The Film is set in a world in which advanced technology enables users to share their dreams. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, with the ability to extract his targets’ secrets by infiltrating their subconscious.
At home, Cobb takes out his totem – a spinning top that lets him know whether he’s dreaming or awake. If he’s dreaming, the top will spin infinitely. If this is reality, the top will eventually stop.
He gives the top a spin and then moves away to reunite with his children in the backyard. The camera, however, stays fixed on the spinning totem on the table inside.
It wobbles briefly, then the frame cuts to black. Is Cobb dreaming? Is he awake? Does it even matter? Cobb’s no longer frazzled, incessantly checking his totem, worrying about losing his grip on reality.
He’s finally exactly where he wants to be. His gaze is solely on his children. He finally sees what matters. Whether or not the top spins on is irrelevant.