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Is the ending a dream or reality? That’s the big question. Someone has finally and observantly figured out the ending to the movie and it had nothing to do with the spinning top! Feel like my mind has just been blown. Christopher Nolan is a genius! I’m so glad someone decoded this!!

Christopher Nolan’s play with mise-en-scene is unbelievable! The answer lies in Leonardo DiCaprio’s, or Cobb’s, left hand! Cobb’s left hand is almost always hidden from the audience. Every time the camera is locked on Cobb, his left hand will conveniently be caught out of frame and every time we think we’re about to see his left hand, one of two thing can happen:

  1. Nolan would cut to another scene/shot
  2. Cobb would find a way to hide it

EXCEPT… once towards the start of the film. The theory is that, because Cobb never accepted the death of his wife, Mal, he always has his wedding ring on when he’s dreaming. Towards the end of the movie, Nolan once again reveals Cobb’s left hand. This was at the airport when he handed the airport _ personnel his passport. And guess what! HE ISN’T WEARING A RING! This suggests that he is not dreaming and, is in fact, living in reality, and thus the ending to the film was a happy ending, which makes me really happy and giddy inside. Anyway, I thought it was very clever of him to do this. I would never have thought of using mise-en-scene like how he has done. Christopher Nolan is officially one of my favorite directors! 

Okay, enough babbling! Think I’m getting too excited and I just realized the amount of exclamation points I’ve typed in this post. Sort of feels like I have been shouting my entire way through.

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This week we dove into the topic of characters more extensively. Sitting through the lecture made me realize just how little I know about developing a good, well-rounded character. And so here are a few things I’ve gathered from this week’s lecture.

For starters, characters are never typical or ordinary. They’d just be boring if they were. An easy way build character and to ensure they aren’t banal is to give them a want – an external or conscious drive, and a need – an internal or unconscious drive. In addition to that, we must also ask ourselves what’s at stake. Take a boy who deals drugs for instance. There’s nothing out of the ordinary judging by that action alone. It’s when you add in the ‘why’ factor that gives it meaning. For example, the boy deals drugs in order to pay for his mother’s gambling debt.

Subsequently, when building a character we must always consider the believability of it all. That being said, we must take into consideration whether or not the character’s action is appropriate or in sync with the character’s personality. For instance, you wouldn’t make a person who’s allergic to fur to rare a cat. It’s implausible. Unless he/she is absolutely insane or mentally unstable.

Lastly, not all genres require character complexity. Horror, mystery, and comedy genre films are often filled with twists or unexpected events, hence they are considered plot driven and it is for this reason that they do not require well thought-out characters. Conversely, dramas play on the viewer’s emotions, and so the employment of complex characters are essential in order to bring about an emotional response. Thus deeming dramas character driven. Below are some examples of plot and character driven films.

Plot Driven Films

Inception (2010)

Panic Room (2002)

Character Driven Films

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Into The Wild (2007)

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Slumdog Millionaire (2008)