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» Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Did Cobb's totem topple at the end of the film?
It seems clear that the ending is left open deliberately, mean to keep the discussion going.
Some claim that the sound of it falling can be heard after the scene cut to black, but those confirmations are few and far between.
As a side note, many have argued that what is really relevant is not if it topples or not, but that Cobb's doesn't care any more.
In fact, it's unnecessary. Why?
1. we saw everyone woke up on the plane!
2. some suggest that the whole movie was Cobb's dream
but how will you explain the totem spinning and not spinning the entire movie?
Cobb's totem is his wedding ring. But he's not wearing it in that last scene because he can't be wearing it in reality. The top is spinning to show that Mal has performed inception on him - he's now trapped in her dream. She can't be there because he believes she's dead in reality. So instead she's impersonating Michael Caine.