Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Yesterday, we showed you the second trailer for Christopher Nolan's dream-theft thriller Inception, jam-packed with surreal images and lots and lots of water. We give you the shot-for-shot breakdown to aid in your speculation. Spoilers ahead.

In today's morning spoilers, we linked to eating class's analysis of the new trailer. Here's our shot-for-shot breakdown and speculation on what it means.

We know so far that DiCaprio is playing a CEO-type who enters people's dreams to steal information from their heads and Page plays his assistant. In the trailer, we get some moments inside the dream worlds as well as hints at how you wake a dreamer from their sleep.

In the first shot above, we see Leonardo DiCaprio spinning a top with great concentration. What is the purpose of the top? Later, we see several shots in which the laws of physics appear to be altered. Is the top some sort of test of the physics of a place?

His voiceover asks, "What's the most resilient parasite? An idea."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Now we see DiCaprio and his assistant Ellen Page staring at something with interest, but without fear.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

And now we see what that is: the city is folding up and in on itself. But despite the folding, there is no destruction; nothing is breaking, no cars or people are falling, and no one is afraid of the change.

"A single idea from the human mind can build cities."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

The water in the glass is shaking. Water does actually seem to indicate the physics of a place, as we'll see later in the trailer.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

A man looks out the window at a fire in the street (eating class notes that this man is probably Luke Haas, who plays the character Nash). As the fire erupts into an explosion, it looks like the people an the street might be briefly reacting, suggesting this scene might take place in the real world instead of a dream world.

DiCaprio's voiceover continues, "An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Inside what looks like a makeshift hospital, several people sleep on cots. It looks like wires or tubes lead from several bodies toward the ceiling. They could be suffering from some sort of illness, or they could be subjects in some sort of dream harvesting or research program. The man at the desk overseeing these people stands up to acknowledge someone who's just entered the room.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Dicaprio surveys the city from the roof of a building.

"Which is why I have to steal it."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Walking through a restaurant kitchen, DiCaprio pulls out a silencer for his gun.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

A freight train barrels through the middle of a street, pushing cars out of the way.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Now Page is walking down the street while DiCaprio shouts advice at her. As we noted yesterday, it's a moment very reminiscent of The Matrix. DiCaprio is the mentor and Page travels through this strange world with us, learning the rules as we do.

DiCaprio tells her, "Never recreate from your memory. Always imagine new places."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

The pair sit at a brasserie while groceries explode into the air next to them. Neither seems to particularly notice.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

DiCaprio stares out the window of his car while Haas is being forcibly taken away by two men.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

DiCaprio is talking to someone (Cillian Murphy?), saying, "He's hiding something and we need to find out what that is."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's badass character and Tom Hardy have commandeered a cab and it looks like they get involved in some kind of car chase/shootout.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Now we're back to the glass of water. Although from our perspective, the table and the glass are in the same position, the water is now at a slant. Perhaps this indicates that, if the laws of physics were working properly, the glass and the table would be at a slant as well.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

We get our first look at Ken Watanabe's villain, rising from bed, gun in hand. An ambush, perhaps?

A voiceover says, "We gotta break out of here."

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

A motorcycle chases a van through the fog.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Now we see the person talking is Gordon-Levitt. He shouts, "Give him the kick!" We know that people can enter other people's dreams through injections. Perhaps "the kick" is a way to wake the dreamer up and escape the dream.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Haas lets DiCaprio, who appears to be unconscious in a chair, fall back toward something.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

A masked man walks into a room where two men in suits are being held prisoner.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

DiCaprio screams, "This was not part of the plan!" Is that the same taxi from before?

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Shots of DiCaprio continuing to fall into the tub are interspersed with shots of two men fighting. The water apparently wakes DiCaprio. He appears to have something around his wrist, and eating class noticed something coming out of his hand. Perhaps this is related to the wire/tube-like things we saw in the infirmary scene earlier.

We hear a woman, perhaps Page, screaming, "Wake me up! Wake me up!"

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

Two men approach a door, guns raised.

Breaking Down Inception's Dream Logic and Water ImageryS

And we end on another fine water shot, with DiCaprio standing in the middle of a room as streams of water burst in overhead.