Seriously, if you have not seen the movie, don't read this.
If you have seen the movie, I'm dying to hear your thoughts!
Ok. 1st off:
I believe that the top stops spinning.
Why? Because I believe in happy endings. I believe in redemption.
And this is why the movie was so brilliant: the audience had to perform inception on the movie themselves. The people you talk to who have seen the movie will have a different view of what happened in the movie based on their own idea that they bring to the film. The way Christopher Nolan ended it left the door open for personal interpretation--a way for the audience to plant their own idea into the movie (inception).
Now, part of Nolan's brilliance is that he left so many different options open: the top sounds as if it will stop spinning, the kids should probably be older, it was his wife's totem, he could have drowned in the van in the 1st level of dreaming (and be stuck in limbo), wasn't Michael Caine's character supposed to be in Europe, etc. ad infinitum (quite a fun discussion)
So, in case you want to argue that the top spins forever, I have a second redemptive interpretation. There are two parts or options. #1 Before, he couldn't dream of his kids--even if he is still dreaming, he has found a level of freedom.
Part #2 - If he is still dreaming, the most important question of the whole film is, when did that dream begin? Is the whole movie a dream, suggesting that reality doesn't exist? Did he get stuck in limbo? Was his wife right, and perhaps waiting for him in a form of reality? One theory that someone suggested is that the kick worked--it brought him out of the inceptions dreams; but perhaps now he is finally able to dream on his own, without requiring the aid of a sedative. Again, perhaps even in his dreams he has found freedom.
These are my theories... please tell me what yours are!
Now, a few other comments...
I loved, loved, loved this movie. In genre, it was an action/heist movie. But unlike most of it's broad genre (the Bourne trilogy, Ocean's trilogy, etc.), the emotional stakes were so much higher. But in the process, I loved that Nolan kept to the point. Profanity was minimal. The violence was not gory. The romance was not overly sensual. Not to mention that the story, characters, cinematography, and special effects were off the charts!
Ok - favorite quote from the movie:
Ariadne: They're all staring at us.
Arthur: Quick, give me a kiss. (they kiss)
Ariadne: They're still looking at us.
Arthur: Yeah, it was worth a shot.
Other quotes of significance:
"What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules."
Insert Miss Marcy Willis: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he... Ideas create. Our minds are the gateway."
My mom asked me, "So what would you say was the point of the movie?"
I answered, "Be careful what you believe, because what you believe defines you, your reality, and the others around you."
I think I've run out of things to say... I really want to hear what other viewers thought of the movie, so leave a comment =)
In closing, I just want to say that I think Christopher Nolan more than deserves "Best Director" and probably "Best Screenplay" for this film. While watching the film I had this re-occuring thought, "This movie would have been so much fun to make!" He did an absolutely incredible job.
One last thing about Nolan: he is a fellow English major =)