“Do you want to be an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?”

Alright, second viewing of Inception done. The second viewing helped a lot and I reckon it’s the same for most others. During the first viewing, I was trying too hard to keep up with the many rules and film-logic. Too many thoughts kept me thinking throughout the film (“wait, whose dream is this?” “why do they need to set up the kicks at once?” “that mole on Mal’s forehead is quite big”).

This time, going into the second viewing, I already knew the rules, the basic outline of what’s happening, the who-dreamed-what-and-why-did-this-happen-here stuff. I also got over the that mole on Marion Cortillard’s forehead. This allowed me to absorb the film and its characters and surroundings better. This time about, the scene of Dom Cobb finally returning home and seeing his kid’s face hit harder because I paid more attention to the fact he spent the entire film living in guilt and regret. I think everyone loved the ending, where Dom gets home, spins the top, and upon seeing his kids, no longer gives a damn whether he was in a dream–he was happy.

One thing about the film struck me most… the whole talk about subconscious thoughts. Nolan suggests that subconscious thoughts are not driven by reasoning, but emotion, and positive emotion usually wins out over negative emotions.

And I go back and think about all the decisions in my life that could have started in my subconsciousness, such as…

…my random desire to get away from my daily life of work at casino/go home/get on AIM/go to JJs and sit for hours/watch reruns of Fresh Prince. I mean, I was pretty American. The idea to live outside of the US was never an appealing option for me from the age of, say, 12 through 24. The desire to move to HK, a place I had no friends or immediate family then, was out of the blue.

Something like that, to other decisions, like my recent thoughts of leaving.

Both ideas carried a lot of pros and cons. With the cons (don’t do it) making a damn good case.

Let’s look at one more decision: there’s this dude who recently took his talents to South Beach. And the move made no sense on a business or person level–he became public enemy #1 in his home town, the butt of jokes to ignorant mainstream basketball fans who insist on comparing the move as “jumping to someone else’s team to be a sidekick”–Kobe fans, in particular, will never let this go when Lebron is winning rings–Miami isn’t the center of anything, no one cares about basketball, or business, there the way New York does.

None of these decisions made sense, and as mentioned, the cons were making a damn good case over the pros, but just as Cobb (or was it Joseph Gordon Levitt, who btw dressed just like his Tom Hanson character) said…

Positive emotion trumps negative emotion or reasoning.


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3 Comments

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3 responses to ““Do you want to be an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?”

  1. Tim

    Cobb said it, when they are planning the “heist”, in response to Eames’ suggestion of exploiting the father-son relationship to get the idea to stick – Eames’ suggestion was to trigger a negative “f*** you, Daddy” response, but as Cobb (quite rightly, imho) states “[insert said quote] we all long for reconciliation” – which upon second viewing takes deeper meaning as that is exactly what drives Cobb – the desire to be with those he loves.

    Deeper than a whale shit, my son

  2. lonewolfncub

    Great watching with you my man. Although us-almost-wearing-matching-spiderman-tees was scary. People woulda thought we were gay.

  3. Tim

    yeh it was uncanny! it had my spider senses all-tingly and warm =)

    peter parker is still my number one superhero, follow closely by wolverine then batman…

    …i think i have a thing for a damaged superhero

    ….and Leo Di Cap (i watched Shutter Island after dinner – hours after we watched Inception – the dude is a fantastic actor)

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