If you have seen ‘Inception’, and who hasn’t, then you already know it’s about a dream within a dream within a dream. Within a dream. But how do we know if we are asleep or awake?
The whole film is based on the idea that life could be a dream and we wouldn’t even know it. There are several rules in the dreamlike state that we learn about, for example that when we die in a dream, we wake up in real life. Time goes much quicker in a dream because our mind works faster. We never remember how we got into the place that we are in while we are dreaming. Everybody around us is just a projection of our subconscious. So how do we know the difference between a dream and reality?
In the movie Dom feels guilty for the inception of an idea into his wife’s consciousness. He struggles with this sense of guilt and because he is not able to forgive himself, he goes over and over again through all his memories with her. He is trying to change the past by going over his memories and looking for what he could have done differently. But the past is in the past and he cannot change it. He can only accept it. And until he does forgive himself, he is stuck in the past. So forgiving ourselves for our mistakes is the only way forward.
Dom and his wife Mal were living in limbo for decades and they grew old together there. So when they woke up in their real life, they were like old souls in their young bodies. They have lived another lifetime already and Mal lost her sense of reality. She knew the only way to wake up from a dream was to kill herself. In the end, as Mel explains to Dom, the only way to know what is reality is by feeling what is true. Not knowing for sure, not even believing, but feeling it. So finally Dom has to let go of the past to be free.
The theme song of the story is ‘Non, je ne tegrette rien’ by Edith Piaf. This song is about forgetting the past and starting all over again with no regrets. It’s about this idea that whatever happens to us, good or bad, is all part of who we are and we should be grateful for it because it was our experience and we have learned something from it. What is really important is just today because our future depends on it. And we can decide to start over again at any given moment of our present. We can start from scratch and build the future that we want.
Inception is the kind of film you need to watch more than once to fully appreciate it. But it is worth both watching as well as asking yourself the question about your own reality.