Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Great Job, Internet!: The secret of the Inception soundtrack

Illustration for article titled Great Job, Internet!: The secret of the Inception soundtrack

As with most of Christopher Nolan's more personal movies, Inception has movie buffs everywhere debating its meaning and its merit. Well, one of those fans has uncovered another clue. Check out the YouTube clip below:

Significance? Well, in the movie, we learn that the further the heroes dive into a person's subconscious—into a dream within a dream within a dream, and so on—the more slowed-down time becomes. So if composer Hans Zimmer is playing us a super-slowed-down version of "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," then the implication is that we're still submerged deep within the dream, far from the kick that will wake us up. Neat, huh?


Bonus Inception Thought: Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn't get to see the movie until a couple of days ago and I'd been avoiding spoilers before then, so if this thought has been well-picked-over, I apologize. But during that astonishing last hour of Inception, when three layers of story (or perhaps four) are happening all at once, and we're getting some payoff for the near-oppressive mounds of exposition in the first half of the movie, I started thinking about how Nolan often structures his stories to give the audience an experience akin to what the movies are about. Because Memento is told backwards, the audience has no memory of what's come before, just like the protagonist. The Prestige misdirects us by dangling a fairly obvious twist and thus obscuring the much darker one to come. With Inception, I know a lot of people are hung up on how for a movie about dreams, it's not very dream-like, and I agree that's a valid criticism. (If Nolan had used the word "subconscious" instead of "dream," I don't think there'd be as much grumbling about that.) But as I see it, the guiding storytelling gambit in Inception isn't dreams per se; it's the spinning top. The last hour of the movie is like that top, spinning and spinning, while the audience waits to see when it's going to topple. In a way, the final shot (and the slowed-down "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien") are as cocky as Quentin Tarantino ending Inglourious Basterds with the line, "This might just be my masterpiece." It's Nolan's way of saying, "I did it. I kept the top spinning, and it's spinning still."