Happy New Year from the Working Stiffs. It is my pleasure to kick off the New Year for the Working Stiffs. I planned on talking about beginnings, but something diverted my attention to ends.
So, why talk about ends? Well, we did just close the cover on 2010 and I wanted to stay away from beginnings and New Year’s Resolutions, especially since I didn’t come up with any for myself. Okay, I do have a goal to finish my current work in progress, but it isn’t a formal resolution.
The real reason for talking about ends, or endings to be more exact, is because I received a Blu-Ray copy of the movie Inception for Christmas and finally watched it the other day. For those of you who don’t know, Inception, with Leonardo DiCaprio is about… Well, I think it’s about the process of entering dreams and stealing ideas when the mind can be manipulated.
The special effects were phenomenal. In fact, the movie was worth watching just for the effects. I’ve watched the movie twice and I’m still not sure I really know what it is that I watched. There seems to be a raging controversy about the movie on the Internet. Many people have postulated various meanings; one being that the entire movie was Cobb’s (Leonardo’s character) dream. Did the Christopher Nolan intentionally try to confuse us by ending the movie without clearly wrapping things up all nice and tidy? Or did he think that the storyline was nice and tidy and the audience is trying to read things into it that weren’t meant to be read into it? In Inception’s case, I think the movie divided the audience into two camps. If you like stories that are clearly wrapped up and have everything nicely explained in the end, then you didn’t like Inception. On the other hand, if you like ambiguous storylines that let you interpret the outcome, well, you should go out and watch Inception immediately. That probably explains the wide variability in the reviews the movie received.
I’ve heard that many novice authors find it difficult to carry a story through to completion without leaving loose ends dangling. That is a whole different issue than intentionally leaving an ending open for interpretation. One is inexperience or lazy writing, the other is an issue of style.
For me, I don’t mind movies and books that leave endings to interpretations. It’s kind of like not describing a character in detail, leaving the reader to decide for himself/herself what the character looks like. My wife, on the other hand, hates movies or books that don’t have everything wrapped up in the end.
On the other hand, what I do not like is movies or books without a clear ending. I may not be able to state this clearly, but a good example was the 2nd in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie trilogy. Nothing was resolved at the end. It just served as a cliffhanger for the third movie.
So how about you? Do you like books/movies that give you the freedom to interpret the ending? Or would you rather have the author do all the work?
If you did see Inception, read on… If you didn’t and you plan on seeing it, stop reading now.
It is my opinion that the entire movie was Cobb’s demented dream or it was all in his mind. The subtle clue I focused on was that we were given glimpses of Cobb’s children in his dreams. They were always kneeling in the grass in the same clothes and in the same position. At the very end of the movie, in Cobb’s reality, we see him finally walking out of the back door to see his kids. Low and behold, they are in the same grass in the same position and in the same clothes. If you saw the movie, you’ll know what I mean.