Dominick “Dom” Cobb and Arthur are “extractors”: they perform corporate espionage using experimental military technology to infiltrate their targets’ subconscious and extract information through a shared dream world. Their latest target, Saito, reveals he arranged their mission to test Cobb for a seemingly impossible job: implanting an idea in a person’s subconscious, or “inception”. Saito wants Cobb to convince Robert, the son of Saito’s ailing competitor Maurice Fischer, to dissolve his father’s company. In return, Saito promises to clear Cobb’s criminal status, which prevents him from returning home to his children.

Cobb accepts the offer and assembles his team: Eames, an identity forger; Yusuf, a chemist with a sedative for the “dream within a dream” strategy; and Ariadne, an architecture student tasked with designing the dream’s labyrinth, recruited through Cobb’s father-in-law, Professor Stephen Miles. Ariadne discovers that Cobb’s subconscious houses an invasive projection of his late wife, Mal. After Maurice dies, Robert accompanies the body on a ten-hour flight, where the team, including Saito, sedate him into a shared dream. At each dream level, the person generating the dream stays behind to set up a “kick” to awaken the other team members from the deeper dream, coordinated by the playing of song “Non, je ne regrette rien” as an auditory cue; these kicks must occur simultaneously, despite time flowing faster in each successive level.

The first level is Yusuf’s dream of a rainy Los Angeles. The team abducts Robert, but are attacked by projections from his subconscious. Saito is wounded, and Cobb reveals that while dying in the dream would normally waken dreamers, the sedatives stabilizing the multi-level dream will instead send them into “limbo”: a world of infinite subconscious in which dreamers risk forgetting they are in a dream. Eames impersonates Robert’s godfather, Peter Browning, to suggest that Robert reconsider his father’s will. Cobb tells Ariadne that he and Mal entered limbo while experimenting with the dream-sharing technology. Sedated for five hours of real time, they spent fifty years in a dream world. When Mal refused to return to reality, Cobb used a rudimentary form of inception by reactivating her totem, an object dreamers use to distinguish dreams from reality. After waking up, Mal still believed she was dreaming. Attempting to “wake up” for real, she committed suicide and framed Cobb for her death to force him to do the same. Cobb fled the U.S., leaving his children in Miles’ care. Yusuf drives the team in a van as they are sedated into the second level, a hotel dreamed by Arthur. Cobb persuades Robert that he has been kidnapped by Browning, and that Cobb is his subconscious protector, leading Robert into another level in a ruse to enter Robert’s subconscious.

The team infiltrate the third level, a fortified mountain hospital dreamed by Eames, and hold off the guards as Saito takes Robert into the equivalent of his subconscious. Yusuf, pursued by Robert’s projections in the first level, deliberately drives off a bridge, initiating his kick too soon. This causes an avalanche in Eames’ level, and removes gravity on Arthur’s level, forcing Arthur to improvise a new kick synchronized with the van hitting the water. Mal’s projection emerges in Eames’ level and kills Robert; Cobb kills Mal, and Saito succumbs to his wounds. Cobb and Ariadne enter limbo to rescue Robert and Saito, while Eames prepares a kick by rigging the hospital with explosives.

Cobb makes peace with his guilt over Mal’s death. Ariadne kills Mal’s projection and wakes Robert up with a kick. Revived at the third level, he discovers the planted idea: a projection of his dying father telling him to be his own man. While Cobb searches for Saito in limbo, the others ride the synchronized kicks back to reality. Cobb finds an aged Saito and reminds him of their agreement. The dreamers all awaken on the plane, and Saito makes a phone call.

Arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Cobb passes the U.S. immigration checkpoint and Miles accompanies him to his home. Using Mal’s totem – a top that spins indefinitely in a dream – to test if he is indeed in the real world, Cobb does not observe the result and instead joins his children.

* * *

He was delirious. But asked for you by name.

Show him.

He was carrying nothing but this…

…and this.

Are you here to kill me?

I know what this is. I’ve seen one before. Many, many years ago. It belonged to a man I met in a half-remembered dream. A man possessed of some radical notions.

Cobb: What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm?

What Mr Cobb is trying to say…

Cobb: An idea. Resilient. Highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood, that sticks. Right in there somewhere.

For someone like you to steal?

Yes. In the dream state, your conscious defences are lowered… and that makes your thoughts vulnerable to theft.

It’s called extraction.

Mr Saito, we can train your subconscious to defend itself… from even the most skilled extractor.

How can you do that?

Because I am the most skilled extractor.

I know how to search your mind and find your secrets.

I know the tricks.

And I can teach them to you, so that even when you’re asleep… your defence is never down.

Look, if you want my help, you’re gonna have to be completely open with me.

I need to know my way around your thoughts better than your wife… better than your therapist, better than anyone.

If this is a dream, and you have a safe full of secrets… I need to know what’s in that safe.

In order for this all to work, you need to completely let me in.

Enjoy your evening, gentlemen, as I consider your proposal.

He knows.

What’s going on up there?

Saito knows. He’s playing with us.

Doesn’t matter. I can get it here. Trust me.

The information is in the safe.

He looked right at it when I mentioned secrets.

What’s she doing here?

Just head back to the room. All right? I’ll take care of this.

Okay, make sure you do.

We’re here to work.

If I jumped, would I survive?

With a clean dive, perhaps.

Mal, what are you doing here?

I thought you might be missing me.

You know that I am.

But I can’t trust you any more.

So what?

Looks like Arthur’s taste.

Actually, the subject is partial to postwar British painters.

Please, have a seat.

Tell me… do the children miss me?

You can’t imagine.

What are you doing?

Just getting some fresh air.

Stay where you are, Mal.

Goddamn it.

Turn around.

The gun, Dom.

Please.

Now the envelope, Mr Cobb.

Did she tell you? Or have you known all along?

That you’re here to steal from me, or that we are actually asleep?

I want to know the name of your employer.

Ah, there’s no use threatening him in a dream, right, Mal?

That depends on what you’re threatening.

Killing him would just wake him up.

But pain…

Pain is in the mind.

And judging by the decor, we’re in your mind, aren’t we, Arthur?

What are you doing? It’s too soon.

But the dream’s collapsing.

I’m gonna try to keep Saito under a little bit longer.

We’re almost there.

He was close. Very close.

Stop him.

This isn’t gonna work. Wake him up.

He won’t wake.

Give him the kick.
What?

Dunk him.

He’s out.

You came prepared?

Not even my head of security knows this apartment. How did you find it?

It’s difficult for a man of your position to keep a love nest like this secret… particularly where there’s a married woman involved.

She would never…

Yet here we are.

With a dilemma.

They’re getting closer.

You got what you came for.

Well, that’s not true.

You left out a key piece of information, didn’t you?

You held something back because you knew what we were up to.

Question is, why’d you let us in at all?

An audition.

An audition for what?

Doesn’t matter. You failed.

We extracted every bit of information you had in there.

But your deception was obvious.

So leave me and go.

You don’t seem to understand, Mr Saito.

That corporation that hired us, they won’t accept failure.

We won’t last two days.

Cobb?

Looks like I’m gonna have to do this a little more simply.

Tell us what you know. Tell us what you know, now.

I’ve always hated this carpet.

It’s stained and frayed in such distinctive ways.

But very definitely made of wool.

Right now…

I’m lying on polyester.

Which means I’m not lying on my carpet, in my apartment.

You have lived up to your reputation, Mr Cobb.

I’m still dreaming.

How’d it go?
Not good.

Dream within a dream, huh? I’m impressed.

But in my dream, you play by my rules.

Ah, yes, but you see, Mr Saito…

We’re not in your dream.

We’re in mine.

