Inception Explained- the Ariadne / Miles conspiracy

There's a lot of debate going on right now as to the meaning and plot of Inception. Here's my personal, radical take on the whole thing. We'll build this in blocks:

  1. At the Movie's End, Cobb is Dreaming This isn't too much of a stretch. The top spinning can be interpreted either way...the movie cuts away just before it falls, or not. Additionally though, the children are the same age as they were in Cobb's memories, which is especially damning. And the situation he finds them in echoes too closely the memory that has sustained him through this whole ordeal. There was no reason he couldn't have seen his childrens' faces the entire film. As he showed in Limbo with Mal when he turned from them, he simply refused to see their faces while convinced he was in a dream. But if he's dreaming at the end, then why? And when did it start?
  2. Cobb is Having Information Stolen From Him From the time he's put under, Cobb is the subject of an elaborate mission undertaken by an operator even more skilled than he. But the point of these operations more often than not is to find out something from the subject. What information is being stolen from Cobb? Whether or not he in fact killed Mal, his wife. who is doing it, and who are they working for?
  3. Ariadne is an Operative Working for Miles Cobb himself says that most people are at best suspicious of whether or not he actually killed his wife. On the first level, that of physical evidence set up by Mal, he did. This condemns him in the court of law. On the second level, those who know the nature of the work he and Mal did, he could conceivably still be innocent. But on the deepest level, he did in fact kill her. He planted the idea that ended her life, through inception. In trying to get her to give up dreams for reality, he murdered her. Miles at the beginning has no way of knowing. He wants to know whether Cobb killed his daughter or not, but there's no way of finding out from Cobb, as masterful as he is at hiding his thoughts and protecting himself. So Miles finds someone who is even more a natural architect than Cobb. Ariadne.
  4. Wait, what? Ariadne in the entire film is the only person who finds out the truth. And as soon as she does that on the level of Limbo--where Cobb is most vulnerable and his subconscious most on display--the entire mission ends. The only point of the mission from the very outset was to get this one piece of information. Miles has the knowledge he wished for. Ariadne was not a student taught by Cobb. She was a skilled operator brought in that staged her ignorance to get close to Cobb because teaching her fostered a sense of fatherly protection in Cobb for her.
  5. So When Was Cobb Put Under? When he visits the chemist, the chemist puts him under with a very powerful sedative, in a room designed specifically for long periods of dreaming. They go out of their way to tell us that a person can dream there for up to 40 hours uninterrupted. It's secluded, with lots of hookups for multiple operatives to get into one dream. Absolutely the best place imaginable to stage a subconscious attack on a skilled operator. There would be so little disturbance the first level of the dreaming would be practically indistinguishable from reality.

Prove It

  1. Cobb "wakes up" from the dream at the chemist's. No he doesn't. He tries to spin the top in the bathroom, but it's knocked off the sink and he can't see if it keeps spinning. Saito is there watching to make sure he doesn't catch on. You might even go so far as to say Saito startling Cobb with his sudden appearance is what throws the top off. The next time Cobb spins the top to test for reality, it's the end of the movie.
  2. Ariadne makes it her personal business to learn as much about Cobb as possible. She's the least threatening figure, and he confides in her. At the outset, perhaps the plan was to simply do a dream within a dream, when she eavesdrops on Cobb's "experiments" back at the shop. She even tries to force the matter, by running to the basement. But when she fails to find the truth out by going just two levels deep, it is immediately interrupted by plan B, an incredibly elaborate staged series of events designed solely to take Cobb as deep as possible into his own subconscious, until he got to the point where he could finally tell Ariadne why Mal won't leave him alone, and why he has this lingering guilt that has aroused Miles' suspicions.
  3. Cobb's subconscious has a hate on Ariadne. She almost gets hit by a freight train right off the bat. And Mal, while a character composed seemingly of pure malice and need, goes out of her way to antagonize / threaten / kill Ariadne. That's because Mal, as the most powerful of Cobb's subconscious projections, feels most threatened by Ariadne.
  4. Can I also say...Ariadne? Seriously? I know Cobb, Mal, etc. are strange names, but Ariadne sticks out like a sore thumb.

Yeah But What About...

Think this doesn't explain something in the movie? Leave a comment and throw down your glove! I started writing this at 2:30am so it's not too fleshed out, but will be in the next couple days.

My Google+ profile