Analysis of Inception

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Cobb Cobb starts as a confident and experienced extractor, but as the movie progresses, his complicated past and guilt over his wife's death begin to haunt him. He becomes determined to complete the job and reunite with his children, but his obsession puts his team at risk. In the end, he confronts his inner demons and finds closure and acceptance. The character arc is well-developed and consistent throughout the movie, but at times, Cobb's motivations feel unclear. It's also unclear whether he truly makes amends for his past mistakes and how he reconciles his guilt with his love for Mal.
To improve the character arc, provide more clarity on Cobb's motivations and make sure the resolution is satisfying and believable. Also, explore more of Cobb's relationship with Mal and how it affects his actions throughout the movie.
Saito Saito starts off as a curious and skeptical wealthy businessman who is willing to consider Cobb's proposal. As the movie progresses, he becomes more cunning and manipulative, using his resources to gain the upper hand. He then becomes more involved in the mission than originally planned and is insistent on joining the team in the dream job, causing tension with Cobb. Saito's character arc culminates when he becomes the team's target and benefactor, willing to take risks and fight for the success of the mission despite his deteriorating condition. In the end, he becomes an important ally to Cobb. While Saito's character arc is interesting, it lacks clear motivation or backstory for his actions. He seems to shift between being a client, ally, and target without a clear reason for his motivations.
To improve Saito's character arc, giving him a clear motivation or backstory would add depth and clarity to his actions throughout the movie. Additionally, providing more details about his past experiences or personal desires could help the audience understand his shift from client to ally to target.
Mal Mal starts off as a manipulative ex-wife but as the movie progresses, she becomes a tragic figure who represents Cobb's guilt and longing for a lost love, ultimately leading to her demise. The character arc is somewhat predictable and lacks originality.
To improve the character arc, Mal could have been given more agency and her own storyline, rather than just serving as a catalyst for Cobb's character development. Additionally, exploring her troubled past and motivations could have made her character more complex and nuanced.
Ariadne Ariadne is a smart and curious architecture student who becomes a skilled dream architect, eager to learn and prove herself as part of the team. She is empathetic and supportive towards Cobb, pushing him to confront his inner demons and helping him navigate through the various dream layers. She grows in confidence and ability, becoming a quick-thinking and resourceful member of the team who serves as a grounding force in the midst of chaos. The character arc is a bit scattered and lacks a clear, cohesive narrative. Ariadne's growth and development are shown through various snippets throughout the movie, but it's not always clear how they connect or build upon each other.
To improve the character arc, it could benefit from a more streamlined focus on Ariadne's personal journey. Perhaps having a specific goal or conflict that she must overcome would give her arc more narrative coherence. Additionally, having more scenes that directly explore her relationships and interactions with the other members of the team could add depth and complexity to her character.
Eames Eames starts off as a witty and playful forger with a questionable loyalty to the mission, but ultimately proves himself to be a loyal and resourceful member of the team. He confronts his own lack of understanding about the true danger of Limbo and ultimately proves himself to be a reliable and strategic asset to the team. The character arc for Eames is somewhat generic and predictable. While it is satisfying to see him prove himself to be a loyal team member, it would be more interesting to see him confront more personal challenges or flaws that he needs to overcome.
One way to improve Eames' character arc would be to delve deeper into his past and explore any personal demons or struggles he may have had to overcome. Additionally, giving him a more complex relationship with one of the other characters could add depth to his arc. Perhaps he has a strained history with Cobb or a secret love interest in another team member. Adding more layers to his character could make his arc more engaging and impactful.
Yusuf Yusuf goes through a transformation from a cautious and hesitant chemist to a brave and skilled team member who becomes invested in the success of the job and the safety of the team. He is deeply affected by the potential consequences of their actions but rises to the challenge and proves himself to be an invaluable asset to the team. The character arc for Yusuf is well-developed and provides a clear journey for the character. However, there could be more moments of internal struggle and growth for Yusuf as he grapples with the potential consequences of the job.
One suggestion for improvement would be to add a scene where Yusuf expresses his doubts and fears to Cobb or another team member, and they help him to overcome these insecurities and embrace his role on the team. This would add depth to his character and highlight the importance of teamwork in achieving success in their job.