Asshole. How do you mess up the carpet?

It wasn’t my fault.

You’re the architect.

I didn’t know he was gonna rub his cheek on it.

That’s enough.

You. What the hell was all that?

I have it under control.

I’d hate to see you out of control.

We don’t have time for this.

I’m getting off at Kyoto.

He’s not gonna check every compartment.

Yeah, well, I don’t like trains.

Listen. Every man for himself.

Yes, hello?

Hi, Daddy.
Hi, Dad.

Hey, guys. Hey. How are you? How you doing, huh?

Good.

Okay, I guess.

Okay? Who’s just okay?

Is that you, James?

Yeah. When are you coming home, Dad?

Well, I can’t, sweetheart. I can’t. Not for a while, remember?

Why?

Look, I told you, I’m away because I’m working, right?

Grandma says you’re never coming back.

Phillipa, is that you?

Put Grandma on the phone for me, will you?

She’s shaking her head.

Well, just hope she’s wrong about that.

Daddy?

Yeah, James?

Is Mommy with you?

James, we talked about this.

Mommy’s not here any more.

Where?

That’s enough, kids. Say bye-bye.

Listen, I’m gonna send some presents with Grandpa, all right?

And you be good, you be…

Our ride’s on the roof.
Right.

Hey, are you okay?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. Why?

Well, down in the dream, Mal showing up.

Look, I’m, sorry about your leg. Won’t happen again.

It’s getting worse, isn’t it?

One apology’s all you’re getting, all right?

Where’s Nash?

He hasn’t shown. You wanna wait?

We were supposed to deliver Saito’s expansion plans… to COBOL Engineering two hours ago.

By now, they know we failed.

It’s time we disappear.

Where you gonna go?

Buenos Aires.

I can lie low there, maybe sniff out a job when things quiet down. You?

Stateside.

Send my regards.

He sold you out. Thought to come to me and bargain for his life.

So I offer you the satisfaction.

It’s not the way I deal with things.

What will you do with him?

Nothing.

But I can’t speak for COBOL Engineering.

What do you want from us?

Inception.

Is it possible?

Of course not.

If you can steal an idea from someone’s mind… why can’t you plant one there instead?

Okay, here’s me planting an idea in your head.

I say, “Don’t think about elephants.”

What are you thinking about?

Elephants.

Right. But it’s not your idea, because you know I gave it to you.

The subject’s mind can always trace the genesis of the idea.

True inspiration’s impossible to fake.

That’s not true.

Can you do it?

Are you offering me a choice?

Because I can find my own way to square things with COBOL.

Then you do have a choice.

Then I choose to leave, sir.

Tell the crew where you want to go.

Hey, Mr Cobb.

How would you like to go home?

To America. To your children.

You can’t fix that. No one can.

Just like inception.

Cobb, come on.

How complex is the idea?

Simple enough.

No idea is simple when you need to plant it in somebody else’s mind.

My main competitor is an old man in poor health.

His son will soon inherit control of the corporation.

I need him to decide to break up his father’s empire.

Cobb, we should walk away from this.

Hold on.

If I were to do this, if I even could do it…

I’d need a guarantee.

How do I know you can deliver?

You don’t.

But I can.

Saito: So do you want to take a leap of faith… or become an old man, filled with regret… waiting to die alone?

Assemble your team, Mr Cobb. And choose your people more wisely.

Look, I know how much you wanna go home.

This can’t be done.

Yes, it can. Just have to go deep enough.

You don’t know that.

I’ve done it before.

Who’d you do it to?

Why are we going to Paris?

We’re gonna need a new architect.

You never did like your office, did you?

No space to think in that broom cupboard.

Is it safe for you to be here?

Extradition between France and the United States… is a bureaucratic nightmare, you know that.

I think they might find a way to make it work in your case.

Look, I, brought these for you to give to the kids when you have a chance.

It’ll take more than the occasional stuffed animal… to convince those children they still have a father.

I’m just doing what I know.

I’m doing what you taught me.

I never taught you to be a thief.

No, you taught me to navigate people’s minds.

But after what happened… there weren’t a whole lot of legitimate ways for me to use that skill.

What are you doing here, Dom?

I think I found a way home.

It’s a job for some very, very powerful people.

People who I believe can fix my charges permanently.

But I need your help.

You’re here to corrupt one of my brightest and best.

You know what I’m offering. Let them decide for themselves.

Money.

Not just money.

You remember.

It’s the chance to build cathedrals, entire cities… things that never existed… things that couldn’t exist in the real world.

So you want me to let someone else follow you into your fantasy?

They don’t actually come into the dream.

They just design the levels and teach them to the dreamers. That’s all.

Design it yourself.

Mal won’t let me.

Come back to reality, Dom.

Please.

Reality.

Those kids, your grandchildren… they’re waiting for their father to come back home.

That’s their reality.

And this job, this last job, that’s how I get there.

I would not be standing here if I knew any other way.

I need an architect who’s as good as I was.

I’ve got somebody better.

Ariadne?

I’d like you to meet Mr Cobb.

Pleased to meet you.

If you have a few moments, Mr Cobb has a job offer he’d like to discuss with you.

A work placement?

Not exactly.

I have a test for you.

You’re not gonna tell me anything first?

Before I describe the job, I have to know you can do it.

Why?

It’s not, strictly speaking, legal.

You have two minutes to design a maze that it takes one minute to solve.

Stop.

Again.

Stop.

You’re gonna have to do better than that.

That’s more like it.

They say we only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential.

Now, that’s when we’re awake.

When we’re asleep, our mind can do almost anything.

Such as?

Imagine you’re designing a building.

You consciously create each aspect.

But sometimes, it feels like it’s almost creating itself, if you know what I mean.

Yeah, like I’m discovering it.

Genuine inspiration, right?

Now, in a dream, our mind continuously does this.

We create and perceive our world simultaneously.

And our mind does this so well that we don’t even know it’s happening.

That allows us to get right in the middle of that process.

How?

By taking over the creating part.

Now, this is where I need you.

You create the world of the dream.

We bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their subconscious.

How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it’s reality?

Cobb: Well, dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realise something was actually strange.

Let me ask you a question.

You never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you?

You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.

I guess, yeah.

So how did we end up here?

Well, we just came from the…

Think about it, Ariadne.

How did you get here?

Where are you right now?

We’re dreaming?

You’re in the middle of the workshop, sleeping.

This is your first lesson in shared dreaming. Stay calm.

If it’s just a dream, then why are you…?

Because it’s never just a dream, is it?

And a face full of glass hurts like hell. When you’re in it, it feels real.

That’s why the military developed dream sharing.

It was a training program for soldiers to shoot, stab and strangle each other… and then wake up.

How did architects become involved?

Well, someone had to design the dreams, right?

Why don’t you give us another five minutes?

Five minutes?

What…? We were talking for, like, at least an hour.

In a dream, your mind functions more quickly… therefore time seems to feel more slow.

Five minutes in the real world gives you an hour in the dream.

Why don’t you see what you can get up to in five minutes?

You’ve got the basic layout. Bookshop, cafe.

Almost everything else is here too.

Who are the people?

Projections of my subconscious.

Yours?

Yes.

Remember, you are the dreamer.

You build this world.

I am the subject. My mind populates it.

You can literally talk to my subconscious.

That’s one of the ways we extract information from the subject.

How else do you do it?

By creating something secure, like a bank vault or a jail.

The mind automatically fills it with information it’s trying to protect.

You understand?

Then you break in and steal it?

Well…

I guess I thought that the dream space would be all about the visual… but it’s more about the feel of it.

My question is what happens when you start messing with the physics of it all?

It’s something, isn’t it?

