Everyone has a theory about Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” from libertarians who find Plato’s Cave/Ayn Rand-like levels of reality in the film, to fan sites dedicated to dense theories, and blogs dedicated the film’s moral evolution. One prevailing theory (SPOILER) calls Cobb’s spinning top a red herring, and that we should turn our attention to Cobb’s ring. The theory goes: Cobb is dreaming when you see him wear the ring, and you know he’s awake when he isn’t wearing it. The theory’s falsifiable and it’s simple enough to stick (it’s Cracked’s number one fan film theory).
Darren Foley is picking up the theory and is running for a touchdown, having transformed the ring-totem theory into a new paradigm for understanding “Inception.” Foley also explores Nolan’s use of film titles to introduce important concepts in the story. He said the titles for The Dark Knight Trilogy, “Memento,” and “The Prestige” include concepts that viewers can use to interpret Nolan’s topsy turvy narratives. Check out the video essay below, and let us know what you think of the ring-as-totem theory in the comments below. [No Film School]