riddler and Penguin back in 2008. Sure, it’s possible that Caine has some inside track on what Nolan intended for the ending — it’s even possible that Depp and Hoffman could be in the third Batman — but I just wouldn’t take his words as gospel. An alternate explanation, absolutely, but not definitive by any stretch of the imagination.
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