Yes, it is.

Why are they all looking at me?

Because my subconscious feels that someone else is creating this world.

The more you change things, the quicker the projections start to converge on you.

Converge?

They sense the foreign nature of the dreamer.

They attack, like white blood cells fighting an infection.

What, they’re gonna attack us?

No, no.

Just you.

This is great, but I’m telling you, if you keep changing things like this…

Jeez, mind telling your subconscious to take it easy?

It’s my subconscious.

Remember? I can’t control it.

Very impressive.

I know this bridge. This place is real, isn’t it?

Yeah, I cross it every day to get to the college.

Never re-create places from your memory. Always imagine new places.

You draw from stuff you know, right?

Only use details.

A streetlamp or a phone booth. Never entire areas.

Why not?

Building a dream from your memory… is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what’s real and what is a dream.

Is that what happened to you?

Listen to me.

This has nothing to do with me, understand?

That why you need me to build your dreams?

Hey, get off her.

Back up. Back up.

Cobb. Cobb.

Get off her.

Let me go. Let me go.

Mal.

Mal.

Cobb. Wake me up.

Wake me up. Wake me up.

No.

Mal, no. No.

Wake me up.

Hey, hey, hey. Look at me.

You’re okay. You’re okay.

Hey.

Why wouldn’t I wake up?

There was still time on the clock.

You can’t wake up from within the dream unless you die.

She’ll need a totem.

What?

A totem, it’s a small personal…

That’s some subconscious you’ve got on you, Cobb.

She’s a real charmer.

Oh.

I see you met Mrs Cobb.

She’s his wife?

Yeah. So a totem. You need a small object, potentially heavy.

Something you can have on you that no one else knows.

Like a coin?

No.

It needs to be more unique than that. Like, this is a loaded die.

No, I can’t let you touch it.

That would defeat the purpose.

See, only I know the balance and the weight of this particular loaded die.

That way, when you look at your totem… you know beyond a doubt that you’re not in someone else’s dream.

I don’t know if you can’t see what’s going on, or if you just don’t want to… but Cobb has some serious problems that he’s tried to bury down there.

And I’m not about to just open my mind to someone like that.

She’ll be back. I’ve never seen anyone pick it up that quickly before.

Reality’s not gonna be enough for her now, and when she comes back…

When she comes back, you’re gonna have her building mazes.

Where are you gonna be?

I gotta go visit Eames.

Eames? No, he’s in Mombasa.

It’s Cobol’s back yard.

It’s a necessary risk.

Well, there’s plenty of good thieves.

We don’t just need a thief.

We need a forger.

Rub them together all you want, they’re not gonna breed.

You never know.

I’m gonna get you a drink.

You’re buying.

Your spelling hasn’t improved.

Piss off.

How’s your handwriting?

It’s versatile.

Good.

Thank you very much.

Inception.

Now, before you bother telling me it’s impossible, let me…

No, it’s perfectly possible.

It’s just bloody difficult.

Interesting. Because Arthur keeps telling me it can’t be done.

Arthur. You still working with that stick in the mud?

He is good at what he does, right?

Oh, he’s the best, but he has no imagination.

Not like you.

Listen, if you’re gonna perform inception, you need imagination.

Let me ask you something.

Have you done it before?

We tried it. We got the idea in place, but it didn’t take.

You didn’t plant it deep enough?

No, it’s not just about depth.

You need the simplest version of the idea… in order for it to grow naturally in your subject’s mind.

It’s a subtle art.

So, what is this idea that you need to plant?

We need the heir of a major corporation to dissolve his father’s empire.

Right there you have various political motivations… and anti-monopolistic sentiments and so forth.

But all of that stuff, it’s…

It’s really at the mercy of your subject’s prejudice, you see?

What you have to do is start
at the absolute basic.

Which is what?

The relationship with the father.

Do you have a chemist?

No, not yet.

Right. Okay, well, there’s a man here, Yusuf.

He, formulates his own versions of the compounds.

Why don’t you take me there?

Once you’ve lost your tail. The man at the bar.

COBOL Engineering.

That price on my head, was that dead or alive?

Don’t remember. Let’s see if he starts shooting.

Run interference. I’ll meet you downstairs in the bar in, say, half an hour?

Back here?

This is the last place they’d suspect.

All right.

Freddy. Freddy Simmonds.

My God, it’s you, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t you.

Not dreaming now, are you?

Get him.

There.

One cafe.

One cafe.

One cafe.

Care for a lift, Mr Cobb?

What are you doing in Mombasa?

I’m here to protect my investment.

Ah. So this is your idea of losing a tail, huh?

Different tail.

Cobb said you’d be back.

I tried not to come, but…

But there’s nothing quite like it.

It’s just… pure creation.

Shall we take a look at some paradoxical architecture?

You’re gonna have to master a few tricks… if you’re gonna build three complete dream levels. Excuse me.

What kind of tricks?

In a dream, you can cheat architecture into impossible shapes.

That lets you create closed loops, like the Penrose Steps.

The infinite staircase.

See?

Paradox.

So a closed loop like that… will help you disguise the boundaries of the dream you create.

But how big do these levels have to be?

It could be anything from the floor of a building to an entire city.

They have to be complicated enough that we can hide from the projections.

A maze?

Right, a maze.

And the better the maze…

Then the longer we have before the projections catch us?

Exactly.

My subconscious seems polite enough.

Ha, ha. You wait, they’ll turn ugly.

No one likes to feel someone else messing around in their mind.

Cobb can’t build any more, can he?

I don’t know if he can’t, but he won’t.

He thinks it’s safer if he doesn’t know the layouts.

Why?

He won’t tell me. But I think it’s Mal.

His ex-wife?

No, not his ex.

They’re still together?

No.

No, she’s dead.

What you see in there is just his projection of her.

What was she like in real life?

She was lovely.

You are seeking a chemist?

Yes.

To formulate compounds for a job?

And to go into the field with us.

No, I rarely go into the field, Mr Cobb.

Well, we’d need you there to tailor compounds specific to our needs.

Which are?

Great depth.

A dream within a dream? Two levels?

Three.

Not possible. That many dreams within dreams is too unstable.

It is possible. You just have to add a sedative.

A powerful sedative.

How many team members?

Five.

Six.

The only way to know you’ve done the job is if I go in with you.

There’s no room for tourists on a job like this, Mr Saito.

This time, it seems there is.

This, I think, is a good place to start. I use it every day.

What for?

Here, I’ll show you.

Perhaps you will not want to see.

After you.

Ten. Twelve. All connected. Bloody hell.

They come every day to share the dream.

You see? Very stable.

How long do they dream for?

Three, four hours, each day.

In dream time?

With this compound? About 40 hours, each and every day.

Why do they do it?

Tell him, Mr Cobb.

After a while, it becomes the only way you can dream.

Do you still dream, Mr Cobb?

They come here every day to sleep?

No.

They come to be woken up.

The dream has become their reality.

Who are you to say otherwise, sir?

Let’s see what you can do.

You know how to find me.

You know what you have to do.

Sharp, no?

Are you all right, Mr Cobb?

Yeah, yeah.

Everything’s just fine.

Robert Fischer, heir to the Fischer Morrow energy conglomerate.

What’s your problem with this Mr Fischer?

That’s not your concern.

Mr Saito, this isn’t your typical corporate espionage.

You asked me for inception.

I do hope you understand the gravity of that request.

Now, the seed that we plant in this man’s mind will grow into an idea.

This idea will define him.

It may come to change…

Well, it may come to change everything about him.

We’re the last company standing between them and total energy dominance.

And we can no longer compete.

Soon, they’ll control the energy supply of half the world.

In effect, they become a new superpower.

