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Why was Mal, a projection of Cobb, always trying to sabotage him?

This isn't clear, however it could be due to Cobb's guilty feelings over her death. He can't escape his guilt, thus it will never leave him alone. 

Either Cobb was trying to sabotage himself, as a manifestation of self-loathing, guilt etc., or Mal was someone else's projection, a projection trying to protect against Cobb's intrusion into a dream. Who's dream? It must be someone who knows Mal quite well. Mal herself? Was Mal her own projection? Too complicated!

Most likely the first. It is classic film psychology for the female character to be nothing more than a projection of the male character, a 2 dimensional replica, poorly imagined. See Tarkovskiy's Solaris! (linked below).

As a side note, how does Cobb's subconscious (presuming it is his) intrude on other levels where he is not the one creating the dream? Perhaps he is creating the other levels after all. Do none of the other characters have traumatic experiences in their own subconscious, struggling to get out? What happy and well adjusted individuals!» Improve this Answer

pleasestopthisnow provided an answer 2011-03-04 22:26:28 UTC view / hide
Anon_241 asked the question 2011-03-04 22:26:28 UTC view / hide

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