In Inception we see a brilliant but troubled DiCaprio trying to shut down the past which involves a dead wife who keeps reappearing in his dreams. In his constructed dreams his wife appears to obstruct him or keep him in the dream world with her.
In the real world he has to recruit a new team member – a girl who is an architecture student who will help design or construct the dreams that DiCaprio and his team will visit. The new member is curious about Leonardo and soon discovers his dark secret that he is no longer in control of his dreams and his wife often screws up things.
I am not going to dissect this whole dream thing. What intrigued me was the contrast between the two women in the film. His dead wife is a sexy and powerful very comfortable with who she is. She uses all kinds of tricks to seduce DiCaprio into her dream world.
The new recruit is an androgynous, just out of adolescence girl who is unsure about her self. She is dressed in loose fitting clothes and there is nothing aggressive or sexual about her behaviour. As a new member she is also subservient and does not disrupt the hierarchy in the group.
Therefore my theory. The film is about DiCaprio’s problems with women. He is not able to handle his wife’s sexuality or the fact that she controlled their relationship when she was alive. This led to him distancing himself from her and she committing suicide. Of course since this is his version we can assume that maybe he actually killed her since there is no way of checking this story. It is all in his mind. And it helps that he has no mother in the real world. Did she also die unable to handle her son?
All throughout Leonardo is torn between meeting her and also dreading the meeting. This is how men feel about some women in their lives. They are often afraid, confused and yet feel attracted to them.
Elsewhere I had reviewed Shutter Island. Strangely, in that Leonardo’s character is again hiding secrets about his wife and his past. There too he was not able to handle her runaway mind.
Maybe Nolan and Scorcese need to come together and make a sequel.
It could be set in monastery in Tibet where DiCaprio comes to become a monk.
And Ang Lee could direct it.