The world needs Robert Fischer to change his mind.

That’s where we come in.

How is Robert Fischer’s relationship with his father?

Rumour is the relationship is quite complicated.

Well, we can’t work based solely on rumour, can we?

Can you get me access to this man here? Browning.

Fischer Senior’s right-hand man.

Fischer Junior’s godfather.

It should be possible, if you can get the right references.

References are something of a speciality for me, Mr Saito.

I’m not smelling settlement here. Take them down.

Mr Browning…

Maurice Fischer’s policy is always one of avoiding litigation.

Well, shall we voice your concerns with Maurice directly?

Not sure that’s necessary.

No, no, no. I think we should.

How is he?

I don’t want to bother him unnecessarily, but… Robert, I told you keep out the damn… Wait. So do it. Get…

Mr Fischer.

Put it through.

Never, never. Never do the same as I asked.

Leave that.

Here.

Must be a cherished memory of his.

I put it beside his bed.

He hasn’t even noticed.

Robert… we need to talk about a power of attorney.

I know this is hard, but it’s imperative…

Not now, Uncle Peter.

The vultures are circling.

And the sicker Maurice Fischer becomes, the more powerful Peter Browning becomes.

I’ve had ample opportunity to observe Browning… and adopt his physical presence, study his mannerisms, and so on and so forth.

So now in the first layer of the dream, I can impersonate Browning.

And suggest concepts to Fischer’s conscious mind.

Then, when we take him a level deeper… his own projection of Browning should feed that right back to him.

So he gives himself the idea.

Precisely. That’s the only way it will stick.

It has to seem self-generated.

Arthur: Eames, I am impressed.

Eames: Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur, thank you.

Were you going under on your own?

No, no, I was just, running some experiments.

I didn’t realise anyone was here, so…

Yeah, I was just… I was working on my totem, actually.

Here, let me take a look.

So you’re learning, huh?

An elegant solution for keeping track of reality.

Was it your idea?

No, it was…

It was Mal’s, actually. This…

This one was hers.

She would spin it in the dream and it would never topple.

Just spin and spin.

Arthur told me she passed away.

How are the mazes coming along?

Each level relates to the part of the subject’s subconscious… that we are trying to access.

So I’m making the bottom level a hospital, so Fischer will bring his father.

You know, I… Actually, I have a question about this layout.

No, no, no. Don’t show me specifics.

Only the dreamer should know the layout.

Why is that so important?

In case one of us brings in our projections.

We don’t want them knowing the details of the maze.

You mean in case you bring Mal in.

You can’t keep her out, can you?

Right.

You can’t build… because if you know the maze, then she knows it.

Well, she’d sabotage the whole operation.

Cobb, do the others know?

No. No, they don’t.

You’ve gotta warn them if this is getting worse.

No one said it’s getting worse.

Cobb: I need to get home. That’s all I care about right now.

Ariadne: Why can’t you go home?

Cobb: Because they think I killed her.

Ariadne: [silence]

Cobb: Thank you.

Ariadne: For what?

Cobb: For not asking whether I did.

“I will split up my father’s empire.”

Now, this is obviously an idea that Robert himself would choose to reject… which is why we need to plant it deep in his subconscious.

The subconscious is motivated by emotion, right? Not reason.

We need to find a way to translate this into an emotional concept.

How do you translate business strategy into emotion?

That’s what we’re here to figure out.

Robert’s relationship with his father… is stressed, to say the least.

Can we run with that?

We suggest breaking up his father’s company as a “screw you” to the old man.

No, because I think positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time.

We all yearn for reconciliation, for catharsis.

We need Robert Fischer to have a positive emotional reaction to all this.

All right, well, try this.

“My father accepts that I want to create for myself, not follow in his footsteps.”

That might work.

Might? We’re gonna need to do a little better than “might.”

Thank you for your contribution, Arthur.

Forgive me for wanting a little specificity, Eames.

Specificity?

Inception’s not about being specific.

When we get inside his mind, we’re gonna have to work with what we find.

On the top level, we open up his relationship with his father… and say, “I will not follow in my father’s footsteps.”

Then the next level down, we feed him, “I will create something for myself.”

Then, by the time we hit the bottom level, we bring out the big guns.

“My father doesn’t want me to be him.”

Exactly.

Three layers down, the dreams are gonna collapse with the slightest disturbance.

Sedation.

For sleep stable enough to create three layers of dreaming… we’ll have to combine it with an extremely powerful sedative.

Good night.

The compound we’ll be using to share the dream… creates a clear connection between dreamers… whilst accelerating brain function.

In other words, more time on each level.

Brain function in the dream will be about 20 times normal.

And when you enter a dream within that dream, the effect is compounded.

It’s three dreams, that’s 10 hours times 20…

Maths was never my strong subject. How much time is that?

It’s a week, the first level down.

Six months the second level down, and the third level…

That’s 10 years.

Who’d wanna be stuck in a dream for 10 years?

Depends on the dream.

So once we’ve made the plant, how do we get out?

I’m hoping you have something more elegant than shooting me in the head.

A kick.

What’s a kick?

This, Ariadne, would be a kick.

It’s that feeling of falling you get that jolts you awake.

Snaps you out of the dream.

We gonna feel a kick with this sedation?

That’s the clever part.

I customised the sedative to leave inner-ear function unimpaired.

That way, however deep the sleep, the sleeper still feels falling.

Or tipping.

The trick is to synchronise a kick that can penetrate all three levels.

We could use a musical countdown to synchronise the different kicks.

He hasn’t got any surgery scheduled, no dental, nothing.

Wasn’t he supposed to have a knee operation?

Nothing. Nothing that they’ll put him under for, anyway. And we need…

We need at least a good 10 hours.

Sydney to Los Angeles.

One of the longest flights in the world. He makes it every two weeks.

He must be flying private, then.

Not if there were unexpected maintenance with his plane.

Arthur: It would have to be a 747.

Cobb: Why’s that?

Arthur: On a 747, the pilot’s up top… the first-class cabin’s in the nose, so no one would walk through. You’d have to buy out the entire cabin and the first-class flight attendant…

Saito: I bought the airline.
[Everybody turns and stares at him. Saito just shrugs]
It seemed neater.

Well, looks like we have our 10 hours.

Ariadne? Terrific work, by the way.

You know how to find me.

You know what you have to do.

You remember when you asked me to marry you?

Of course I do.

You said you had a dream.

That we’d grow old together.

And we can.

You shouldn’t be here.

Just wanted to see what kind of tests you’re doing on your own every night.

This has nothing to do with you.

This has everything to do with me.

You’ve asked me to share dreams with you.

Not these. These are my dreams.

Why do you do this to yourself?

It’s the only way I can still dream.

Ariadne: Why is it so important to dream?

Cobb: In my dreams, we’re still together.

These aren’t just dreams.

These are memories. And you said never to use memories.

I know I did.

You’re trying to keep her alive. You can’t let her go.

You don’t understand. These are moments I regret.

They’re memories that I have to change.

Well, what’s down there that you regret?

Listen, there’s only one thing you need to understand about me.

This is your house?

Mine and Mal’s, yes.

Where is she?

She’s already gone.

That’s my son, James.

He’s digging for something, maybe a worm.

That’s Phillipa.

I thought about calling out to them… so they’d turn and smile and I could see… those beautiful faces of theirs, but it’s all too late.

Right now or never, Cobb.

Then I start to panic.

I realise I’m gonna regret this moment… that I need to see their faces one last time.

James. Phillipa. Come on in.

But the moment’s past.

And whatever I do, I can’t change this moment.

As I’m about to call out to them… they run away.

If I’m ever gonna see their faces again, I’ve gotta get back home.

