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» Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Why is Mal jumping from a window right opposite from where Cobb is? And when Cobb tells her to "come inside" he actually moves his hand, twice, like he wants her to come towards him, not back in the room behind her.
It could be that the 'reality' in which Mal jumped was actually a dream.
Or it could be that Mal actually set it up that way. (i.e. rented the room she jumped from as well as the one he enters, as part of her plot - so he couldn't save her). [in some hotels there are matching rooms facing each other in different buildings].
It could also just be artistic license. Remember Cobb is describing what happened - this is his memory of it. He would gesture inwards, that's his memory of his physical action - perhaps they were on the same ledge, but in his memory he feels further away from her - more impotent to stop what's about to happen. The room beyond her looks like a mirror image of the room he is in...
I think many people are forgetting one of the simpliest facts that Cobbs says at the begining of the film, that is, dreams always have things or facts that are not logical and we only realize that when we wake up. Taking this into account all the movie must have been a dream because it does not make sense that she is in another building window in front of the room they rented and Coobs instead of telling her to get back in the room he tries to convince her to get into the room he is in, which doe not make sense because it is a dream...
Also and very important the flight everybody takes to do everything goes to Australia at the begining of the film and suddenly at the end of the film the flight is going to Los Angeles... it does not make sense either, just like dream
I would assume that in a script like this, so meticulously written over 10 years, nothing like this is a 'flaw'. The Script Supervisor, Art Director, Actor/s and Writer/Director himself would have caught this in production if not in pre-production or development.
If it happened like this, Nolan meant it on purpose. It's your job to conclude why. Did Mal set him up this way? Was Cobb still dreaming when this happened?
I would say Anon_283 is on the money: "So, it seems logical that she also planned to jump from the opposite window, and that she hired the other room as well, thus preventing Cobb from stopping her."
Whether Cobb is still dreaming or not, she wanted him to be there to jump with him too, but she couldn't risk doing it from the same room as he might stop her, going to the lengths to go to the opposite window is perfect, as it allowed he to have him there but not be stopped. Very clever (on both Mal's part and of course Nolan's part).
This doesn't mean the whole movie is a dream, because what we're seeing is kind of a recreation of Cobbs' account to a third party, not a faithful representation of events. All the same, it highlights the way that the scenes set in "reality" never feel really real. It really keeps you guessing.