After seeing Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, Inception, multiple times and reading the “Shooting Script I got in my copy of the Best Buy bundle, I have begun to notice things that I didn’t see before.
First of all, I may have been wrong to assume that the top at the end (which signifies reality) did fall. The film certainly leaves it ambiguous (though it looks like the top is losing its balance) and the last line of the script says:
The TOP, which is STILL SPINNING.
This makes it pretty clear to me that the Nolans (or Jonathan, if not Christopher) wanted to add this extra, foreboding element of complexity to the end of the film. It’s possible that that in focus group testing this ending was too controversial, so it was recut with the top starting to fall. On a Hollywood level, this makes a lot of sense; a ton of directors have been required to alter their endings to make a film more mainstream in the past.
Another thing that changed between the Shooting Script and the final film was an elimination of much of the voice-over text. There is also no mention of the (slightly confusing) merging of Saito’s home in Limbo with the dreamworld designed for him, which came at the beginning of the film.
Another thing which I noticed was the score. It’s carefully matched to sound like the music which warns of “the kick,” only dilated like it would be in the slow-moving dreamworld.