The real world.

What are you doing here?

My name is…

I know who you are. What are you doing here?

I’m just trying to understand.

How could you understand?

Do you know what it is to be a lover?

To be half of a whole?

No.

I’ll tell you a riddle.

You’re waiting for a train.

A train that will take you far away.

You know where you hope this train will take you… but you don’t know for sure.

But it doesn’t matter.

How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?

Because you’ll be together.

How could you bring her here, Dom?

What is this place?

This is a hotel suite where we used to spend our anniversary.

What happened here?

You promised. You promised we’d be together.

Please, I need you to stay here just for now.

You said we’d be together. You said we’d grow old together.

I’ll come back for you. I promise.

Do you think you can just build a prison of memories to lock her in?

Do you really think that that’s gonna contain her?

It’s time.

Maurice Fischer just died in Sydney.

When’s the funeral?

Thursday. In Los Angeles.

Robert should accompany the body no later than Tuesday.

We should move.

All right.

Cobb, I’m coming with you.

I promised Miles. No.

The team needs someone who understands what you’re struggling with.

And it doesn’t have to be me… but then you have to show Arthur what I just saw.

Get us another seat on the plane.

If I get on this plane and you don’t honour our agreement… when we land, I go to jail for the rest of my life.

Complete the job en route…

I make one phone call from the plane… you have no trouble getting through Immigration.

I’m sorry.

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Thank you.

Excuse me, I think this is yours? You must have dropped it.

Would you care for a drink?

Oh. Water, please.

Oh, same, please.

Thank you.

You know, I couldn’t help but notice… but you wouldn’t happen to be related to the Maurice Fischer, would you?

Yes, he…

He was my father.

Well, he was a very inspiring figure. I’m sorry for your loss.

Here you go.

Thank you.

Hey.

To your father.

May he rest in peace, huh?

Couldn’t have peed before you went under?

Sorry.

Bit too much free champagne before take-off?

Ha, ha, bloody ha.

We know he’s gonna be looking for a taxi in this weather.

Asshole. Hey, man, why don’t you try…?

Walk away.

Just have him ca…

I gotta go.

All right. Taxi. Thank you.

All right, Third and Market. Snappy.

What are you doing?

Sorry, I thought it was free.

It’s not.

Maybe we could share.

Maybe not. Can you pull over and get this…?

Great.

Come on.

There’s $500 in there. The wallet’s worth more than that.

You might at least drop me at my stop.

I’m afraid that it doesn’t…

Cover him.

Down. Down now.

What the hell is going on?

This wasn’t in the design.

Cobb?

Cobb?

Get him.

Are you all right?

Yeah, I’m okay. I’m okay.

Fischer’s okay, unless he gets carsick.

Saito?

Get Fischer in the back room now.

Get him in the back room. Move.

What the hell happened?

Has he been shot? Is he dying?

I don’t know.

Jesus Christ.

What happened to you?

Blocked by a freight train.

Why put a train in a downtown intersection?

I didn’t.

Where’d it come from?

Why the hell were we ambushed?

Those were not normal projections.

They’d been trained, for God’s sakes.

How could he be trained?

Fischer’s had an extractor… teach his subconscious to defend itself, so his subconscious is militarised.

It should’ve shown in the research.

Why the hell didn’t it?

Calm down.

Don’t tell me to calm down.

This was your job, goddamn it.

This was your responsibility.

You were meant to check Fischer’s background.

We are not prepared for this.

We have dealt with sub-security before.

We’ll be more careful and we’re gonna be fine.

This was not a part of the plan. He’s dying.

Put him out his misery.

No, don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Cobb, hey, hey.

He’s in agony. I’m waking him up.

No. It won’t wake him up.

What do you mean, it won’t wake him up?

When we die in a dream, we wake up.

Not from this.

We’re too heavily sedated to wake up that way.

Right. So, what happens when we die?

We drop into limbo.

Are you serious?

Limbo?

Unconstructed dream space.

Well, what the hell is down there?

Just raw, infinite subconscious.

Nothing is down there, except for what might have been left behind… by anyone sharing the dream who’s been trapped there before.

Which, in our case, is just you.

How long could we be stuck?

Can’t even think about… trying to escape until the sedation…

How long?

Decades. It could be infinite. Ask him, he’s the one who’s been there.

Let’s get him upstairs.

Great.

Thank you.

So now we’re trapped in Fischer’s mind, battling his own private army.

And if we get killed… we’ll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg?

Someone got first aid?

You knew these risks and didn’t tell us?

There weren’t meant to be risks.

I didn’t know we’d be dealing with gunfire.

You had no right.

This was the only way to go three layers deep.

You knew about this and went along with it?

I trusted him.

When? When he promised you half his share?

No. His whole share. Besides, he said he’d done it before.

What, with Mal? Because that worked so good?

That has nothing to do with it. I did what I had to to get to my children.

You led us into a war zone with no way out?

There is a way out. We continue on with the job, and we do it as fast as possible… and we get out using the kick, just like before.

Forget it. We go any deeper, we just raise the stakes.

I am sitting this one out on this level.

Fischer’s security is surrounding this place.

Ten hours of flight time is a week at this level.

That means each and every one of us will be killed. That I can guarantee you.

We have no other choice but to continue on and do it as fast as possible.

Downwards is the only way forwards.

Get ready.

You, come on. Let’s go shake him up.

I’m insured against kidnapping for up to 10 million.

This should be very simple.

Shut up. It won’t be.

In your father’s office, below the bookshelves… is his personal safe. We need the combination.

I don’t know any safe.

That doesn’t mean you don’t know the combination.

Tell us what it is.

I don’t know.

We have it on good authority you do know.

Yeah? Whose authority?

Five hundred dollars, this cost.

What’s inside it?

Cash, cards, ID. And this.

Useful?

Maybe.

You’re on. You’ve got an hour.

An hour?

I was supposed to have all night to crack this.

And Saito wasn’t supposed to be shot in the chest.

You’ve got one hour, now get us something useful, please.

What’s that?

Good authority.

Uncle Peter.

Just make them stop.

The combination.

I don’t know it.

Why does Browning say you do?

I don’t know.

Just let me talk to him and I’ll find out.

You have one hour. Start talking.

You all right?

You okay?

Those bastards have had at me for two days.

They have someone with access to your father’s office.

They’re trying to open his safe.

Yeah.

They thought I’d know the combination, but I don’t know it.

Yeah, well, neither do I, so…

What?

Maurice told me that when he passed, you were the only one able to open it.

No, he never gave me any combination.

Maybe he did. I mean, maybe you just didn’t know it was a combination.

Well, what, then?

I don’t know, some meaningful combination of numbers… based on your experiences with Maurice.

We didn’t have very many, meaningful experiences together.

Perhaps after your mother died.

After my mother died, you know what he told me?

“Robert, there’s really nothing to be said.”

Oh, well, he was bad with emotion.

I was 11, Uncle Peter.

How’s he doing?

He’s in a lot of pain.

When we get down to the lower levels, the pain will be less intense.

And if he dies?

Worst-case scenario?

When he wakes up, his mind is completely gone.

Cobb, I’ll still honour the arrangement.

I appreciate that, Saito.

But when you wake up, you won’t even remember that we had an arrangement.

Limbo is gonna become your reality.

You’re gonna be lost down there so long that you’re gonna become an old man.

Filled with regret?

Waiting to die alone.

No.

I’ll come back.

And we’ll be young men together again.

Breathe.

These people are gonna kill us if we don’t give them the combination.

They just wanna ransom us.

I heard them.

They’re gonna lock us in that van, and then drive it into the river.

All right. What is in the safe?

