Hidden Details We All Missed In Inception

By Molly 8 months ago

1. The code to the safe appears throughout the movie

Image Source / insider.com
Did you spot the code that Fischer gives to the team? Well, the number is "528491," and it appears multiple times during the movie. You can spot it written on the side of a taxi, on a napkin left by Eames, and then again on the license plate of a truck.

2. The Penrose stairs are a real mathematical object

Image Source / inception.fandom.com
The impossible stairs, we've all seen those in some movies at some point, right? Can you imagine walking up a stairs, only to find out you're actually walking down them...but then you're walking back up them? Mind blowing. In the movie, they were used to represent some kind of mind-bending capabilities of dreams.

3. The name "Ariadne" is a reference to Greek mythology

Image Source / charactour.com
Ariadne is the character who designs the dream worlds, which is then used to delve into Fischer's subconscious. In Greek mythology, Ariadne helped Theseus to escape from the labyrinth when he's killed the Minotaur. So, the character in the movie is inspired by this tale.

4. The name "Cobb" is a reference to the word "web"

Image Source / charactour.com
The character played by Leonardo DiCaprio is Cobb. His name is also a reference to something outside of the movie. This time, it's a lot more simple. Cobb is a reference to the word "web"! Which relates to the complicated web of dreams in the movie. Clever, right?

5. The name "Mal" is a reference to the word "malfunction"

Image Source / warnerbros.fandom.com
Another name play is the character of Mal, which is a reference to the word "malfunction." This name was chosen as Mal acts as a projection of the guilt and damage held by Cobb. So, Mal's character represents the part of Cobb that he wishes to distance himself from.

6. The spinning top that Cobb uses as his totem is a reference to a Zen koan

Image Source / dazeddigital.com
The koan asks whether the top is spinning or whether you are the one spinning. This questions what is real and what is not. We see this at the end of the movie, where Cobb spins and goes out to play with his children. The question is, was this reality or was this one of his dreams?

7. The music that plays throughout the movie is a variation on the "Dies Irae"

Image Source / npr.org
The Dies Irae is a famous Gregorian chant that, usually linked to death and judgment. The music plays throughout the movie, which references the fact that the team are constantly putting their lives at risk when they enter into Fischer's subconscious.

8. The hotel in Mombasa is called the "Yusufzai Building"

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Did you notice the name of the hotel where the team set up base? It's called the "Yusufzai Building". Yusufzai is a Pashtun tribe from Pakistan. This name acts as a reference to the fact that the team are working in a dangerous, unstable and unpredictable environment.

9. The van that the team uses to escape is named after the protagonist in Memento

Image Source / forbes.com
When the team escape the snow fortress, the driver of the van is named Arthur. In case you didn't notice, this is the name of the main character in Nolan's last movie, Memento. This reference demonstrates how both movies look at the nature of reality and how it can be hard to trust your own memories.

10. The ending of the movie is ambiguous

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The ending of the movie is left open to interpretation, for the viewer to decide. As it's not clear whether Cobb is still dreaming, or whether he's now in the real world. This shows how blurred the line can be between what is a dream and what is reality.

11. The number "528491" appears again in the movie closing credits

Image Source / inception.fandom.com
The credits roll over a shot of Cobb's totem spinning, but the totem is spinning the wrong way. Some people believe this to be a hint to the fact that Cobb is still dreaming, but others think it's simply a way to visually show the complex and cyclical theme of the movie. Anyway, the number 528491 supposedly shows again during the credits, have you spotted it?

12. The train is a recurring symbol

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This symbol of the train appears throughout the movie, acting as a sort of metaphor. The train is representative of Cobb's journey when it comes to accepting his own past and finding his way back home, or back to reality. The question is, does he ever get there?

13. The elevator ride in the Mombasa hotel is a metaphor for the descent into the subconscious mind

Image Source / inception.fandom.com
As the elevator goes lower and lower, the music becomes more and more sinister sounding. This represents how the team's journey into the world of Fischer's dreams becomes gradually more dangerous and unpredictable the deeper they delve into his subconscious.

14. The snow fortress dream is a representation of Fischer's subconscious mind

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The fortress is surrounded by a moat of water. This is symbolic of the barrier between the conscious and subconscious mind. The team have to risk their lives and cross the moat so they can reach the fortress, aiming to implant the idea in Fischer's subconscious.

15. The zero gravity fight scene is a metaphor for the battle of wills that takes place in the subconscious mind

Image Source / youtube.com
The team have to battle with Fischer's subconscious defenses so that they can implant the idea that they set out to. This represents the many battles that happen within the subconscious mind on a daily basis. I don't know about you, but this definitely resonates with me!

