If you’ve seen Inception then you probably walked out wondering whether Cobb’s totem spun off the table or not. If you haven’t seen Inception yet, don’t worry. It’s a movie so wonderfully dense and complex that it’s almost impossible to spoil. But for those of you who did and have still been wondering, we may have a clue which will help you figure out whether the top spun off to indicate Cobb was in reality, or kept spinning to indicate he was really trapped in another dream.
One of the big reasons many have theorized that Cobb might still be trapped in a dream revolves around the appearance of his kids. We see them throughout Inception, but only through the lens of Cobb’s memory of them. When we see them that way, they always look the same. They wear the same clothes, they have the same haircut. Yet in reality it’s been months or even years since Cobb saw them, yet at the end of the movie when he’s supposed to see them in reality… they look exactly the same as they did in his memory. Specifically, they seem to be wearing the same clothes. If they’re wearing the same clothes as they are on Cobb’s dream, then that means they aren’t real and he’s still dreaming. Except it seems they aren’t wearing the same clothes.
Though it may look like the same kids at the same age wearing the same clothes at the end of the film, IMDB confirms that two different child actors of different ages played Cobb’s kids in the movie. And more importantly Inception costume designer Jeffrey Kurland insists in this interview that though you may have thought their clothes were the same, they weren’t. He says, “the children’s clothing is different in the final scene… look again…”
I’m sure the debate will rage on, but this seems to lend a lot of creedence to the notion that Cobb is in reality at the end of the film. If he isn’t, how do you explain his kids change of clothing? I can’t. For me, this is the answer I’ve been looking for. What about you?