Something for you.

Maurice always said it was his most precious gift to you.

A will.

Maurice’s will is with Port and Dunn.

That’s an alternate.

This would supersede the other if you want it to.

It splits up the component businesses of Fischer Morrow.

It’d be the end of the entire empire as we know it.

Destroying my whole inheritance?

Why would he suggest such a thing?

I just don’t know.

He loved you, Robert.

In his own way.

In his own way.

At the end… he called me in to his deathbed.

He could barely speak.

But he took the trouble to tell me one last thing.

He pulled me close.

And I could only make out… one word.

“Disappointed.”

When were you in limbo?

You might have the rest of the team convinced to carry on with this job.

But they don’t know the truth.

Truth? What truth?

The truth that, at any minute, you might bring a freight train through the wall.

The truth that Mal is bursting through your subconscious.

And the truth that, as we go deeper into Fischer… we’re also going deeper into you.

And I’m not sure we’re gonna like what we find.

We were working together.

We were exploring the concept of a dream within a dream.

I kept pushing things.

I wanted to go deeper and deeper. I wanted to go further.

I just didn’t understand the concept that hours could turn into years down there… that we could get trapped so deep… that when we wound up on the shore of our own subconscious… we lost sight of what was real.

We created. We built the world for ourselves.

We did that for years.

We built our own world.

How long were you stuck there?

Something like 50 years.

Jesus.

How could you stand it?

It wasn’t so bad at first, feeling like gods.

Eventually, it just became impossible for me to live like that.

And what about for her?

She had locked something away, something deep inside her.

A truth that she had once known, but chose to forget.

Limbo became her reality.

What happened when you woke up?

Well, to wake up from that after years, after decades… to become old souls thrown back into youth like that?

I knew something was wrong with her. She just wouldn’t admit it.

Eventually, she told me the truth.

She was possessed by an idea.

This one very simple idea that changed everything.

That our world wasn’t real.

That she needed to wake up to come back to reality… that in order to get back home… we had to kill ourselves.

What about your children?

She thought they were projections… that our real children were waiting for us up there somewhere.

I’m their mother.

Calm down.

I can tell the difference.

If this is my dream, why can’t I control this?

You don’t know you’re dreaming.

She was certain there was nothing I could do… no matter how much I begged, no matter how much I pleaded.

She wanted to do it, but she could not do it alone.

She loved me too much, so she came up with a plan on our anniversary.

Sweetheart, what are you doing?

Join me.

Just… Just step back inside. All right?

Just step back inside now, come on.

No. I’m going to jump, and you’re coming with me.

No, I’m not.

Now, you listen to me.

If you jump, you’re not gonna wake up, remember? You’re gonna die.

Now, just step back inside.

Come on. Step back inside so we can talk about this.

We’ve talked enough.

Mal.

Come out onto the ledge… or I’ll jump right now.

Okay.

We’re gonna talk about this.

All right?

I’m asking you to take a leap of faith.

No, honey.

No, I can’t. You know I can’t do that.

Take a second, think about our children.

Think about James.

Think about Phillipa, now.

If I go without you, they’ll take them away anyway.

What does that mean?

I filed a letter with our attorney… explaining how I’m fearful for my safety.

How you’ve threatened to kill me.

Why did you do this?

I love you, Dom.

Why did…? Why would you do this to me?

I’ve freed you from the guilt of choosing to leave them.

We’re going home to our real children.

Oh, no, no, no, Mal, you listen to me, all right? Mal, look at me, please?

You’re waiting for a train.

Mal, goddamn it, don’t do this.

A train that will take you far away.

James and Phillipa are waiting for you.

You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can’t know for sure.

Mal, look at me.

But it doesn’t matter.

Mal, goddamn it.

Mal, listen to me.

Because you’ll be together.

Sweetheart. Look at me. Mal, no.

Jesus Christ.

She had herself declared sane by three different psychiatrists.

It made it impossible for me to try to explain the nature of her madness.

So I ran.

Right now, or never, Cobb.

James. Phillipa.

Come on in. Come on.

All right, let’s go.

I left my children behind and I’ve been trying to buy my way back ever since.

Your guilt defines her.

It’s what powers her.

But you are not responsible for the idea that destroyed her.

And if we are gonna succeed in this… you have to forgive yourself, and you’re gonna have to confront her.

But you don’t have to do that alone.

No, you’re not…

I’m doing it for the others.

Because they have no idea the risk they’ve taken coming down here with you.

We have to move.

Time’s up.

All right. I don’t know any combination.

Not consciously, anyway.

How about instinctively, huh?

I got somebody in your father’s office right now ready to tap in the combination.

Give me the first six numbers that come to your head right now.

I have no idea.

Right now.

I said, right now. Right now.

Five, two, eight, four, nine, one.

You’ll have to do better than that.

All right. Bag them.
You’re going for a ride.

We’re worth more to you alive. You hear me?

What’d you get?

Relationship with his father is worse than we imagined.

This helps us how?

The stronger the issues, the more powerful the catharsis.

How are we gonna reconcile them?

I’m working on that.

Work faster. The projections are closing in quick.

We gotta break out of here before we’re totally boxed in.

Damn it.

Eames: [Shows up while Arthur is in a gunfight] You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
[Pulls out a grenade launcher]

We need to shift his animosity from his father to his godfather.

Destroy his one positive relationship?

No, repair his relationship with his father… whilst exposing his godfather’s true nature.

We should charge Fischer a lot more than Saito for this job.

His security is gonna get worse as we go deeper.

I think we run with Mr Charles.

No.

Who’s Mr Charles?

Bad idea.

The second we get into that hotel his security’s gonna be all over us.

We run with Mr Charles like on the Stein job.

You’ve done it before?

Yeah, and it didn’t work.

The subject realised he was dreaming and his subconscious tore us to pieces.

Excellent. But you learned a lot, right?

I need some kind of distraction.

No problem.

How about a lovely lady that I’ve used before?

Listen to me. You drive carefully, all right?

Everything down there is gonna be unstable as hell.

Don’t jump too soon.

We only got one shot at that kick.

We gotta make it.

I’ll play the music to let you know it’s coming. The rest is on you.

You ready?

Ready.

Sweet dreams.

Am I boring you?

I was telling you my story. I guess it wasn’t to your liking.

I have a lot on my mind.

There goes Mr Charles.

Mr Fischer, right?

Pleasure to see you again. Rod Green from marketing. I…

And you must be?

Leaving.

In case you get bored.

Must’ve blown you off.

That is, unless her phone number really is only six digits.

Funny way to make friends, someone stealing your wallet like that.

Goddamn it. The wallet alone is worth at least 500…

About $500, right?

Don’t worry about it. My people are already on it as we speak.

Who or what is Mr Charles?

It’s a gambit designed to turn Fischer against his own subconscious.

And why don’t you approve?

It involves telling the mark that he’s dreaming… which involves attracting a lot of attention to us.

Didn’t Cobb say never to do that?

So now you’ve noticed how much time… Cobb spends doing things he says never to do.

Mr Saito, can I have a moment?

I’m sorry, but…

Hold on. Wait.

You look a bit perkier.

Very amusing, Mr Eames.

Turbulence on the plane?

No, it’s much closer.

That’s Yusuf’s driving.

I’m sorry. Who did you say you were?

Rod Green from marketing.

But that’s not true at all, is it?

My name is Mr Charles. You remember me, don’t you?

I’m the head of your security down here.

Get out on a different floor, keep moving.

Dump the wallet. Security will be looking for that.

Okay.

We need to buy Cobb a little more time.

Security, huh?

You work for the hotel?

No, no.

I specialise in a very specific type of security.

Subconscious security.

