Michael Caine Says ‘Inception’ Ending Was No Dream

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

inception ending Michael Caine Says ‘Inception’ Ending Was No Dream

Inception was easily the most talked-about movie of the summer, if not one of the best. Combining the heist genre with the highest of high-concept science-fiction, it garnered glowing reviews, made bank at the box office, and inspired a million and one spoofs—not to mention upcoming films. With a single rotating hallway and a dozen or so wires, it even cemented itself within the annals of film history.

Following Inception‘s debut in theaters, questions arose about what the film’s true meaning was. (Our very own Kofi Outlaw’s detailed analysis of the film is one of the best you’ll find anywhere.)

Everybody and their grandmother wanted to know what Christopher Nolan truly intended, specifically with his ending. Was Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, Cobb, still in the dream-world? Or was he in that weird half-sleep, half-awake state where gremlins sit on your chest and talk to you?

Now, Sir Michael Caine claims to have the inside-track. While promoting his new autobiography on BBC Radio’s The Chris Moyles Show, Caine said of Inception’s ending:

“[The spinning top] drops at the end, that’s when I come back on. If I’m there it’s real, because I’m never in the dream. I’m the guy who invented the dream.”

michael caine in inception Michael Caine Says ‘Inception’ Ending Was No Dream

I don’t mean to be a stickler here, but anything Michael Caine says about Christopher Nolan’s intended meaning for Inception’s ending technically qualifies as hearsay. And besides, every film critic—or professor of critical theory, for that matter—would happily tell you that it doesn’t matter one iota what the artist says his or her movie, book, play, painting, comic book, videogame, et cetera actually means. The author of the work is responsible for, at best, just one interpretation of said work. So just because Michael Caine says Christopher Nolan intended for Inception’s ending to exist in the real world, doesn’t make it so. It doesn’t mean that I was wrong, or you were wrong, or that my grandma was wrong—she’s pretty darn sure the whole movie was a dream, like Dallas season 8.

The point is, in 500 years, every living artist in the world today will be dead and buried (short of some technological miracle). It won’t matter what they said their work meant. It won’t matter what they believed their work meant. The only thing that’ll matter is the collective opinion of the people who read, watch, look at, and analyze their work. Historians, scholars, students, buffs, and so on. Descendants, yours and mine.

michael caine in christopher nolans the dark knight Michael Caine Says ‘Inception’ Ending Was No Dream

Michael Caine also briefly touched upon Batman 3, but only insofar as he confirmed that nobody knows anything about it save for Christopher Nolan, David Goyer, and Jonathon Nolan.  He did indicate, however, that shooting for the sequel to The Dark Knight is likely to start in May.

Source: BBC Radio’s The Chris Moyles Show Via FilmTwats

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  1. Here’s a version where Michael Caine’s comment makes sense:

    The Michael Caine character is Dom Cobb, having grown old in exile in France. He regrets making the choice to leave the US and never seeing his children again. He constructs a dream, as an inception in his own mind, that he pulled off a caper that enabled him to be with his children as they grow up. After Dom lives another lifetime raising his children in his subconscious and “dies” of old age there, and then he wakes up back at his university.

  2. In my opinion he could very well be dreaming
    Because earlier in the movie when they are recruiting the sedator cobb runs into the bathroom attempts to spin the top (totem) and it falls on the ground, then saito comes in asking if cobb is okay, cobb says he is fine and picks up the top and walks away never spinning the totem again until he is apparently “free” to go into the united states, so he could still be dreaming up to the point where the sedator put him under the first time..

  3. Sorry, but as an author of fantasy I disagree, fervently. What any critic believes is so irrelevant as to be less than worth mentioning.

    • Generally, critics annoy me. What the author said something meant IS what it meant. Period. It’s their creation. Why would their intention be moot?

  4. Isn’t the wedding ring Cobbs totem? Why does everyone look at the top to see if it’s dream or reality?

    • yes it is, you can see in every dream the wedding ring is on, and when theyre not in a dream its off. theres also a scene when he arrives at the airport in U.S.A where you can see that the ring is off, so i dont think hes dreaming in the end.

      • Dont focus on the totem, focus on Mal, his Ex-wife, if you see her or if she’s altering the reality by placing objects to that reality that shouldn’t be there, then is not a reality anymore, is dream!!

  5. The ending is real, and I’ll explain why, on every dream cobb has, you see Mal, his ex-wife, trying to ruin everything he’s trying to accomplish, whether by altering the dream or making an apparence, but at the end you dont see her at the airport or at the house with the kids, therefore the ending is real!!!!! It makes total sense that if cobb is dreaming there would be some sort of manifestation from Mal. So Case close, it only took me a couple of years to figure it out but it eas worth it!!!!

    • Don’t you think him confronting her in ‘their world’ and killing her while making peace had anything to do with him her leaving h to enjoy his dream with his children?