Originally Posted by ScottXray
Not necessarily. I also feel the whole movie is a dream, as explained above. But somewhat more like a nightmare than a regular dream . Time and again when the children appear, they are called away by a womans voice. This could be Mal. It could be that they are a separated or divorced couple, and she is not dead at all. It would also explain his thoughts that Mal is the culprit when things go wrong duirng many scenes. An innate resentment
presented as something else (arch enemy - ex lover) which prevents him from seeing the childrens faces.
The idea of it being a dream throughout, explains Mals appearing on the opposite buildings ledge...out of reach and impossible to be reached, with no explanation of how she got there...a dream. The sense of helplessness is an emotion triggering the dream state.
Anyway , it is a great flick, and the ending is in the mind of the audience....planted there to be questioned. An inception of the idea, if you will..
If they are divorced then why did her dad pick up Cobb from the airport and take him home to the children?
As for Mal ending up on the opposite ledge, if that is a dream symbolism, then the broken glass, Mal being declared sane by several shrinks, the note she left that Cobb killed her would all be a dream as well, but that doesn't really fit the MO, since Cobb would have had to dream it, but why would he dream that when he clearly loved Mal? It seems much more logical that Mal knew there was no way she could persuade Cobb to jump if he could just reach and pull her back from the window, so she booked the room on the other side as well.
Cobb at some point mentions who is calling to the children, I think it is a neighbour, but I am not sure about that.