Inception and Psychology

Christopher Nolan’s Inception is a movie that deals with the implantation of and idea in one’s head through a series of dreams. The intention is that the idea will manifest, and the subject will believe it is his own. Inception is said to have many elements of Film Noir, but because of its production value and incorporation of modern themes, it is labeled a Revisionist, or Postmodern Film Noir. The plot deals with a man named Cobb that uses the tool of inception to access others’ dreams in an attempt to steal secrets. Cobb is a wanted man for cooperate espionage; he was also framed for the murder of his wife. Much of the film also deals with how the blur of fantasy and reality caused his wife to commit suicide.

Inception can be interpreted as dealing with the psychology of dreams, particularly Freudian psychology. It is mentioned several times that a subject of inception can not control his unconscious, characterized by the hostile “projections” in each dream. The concept of an unconscious mind that is unorganized and filled with fantasy is a central tenet to psychoanalysis. Another principle of Freudian psychology is that dreams are the manifestations of one’s deepest desires, comparable to the way Cobb keeps the idea of his wife inside his dreams as a way of coping with her death. The power of fantasy over the human mind is also examined, as Cobb is tempted to stay inside his dreams forever with his wife.


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