Originally Posted by gyldenlove
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.
The point is dreams don't necesarily make any sense. The divorce or death thing could also be part
of the dream. I have had dreams that my wife was dead, and the sadness I felt at that seemed as real as I imagine it would if it WAS real. But it was a dream. She is still here. I also have had dreams that she was messing around and I was angry...Also a dream. Sometimes so angry I would wake up and be mad...then realise it was a dream.
Note that Cobb is not upset at all by the fact that Mals appearance on the ledge of the opposite building is unexplainable, just that she is on the ledge preparing to suicide. In reality he should have remarked as to "How did she get there? " What are you doing over there? He also keeps asking her to come towards him (and inside) when any move that direction would lead to her falling. Typical dream logic, so obviously not a real memory.
As to whether he was awake at the end...the fact that the scene with his children was repeated , even though it had a different result doesn't prove anything. The scene was ALMOST an identical repeat of scenes before, which, if anything, indicates that the dream was continuing, not that it was over.
Yes, there was a lot of details that normally aren't remembered or so specific ( in dreams I can remember). But I think the movie is really that the audience is participating (viewing) a dream that Cobb is having, or had ( depending on if you think he was awake at the end.) The joke is that possibly NONE of it is (was ) real, and the beauty is that it is whatever YOUR interpretation is that matters. It certainly accomplished the aim of planting ideas in the audiences
Lately I have been dreaming a LOT about several dead friends and relatives. The dreams seem rather vivid and real....I am always upset a bit when I wake up, because they seem so real...even though the circumstances of the dreams seem pretty outlandish when I review them after waking. But while dreaming them they seem to make sense, and I never think that they are dreams. I also have had dreams that repeat sequences or even repeat dreams (which can be quite disturbing as I would start to realise that I was "having that dream again", but still be unable to change the dream sequence.
Anyway , I will see the movie again, but I feel that the ending didn't define anything for sure.