Oh, Inception. How that quadruple Oscar-winning movie played with our minds. Mind bending visual effects, which was also balanced with a solid screenplay crafted it into one of the finest films of our generation. But the thing that made the film so memorable was the ending that left an aftertaste in our mouths, that wouldn't wear away for years to come. A scene that would be the mother of intense internet discussions and arguments. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
What an enigmatic ending! Forget food for thought, that's a whole buffet!...or is it? Once you really observe, once you really listen, you'll quickly see that--
THE ENDING ISN'T A CLIFFHANGER!
At one point into the the movie, Ariadne, a character who is heavily used to fulfill exposition for the film, tries to touch Arthur's totem. In response to her attempt, Arthur responds,
''Nah, I can't let you touch it, that would defeat the purpose [of a totem].''
The purpose of a totem being:
''...When you look at your totem, you know beyond a doubt you're not in someone else's dream.
Later in the film, when Ariadne shows her recently constructed totem to Cobb, she doesn't let him touch it; since she remembers the intricate information given by Arthur. What I'm getting at is,
A TOTEM ONLY WORKS FOR ITS CREATOR!
And Cobb did not make his totem. Mal did.
So if it's not his, why does he keep using it? Does he not know? Or does he know, but doesn't care? After all he is mentally broken, he virtually sabotages the operation, all because of his wife. She was the love of his life, and when her body was gone (splat on the road), he attempted to hang onto her mind. This is illustrated in a scene where Ariadne stumbles into Cobb's subconscious and finds that he has been keeping Mal ''alive'' through him. He spins the top, perhaps for not his sake...but for hers. He still believes that she is there, with him, and just maybe...he can save her. Now there's some food for thought.