All I knew going into it was that everyone seemed completely mindfucked by the film, and “It’s about dreams.” Well, that’s helpful. If you are still confused about what the hell Inception is actually about, never fear. I shall do my best to explain. And don’t worry; this isn’t some shitty Vanilla Sky type of dream movie, either.
“an act, process, or instance of beginning : commencement.”
In the film, the word “inception” refers to planting an idea in someone else’s head, making them (consciously AND subconsciously) think it was their own original idea.
In the world of this film, one can induce lucid dreams in which other people can participate. Basically, Leo DiCaprio et al hook themselves up to IV things that give them drugs to put them to sleep. Once under, they all enter the same dream world, which has been created by an “architect.” They still have control over themselves in the dream.
The film is actually about an energy mogul who wants Cobb (DiCaprio) to implant in his competitor’s mind the idea of leaving the energy business. (It’s been a week since I saw the movie, and it took me pretty much this whole time to figure out how to communicate that with a little help from IMDb.) It’s also about Cobb’s back story, which includes a lady, a spinning top, and a lot of crazy dreaming.