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Christopher Nolan’s Inception: Hero’s Journey and 3 Act Structure

1. Ordinary World

Cobb and Arthur are hired corporate espionage agents that steal information from people by entering a shared dream state. They are hired by Cobol Engineering corporation to extract information from Saito, however they fail to do so when Mal, interrupts.

Cobb cannot return home to see his children. He roams around the world providing theft for corporations.

2. Call to Adventure

Saito wants Cobb to perform inception on Robert Fischer, the heir to Maurice Fischer, Saito’s rival in energy conglomerate. The inception will plant an idea in Fischer that will make him break up his dying father’s empire.

3. Refusal of the Call

Cobb refuses Saito’s offer at first but he agrees when Saito hints that he has the power to get Cobb back together with his children. Cobb must take a leap of faith.

4. Meeting with the Mentor

Cobb comes to see Miles, his father-in-law, and the man who taught him how to navigate people’s mind. Cobb needs a new architect that can help him create mazes for the dreamers. Miles introduces Ariadne to Cobb.

5. Crossing the First Threshold

Cobb and Arthur introduces Ariadne to the dream world and trains her to design levels. Ariadne encounters Mal. She leaves the team.

Act 2

6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

(Preparation for Inception)

Cobb goes to meet Eames, the forger. Cobb runs away from Cobol Engineering agents that are now after him after failing the operation on Saito. Saito comes to rescue Cobb.

Eames starts to study Maurice Fischer’s right hand man, Peter Browning’s behaviour and mannerism. He will act like Browning in the first dream level so Robert Fischer can create a projection of Browning in the other levels.

Ariadne describes the levels that she has created to Cobb. The team discuss how inception will be carried out. Yusuf provides extremely potent sedatives. Saito buys out the airline so the team can secure the 10 hours they need with Fischer.

Ariadne enters Cobb’s dream. She learns that Cobb has imprisoned his projection of Mal.

7. Approach to the Inmost Cave

The team enters Yusuf’s dream with Fischer. Saito gets shot and because the sedative is a powerful one, rather than waking up, he is in danger of falling into limbo.

Eames disguised as Browning tries to extract and plant information on Fischer.

Ariadne learns of Cobb’s limbo experience. Ariadne tells Cobb he needs to face his projection of Mal.

Yusuf drives the van while the team goes into level 2 dream world.

Arthur’s hotel dream. Cobb runs the “Mr. Charles” strategy on Fischer. They prepare to enter Eames’ dream. Cobb’s subconscious projections worsens.

Yusuf and Arthur deal with the subconscious in their respective dream worlds. In Eames’ snowy mountain dream, the team split up. Eames takes care of the subconscious projections, Saito leads Fischer to the vault, while Cobb takes care of cover for Fischer.

8. Ordeal

Fischer is almost at the vault but Mal shows. Cobb confused, does not shoot Mal. Mal shoots Fischer. Ariadne kills Mal then pushes Fischer off the ledge. Fischer back in level 3.

9. Reward

Cobb understands that his projection of Mal is just a shade of his wife; not real. inception, christopher, nolan, film, structure, hero’s, journey, three, 3, act, steps, beats, formula, explanation, leonardo, dicaprio, ellen, joseph, campbell, vogler, action, movie, movies, film, films, study, student, school, education, script, screenplay

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