You’re talking about dreams?

Are you talking about, extraction?

I am here to protect you.

Mr Fischer, I’m here to protect you in the event… that someone tries to access your mind through your dreams.

You’re not safe here.

They’re coming for you.

Strange weather, isn’t it?

You feel that?

Ariadne: What’s happening?

Arthur: Cobb’s drawing Fischer’s attention to the strangeness of the dream… which is making his subconscious look for the dreamer. For me. Quick, give me a kiss.

Ariadne: [She kisses him and then looks around] They’re still looking at us.

Arthur: Yeah, it was worth a shot.

We should probably get out of here.

You feel that? You’ve actually been trained for this, Mr Fischer.

Pay attention to the strangeness of the weather, the shift in gravity.

None of this is real.

You’re in a dream.

Now, the easiest way for you to test yourself… is to try and remember how you arrived at this hotel. Can you do that?

Yeah, I…

No, breathe, breathe.

Remember your training.

Accept the fact that you’re in a dream, and I’m here to protect you. Go on.

You’re not real?

No.

No. I’m a projection of your subconscious.

I was sent here to protect you in the event… that extractors tried to pull you into a dream.

And I believe that’s what’s going on right now, Mr Fischer.

Yeah.

Okay.

Okay.

Can you get me out of here?

Right away. Follow me.

Hold on a second.

Jesus Christ. What are you doing?

These men were sent here to abduct you, all right?

If you want my help, you have to remain calm.

I need you to work with me, Mr Fischer.

If this is a dream, I should just kill myself to wake up, right?

I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Mr Fischer.

I believe they have you sedated, and if you pull that trigger… you may not wake up.

You may go into a further dream state.

Now, you know what I’m talking about.

You remember the training.

Remember what I said to you.

Give me the gun.

This room should be directly below 528?

Yeah.

Think, Mr Fischer, think.

What do you remember from before this dream?

There was, a lot of gunfire.

There was rain.

Uncle Peter.

Oh, my God, we’ve been kidnapped.

Where were they holding you?

They had us in the back of a van.

That explains the gravity shifts.

You’re in the back of a van. Keep going.

It had something to do with…

Something to do with a safe.

God, why is it so hard to remember?

It’s like trying to remember a dream after you’ve woken up.

Listen, it takes years of practise.

You and Browning have been pulled into this dream… because they’re trying to steal something from your mind.

I need you to focus and try and remember what that is.

What is it, Mr Fischer? Think.

A combination. They demanded the first numbers to pop into my head.

They’re trying to extract a number from your subconscious.

It can represent anything.

We’re in a hotel right now.

We should try hotel rooms. What was the number, Mr Fischer?

Try and remember for me.

This is very important.

Five.

Five, two… It was something, it was a long number.

That’s good. We can start there. Fifth floor.

Yep.

So do you use a timer?

No, I have to judge it for myself.

While you’re all asleep in 528, I wait for Yusuf’s kick.

Well, how will you know?

His music warns me.

And then when the van hits the barrier of the bridge, that should be unmistakable.

So we get a nice synchronised kick.

If it’s too soon, we won’t get pulled out.

But if it’s too late, I won’t be able to drop us.

Well, why not?

Because the van will be in freefall.

Can’t drop you without gravity.

Right.

They’re with me. Go on.

Mr Charles.

Do you know what that is, Mr Fischer?

Yeah, I think so.

They were trying to put you under.

I’m already under.

Under again.

What do you mean, a dream within a dream?

Hey. I see you’ve changed.

I’m sorry?

Oh, I’m sorry. I mistook you for a friend.

Oh.

Good-looking fellow, I’m sure.

No, no, no. That’s Fischer’s projection of Browning.

Let’s follow him and see how he behaves.

Why?

Because how he acts will tell us… if Fischer is starting to suspect his motives the way we want him to.

Uncle Peter.

You said you were kidnapped together?

Well, not exactly. They already had him. They were torturing him.

And you saw them torture him?

The kidnappers are working for you?

Robert.

You’re trying to get that safe open? To get the alternate will?

Fischer Morrow has been my entire life. I can’t let you destroy it.

I’m not gonna throw away my inheritance.

I couldn’t let you rise to your father’s last taunt.

What taunt?

The will, Robert. That will?

That’s his last insult.

A challenge for you to build something for yourself… by telling you you’re not worthy of his accomplishments.

What, but that he was, disappointed?

I’m sorry.

But he’s wrong.

You can build a better company than he ever did.

Mr Fischer? He’s lying.

How do you know?

Trust me, it’s what I do.

He’s hiding something, and we need to find out what that is.

I need you to do the same thing to him that he was going to do to you.

We’ll enter his subconscious and find out what he doesn’t want you to know.

All right.

He’s out.

Wait.

Whose subconscious are we going into exactly?

We’re going into Fischer’s.

I told him it was Browning’s so he’d be a part of our team.

He’s gonna help us break into his own subconscious.

That’s right.

Security’s gonna run you down hard.

And I will lead them on a merry chase.

Just be back before the kick.

Go to sleep, Mr Eames.

You good?

Hey. You ready?

Yes, yes. I’m fine. I’m ready.

Cobb?

Cobb? What’s down there?

Hopefully, the truth we want Fischer to learn.

I mean, what’s down there for you?

Did you see that?

Eames, this is your dream.

I need you to draw the security away from the complex, understand?

Who guides Fischer in?

Not me.

If I know the route, everything could be compromised.

I designed the place.

No, you’re with me.

I could do it.

All right. Brief him on the route into the complex.

Fischer, you’ll be going with him.

All right. What about you?

You keep this live. I’ll be listening in the whole time.

The windows on that upper floor are big enough for me to cover you from that tower.

You’re not coming in?

In order to find out the truth about your father… you’re gonna need to break into Browning’s mind on your own.

Come on, Fischer.

Sound the alarm. Sound the alarm.

Go, go, go.

Move.

Go.

Sod it.

I hope you’re ready.

No, it’s too soon.

Cobb, do you hear that?

I first noticed it about 20 minutes ago, I thought it was the wind up here.

Yeah, I hear it. It’s music.

So, what do we do?

We move fast.

Yusuf’s 10 seconds from the jump.

Which gives Arthur three minutes.

Hey.

That’s him.

Which gives us what?

Sixty minutes.

Can they make that route in an hour?

They have to climb to the terrace.

Then they need a new route, a more direct route.

It’s designed as a labyrinth.

There must be access routes that cut through the maze.

Eames?

Did Eames add any features?

I don’t think I should tell you.

We don’t have time for this. Did he add anything?

He added an air-duct system that can cut through the maze.

Good. Explain it to them.

Saito?

Go ahead.

Paradox.

What was that?

The kick.

Cobb. Cobb, did we miss it?

Yeah, we missed it.

Man.

Couldn’t someone have dreamt up a goddamn beach? Huh?

Huh.

Well, what the hell do we do now?

We finish the job before the next kick.

What next kick?

When the van hits the water.

If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.

If you need help, hang up…

How do I drop you without gravity?

Arthur has a couple minutes, and we have about 20.

You okay?

Run. Turn around. Move to base. Move to base.

Go, go, go.

There’s something wrong.

They’re heading your way, like they know something.

Just buy us more time, all right?

Come on.

On my way.

Come on. Move.

All right.

Okay. That’s the antechamber outside the strong room.

Does the strong room have windows?

It wouldn’t be very strong if it did.

Let’s hope Fischer likes what he finds in there.

Are those projections his subconscious?

Yes.

Are you destroying parts of his mind?

No. They’re just projections.

We’re here.

You’re clear, but hurry.

There’s an entire army headed your way.

I’m in.

There he is.

