Inception Nitpick

The stewardess is in on the plot, because she draws the curtain, hands the dream contraption briefcase to the team, and doesn’t question why everyone is going a group IV in first class. But Saito bought the airline, so it makes sense that the stewardess is a player. Then why does Cobb take the hugely unnecessary risk of slipping a mickey into Fischer’s drink when the waitress brings them both water?

Yes, it shows the audience that he’s being doped, but they just as easily could have shot the stewardess doing it. It’s sort of a Bond thing for Cobb to do, but really, really low level.

It ups the stakes. Cobb’s freedom is dependent on successfully pulling it off, so it’s more exciting if he’s the one doing it.

Despite the fanwanking, not one single second of the movie makes any sense.

Once you start from there, everything else falls into place.

I’ll be even more succinct than Exapno: because it’s a really, really shitty movie.

Oh sure, it has some fantastic visuals, but as a movie, it’s shite.

At some level of scrutiny every work of fiction ever created contains illogic and plot holes, especially if you refuse to make any sensible assumptions or small fanwanks(where did a career criminal get a fake ID?! PLOT HOLE!).

Films are a visual medium and as such their visuals are more important than anything else, as true for Nolan’s films as Tarkovsky’s.

In fact a character in Inception even draws the audience’s attention to some of the more outlandish and illogical elements, as evidence to Cobb he is in limbo.

Come on. It had a snow-fortress defended by henchmen on skis.

Wow, I thought I dreamed that.

Bo I like you man, but this is a bit of a threadshit.

I’m not buying this. If this were an “I love Inception” thread, you’d be justified. But the OP only asked a question about a plot hole. You don’t get to say, “you must fanwank or else it’s threadshitting.”

grude is correct, to a degree. I’ll go farther. Every frame of every movie is a lie. How that lie is told matters enormously, though. I’m of the opinion that a movie that relies solely on its visuals is a failed movie. A good movie has to properly integrate visuals and dialog and character and plot and any other piece of storytelling you deem important. If it consistently fails in one or more or these, it’s not a good movie, and the visuals don’t save it.

There are probably a lot of people that will turn the other way while their employer does some probably illegal craziness with an IV, but won’t go so far as actively participating by drugging someone. Presumably the waitress was one of them (or her employer didn’t even want to ask and risk her going to the cops).

Inception was full of stuff that didn’t make sense, but this wasn’t one of them.

What I don’t get is how come Cillian Murphy didn’t wake up and think Wow. Crazy dream. Something about a gunfight at a snow fortress, then a crazy woman shot me, and my dad turned out to not be a cold distant dick. Wild stuff. And then go back to doing whatever he was going to do. (Sell the company? I don’t remember.)

Inception worked perfectly well on all those levels for me. I had no trouble following the story, the characters were serviceable, the dialog was fun, and of course the visuals were outstanding.

I think you may have missed the entire movie. The reason he doesn’t go back to what he was doing is because they successfully pulled of Inception…the title of the movie.

Well, I, for one, believed it when I read “Directed by Christopher Nolan.”

Yes, which doesn’t make the tiniest lick of sense. It’s as if you had a dream where President Obama appointed you secretary of defense and the next day you quit your job and show up at the Pentagon ready to start. Nobody, not even crazy people, alters their plans because they had a wish fulfillment dream. All Cillian Murphy would have done was gone Damn, if only my Dad was the kind person I dreamed he was. But he wasn’t. Now on to sell the company.

It’s like hypnosis. If you do weird shit in a dream, that has nothing to do with reality, it’s not going to matter when you wake up. But if something happens in the dream that affects a core emotional belief, it could affect you when you wake up.

Say, you’ve been feuding with your sister over some silly fight, but in your dream you remember some day you spent together as kids when you really felt her pure sisterly love. When you wake up you might realize the silly fight has been obscuring your deeper. bond and decide to reach out.

In the same way, all the running around chasing and shooting and intrigue stuff will fade when he wakes. But his core emotional belief that his father was disappointed he wasn’t more like him has changed, and he now views his father differently, and believes he probably wanted him to forge his own path.

Not because they convinced him - they specifically said that doesn’t work. It’s because they manipulated him into coming up with the idea himself and believing it was his own. Because of that factor, he still believes it when he wakes up.

Also note that unlike your pentagon example, it relies on using memories or experiences that were originally ambiguous and not contradicting of reality and therefore open to reinterpretation.

Give the movie another watch, the whole point of the inception was to convince him TO sell his father’s company.

Your example would be pretty absurd, however what if you could plant an image that reminded someone dissatisfied with their life how much they enjoyed class government in school, and due to remembering that they set off on a new path in life and enter politics.

I’ve no problem accepting that for some technobabbly-bordering-on-mystical reason, the inception process was like giving someone a life-changing (or at least -influencing) epiphany. My problem was that the dreams were nothing like actual dreams, where the “storyline” changes fluidly from moment to moment. Sure, you might dream you’re a member of an arctic commando squad, about to storm a mountaintop lair, but somewhere along the way, the mission will change to providing security at the the Governor’s niece’s birthday party, and then you’re trying to get some cake but it turns into a sheep and then… and throughout all of this, you’re casually moving from change to change without a thought as to why there are changes.

Actually, that could have been the challenge for the inception crew, or whatever they called themselves - how do you keep your subject on topic? You’re trying to give him this epiphany but every few seconds, the dream scenery keeps changing. It’s like trying to explain economics to an ADD four year-old.

Well, that plus losing the whole “if you die in your dream, you die for real” crap. It’s been ridiculously overused for decades, and it was always a myth, anyway.

That is because the dreams in the movie are not natural dreams generated on the fly, they are drug induced machine assisted dreams that require an architect to construct. A large part of the movie covered this with the recruitment and training of Ariadne, she was consciously created those unnatural dream realities exactly for the reason that trying to do inception in a natural dream would be too difficult.

Also and more metaphorically there is a scene that compares the drug induced machine assisted “dreams” to opium visions, and compares the machines and their users to hookahs and opium addicts visually.
There was no “die in a dream and you die in real life” plot line in the movie, if you die in a dream you are kicked out to the upper level and you simply wake up if you die in the top level.

Except in the main job in Inception, they say something about the drugs they’re using being different, making it so that if one dies in the dream, instead of being kicked up a level, they fall down to limbo where time stretches on endlessly and they would surely go mad. Or something like that, right? It’s been a while since I watched it.