16. Nolan cast his own family members in the movie

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Christopher Nolan's son in real life played the role of James, who is Cobb's son in the movie, who is only twenty months old. Nolan also chose to cast his cousin, Miranda, as a flight attendant on the plane to Los Angeles. In fact, she has also been in "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Dunkirk."

17. Nolan included a painting by Francis Bacon, which references distortions of memory

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Nolan's favourite artist is Francis Bacon, so he wanted to include a piece of art by Bacon in the movie. The painting is of Bacon's late lover, finished in a distorted style. Nolan believed this represented distortions of memory, which he wished to recreate in the movie.

18. The number shown on Arthur's totem re-appears several times in his dream.

Image Source / insider.com
How many times have you had the same dream - spooky right? I can think of a handful of times where it seems the same people, same scene and same outcome happens - but I rarely get recurring numbers unlike Inception. I'm not sure what the relevance is, but apparently it's an easter egg within the movie.

19. Cobb's wedding ring isn't always on his finger

Image Source / webtenkno.com
Now i'm not too sure if this is just a mistake or if it is meant to symbolise something going on in the movie - could it be that its a tip of the hat to say that Cobb is actually in a dream like state more than we are supposed to believe. Can you imagine!

20. The characters initials spell DREAMS

Image Source / reddit.com
Dominic, Robert, Eames, Arthur, Mal and Saito - have you ever realised that before? When I saw this I couldn't believe it. But then again, there are so many hidden facts and tricks in these movies. Whilst this isn't about the story, it really does show how much thought has gone into the movie.

21. The number plates in the first level dream

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These little points within the movie, are hard to see the first time round, but if you were to watch, and watch, and maybe watch again, you start to notice the little detail.  Did you see the change in alternate states on the reg plates? Who manages to catch these details first time round, must have some kind of special power.

22. The extraction song and it's deeper meaning

Image Source / youtube.com
We all know the famous french song that is used to bring the cast out of the dreams - but have you ever listened to it, or had it translated. The song refers to leaving the past behind, something which we all know from the movie, Cobb was not able to do and something that haunted him.

23. Cillian was his own father

Image Source / reddit.com
Ok maybe not exactly, but in the movie, Cillian cameoed an appearance as his own father, by wearing a different attire, glasses and a moustache. He did this to pay homage to who his father once was, but there are some forums out there, that seem to think this has another deeper meaning...one that we cannot figure out yet.

24. Numbers associated with Mal keep popping up

Image Source / insider.com
The room that Cobb and Mal spent their anniversary in is 3502. Then we also see the train that invaded the first dream level had the same numbers - and we know throughout the movie, they like to reference numbers, but can you work out what this number sequence references?

25. Ariadne's hair and why it had to be that way

Image Source / whatculture.com
Everything is done for a reason in movies, but this time it was because they couldn't find a way to be smart. In the zero gravity scene, her hair was in a slicked-backed bun because the crew couldn't figure out how her hair would, or should, react in a zero gravity situation...I must admit it isn't something I often think about.

26. Cobb catching bullet cases

Image Source / imfdb.org
It's starting to feel like something out of the Matrix now, with bullet casings and catching - but we've found out why. Apparently, Cobb catches the bullet casings so there is no noise according to multiple threads online - some of them even speculate other weird reasons but that's for another time.

27. Cobb in different languages

Image Source / charactour.com
Did you know, in Urdu, Hindu and Punjabi that Cobb mean dream? There they go again, little easter eggs in there that you just don't realise when you first start to watch. I wonder if there is any tip of the hats to any other languages throughout the movie? I didn't notice any Russian or Spanish names!!

28. The characters are roles on a movie set

Image Source / imdb.com
Now this makes sense - Cobb is the director, Arthur is the producer, Eames is an actor, Ariadne is the production design and Saito is the studio - of course not leaving out Fischer, who is the audience. It all comes together and is logical when you put it this way. You need someone to play all their roles to make the dream.

29. The snow fortress is real!?

Image Source / reddit.com
I can't be the only one who thought this portion of the movie was all CGI and green screens - maybe some of the scenes were out in Norway or Canada, but there was 0% chance I thought the fortress was real. It was actually based off the Geisel Library, Uo California.

30. Famous thinkers throughout the movie

Image Source / pinterest.com
Fischer is named after a famous champion chess player, Pete Postlethwaite was named Maurice in honour of M.C.Escher, who was a famous artist. He also inspired the look of the movie from start to finish. The movie had thinkers in it, for it, and because of it...work that one out.

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