There’s someone in there.

Fischer, it’s a trap. Get out.

Come on. Come on, a little lower.

Cobb.

No, she is not real.

How do you know that?

She is just a projection.

Fischer. Fischer is real.

Hello.

Eames. Eames, get to the antechamber now.

What happened?

Mal killed Fischer.

I couldn’t shoot her.

There’s no use in reviving him. His mind’s already trapped down there.

It’s all over.

So that’s it, then? We failed?

We’re done. I’m sorry.

It’s not me that doesn’t get back to my family, is it?

Shame. I wanted to know what was gonna happen in there. I swear we had this.

Let’s set the charges.

No, there’s still another way.

We have to follow Fischer down there.

Not enough time.

No, but there will be enough time down there.

And we will find him.

Okay, as soon as Arthur’s music kicks in, just use the defibrillator to revive him.

We can give him his own kick down below.

Look, you get him in there.

As soon as the music ends, you blow up the hospital… and we all ride the kick back up the layers.

It’s worth a shot, if Saito can hold the guards off while I set the charges.

Saito will never make it, will he?

Cobb, come on. We’ve gotta try this.

Go for it.

If you are not back before the kick, I am gone with or without you.

She’s right. She’s right.

Come on. Let’s go.

Can I trust you to do what needs to happen here?

Mal’s gonna be down there.

I know where to find her.

She’ll have Fischer.

How do you know?

Because she wants me to come after him.

She wants me back down there with her.

All right?

This is your world?

It was.

And this is where she’ll be.

Come on.

Saito. Saito.

I need you to take care of Fischer while I go set some charges, okay?

No room for tourists on these jobs.

Don’t be silly.

You built all this?

This is incredible.

We built for years.

Then we started in on the memories.

This way.

This was our neighbourhood.

Places from our past.

That was our first apartment.

Then we moved to that building right there.

After Mal became pregnant, that became our home.

You reconstructed all of this from memory?

Like I told you, we had lots of time.

What is that?

That’s the house Mal grew up in.

Well, will she be in there?

No.

Come on.

We both wanted to live in a house, but we loved this type of building.

In the real world, we’d have to choose, but not here.

How are we gonna bring Fischer back?

We’re gonna have to come up with some kind of a kick.

What?

I’m gonna improvise.

Listen, there’s something you should know about me. About inception.

An idea is like a virus. Resilient.

Highly contagious.

And the smallest seed of an idea can grow.

It can grow to define… or destroy you.

The smallest idea, such as:

“Your world is not real.”

Simple little thought that changes everything.

So certain of your world. Of what’s real.

Do you think he is?

Or do you think he’s as lost as I was?

I know what’s real, Mal.

No creeping doubts?

Not feeling persecuted, Dom?

Chased around the globe… by anonymous corporations and police forces… the way the projections persecute the dreamer?

Admit it.

You don’t believe in one reality any more.

So choose.

Choose to be here.

Choose me.

You know what I have to do.

I have to get back to our children because you left them.

Because you left us.

You’re wrong.

I’m not wrong.

You’re confused.

Our children are here.

And you’d like to see their faces again, wouldn’t you?

Yes, but I’m gonna see them up above, Mal.

Up above?

Listen to yourself.

These are our children.

Watch.

James? Phillipa?

Don’t do this, Mal. Please.

Those aren’t my children.

You keep telling yourself that, but you don’t believe it.

No, I know it.

What if you’re wrong?

What if I’m what’s real?

You keep telling yourself what you know.

But what do you believe?

What do you feel?

Guilt.

I feel guilt, Mal.

And no matter what I do, no matter how hopeless I am… no matter how confused, that guilt is always there… reminding me of the truth.

What truth?

That the idea that caused you to question your reality came from me.

You planted the idea in my mind?

What is she talking about?

The reason I knew inception was possible was because I did it to her first.

I did it to my own wife.

Why?

We were lost in here.

I knew we needed to escape, but she wouldn’t accept it.

Cobb: She had locked something away, something deep inside. A truth that she had once known, but chose to forget.

And she couldn’t break free.

So I decided to search for it.

I went deep into the recess of her mind and found that secret place.

And I broke in… and I planted an idea.

A simple little idea that would change everything.

That her world wasn’t real.

That death was the only escape.

Cobb: You’re waiting for a train. A train that’ll take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you… but you can’t know for sure. Yet it doesn’t matter. Now, tell me why?

Mal: Because you’ll be together!

But I never knew that that idea would grow in her mind like a cancer…

that even after she woke…

That even after you came back to reality… that you’d continue to believe your world wasn’t real.

That death was the only escape.

Mal, no. Jesus.

You infected my mind.

I was trying to save you.

You betrayed me.

But you can make amends. You can still keep your promise.

We can still be together, right here… in the world we built together.

Cobb, we need to get Fischer.

You can’t have him.

If I stay here, will you let him go?

What are you talking about?

Fischer is on the porch.

Go check he’s alive, Ariadne.

Cobb, you can’t do this.

Go check he’s alive right now. Do it.

He’s here. And it’s time, but you have to come now.

You take Fischer with you, all right?

You can’t stay here to be with her.

I’m not. Saito’s dead by now.

That means he’s down here somewhere.

That means I have to find him.

Cobb: I can’t stay with her any more, because she doesn’t exist.

Mal: I’m the only thing you do believe in any more.

No.

Cobb: I wish. I wish more than anything, but… I can’t imagine you with all your complexity… all your perfection, all your imperfection.

You all right?

Yeah.

Cobb: Look at you. You’re just a shade. You’re just a shade of my real wife. And you were the best that I could do, but… I’m sorry, you’re just not good enough.

Does this feel real?

What are you doing?

Improvising.

No, no, no.

In there, now. Go, go, go.

I was dis…

I was dis… disa…

I know, Dad.

Dis…

I know you were disappointed…

I couldn’t be you.

No.

No, no, no.

I was disappointed… that you tried.

What?

Come on, come on.

Dad?

That’s the kick, Ariadne.

You have to go now.

Don’t lose yourself. Find Saito and bring him back.

I will.

You remember when you asked me to marry you?

Yes.

You said you dreamt that we’d grow old together.

But we did.

We did. You don’t remember?

I miss you more than I can bear… but we had our time together.

And I have to let you go.

I have to let you go.

I’m sorry, Robert.

You know, the will means that Dad wanted me to be my own man… not just to live for him.

That’s what I’m gonna do, Uncle Peter.

What happened?

Cobb stayed.

With Mal?

No, to find Saito.

He’ll be lost.

No, he’ll be all right.

Saito: Have you come to kill me? I’m waiting for someone.

Cobb: Someone from a half-remembered dream.

Saito: Cobb? Impossible. We were young men together. I’m an old man.

Cobb: Filled with regret…

Saito: Waiting to die alone…

Cobb: I’ve come back for you. To remind you of something. Something you once knew… [the top spins without end] That this world is not real.

Saito: To convince me to honour our arrangement?

Cobb: To take a leap of faith, yes. Come back… so we can be young men together again. Come back with me… [Saito reaches for the gun] Come back…

Hot towel, sir?

We’ll be landing in Los Angeles in about 20 minutes.

Do you need immigration forms?

Thank you.

Hot towel, sir?

No.

Do you need immigration forms?

Welcome home, Mr Cobb.

Thank you, sir.

Welcome.

This way.

James? Phillipa?

Look who’s here.

Hey.

Hey, guys. Hey. How are you?

Daddy. Daddy.

Daddy.

How are you?

Look what I’ve been building.

What are you building?

We’re building a house on the cliff.

On the cliff? Come on, I want you to show me. Can you show me?

Let’s go.

Come on, Daddy.