Cobb and Mal may have lived a decadent existence, but by Inception rules, that’s less than a day in the waking world.

How long Cobb and Mal have been in Limbo is unknown to those who have seen it The beginning, is just one of the film’s biggest mysteries. Indeed, Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film raises many questions about the nature of time and space, but one of the biggest is how many hours pass in reality, not in a dream. As Cobb explains to Ariadne, time stretches in a dream; seconds turn into minutes, minutes into days, days into years.

How long it takes for a dreamer depends on where they are The beginningdream levels. Typically, the dreamer’s perception of time lengthens exponentially the deeper they are in the shared dream. This effect occurs from the first level of the dream to the final level, Limbo, the shores of the unconscious – where Cobb and Mal grew old together before the events of the film. Here’s everything viewers need to know about how time works in dreams The beginning.

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How the beginning explains the dream time

Beginning Dom Cobb

during The beginning, Cobb and his team of dreamers use several different combinations to create and incorporate lucid dreams in general. Early in the film, Cobb and Arthur use a version of Somnasine, which actually turns five minutes into about an hour of dream time—making the dream 12 times longer than reality. Later in the film, Cobb and his team use a special compound to complete the initiation. This drug turns 10 hours on the surface into about a week of dream time – 20 times more. How long have Cobb and Mal been in Limbo? Inference can be drawn from these increases over time.

As Cobb explains, the amount of time spent in the dream adds up to each level. At the first level, 10 hours of work is about a week. At the second level, it is six months; and in the third, 10 years. Limbo, the purity of dreamspace, the rare fourth level, a place where time stretches into eternity. It was on this level that Cobb and Mal were trapped for 50 years and eventually woke up to find that their physical bodies were actually still young.

Cobb and Mal were in despair for 21 hours

Inception Mal Cobb Limbo

The thing is, Cobb’s calculations in the film are a bit vague, complicating the answer to how long Cobb and Mal were in Limbo. Using a ratio of 1:20, 10 hours of reality corresponds to 8.3 days of dreaming in the first stage, 5.47 months in the second stage, and 9.1 years in the third stage. Cobb team The beginning during their mission.

It’s also tempting to use the 1:20 ratio to calculate how much time passed for Cobb and Mal when they were trapped in Limbo. But according to the film’s chronology, the lovers were trapped before Yusuf’s specialized “Somnacin” was developed or used. For any dreamer, it occurs during the events of the first administration of the sedative compound. The beginning.

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Cobb says that he and Mal experimented with dreaming when they were lost, so he may have experimented with Somnasin as well. If Cobb had used a similar combination at 1:20, he and Mal would have slept only 2.7 hours after 50 years in Limbo. More likely, Cobb and Mal used a standard 1:12 compound and experimented with depth. The beginnings general dreaming technology. Using this math, Cobb and Mal would have slept for 21 hours, which would mean dozens of lifetimes inside Limbo.

That’s how long Saito was restless until Cobb found him

Unlike how long Cobb and Mal were in Limbo, Saito’s exact number of years has never been determined, but can be guessed based on a few clues. In The beginning, Cobb and Saito would have been trapped in Limbo for 182 years – had they not been kicked out of the dream. However, Saito’s time in Limbo lasted about 50 years or so.

This is based on how much time passes before Saito dies in level 3 – the castle in the snow – and Cobb lands on the shore unconscious, as well as how much time passes. How Saito is bigger than Cobb in Limbo. It can’t be much longer than that, as Saito enters Limbo near the end of his mission, and the plane ride ends shortly after Cobb and Saito actually wake up – right before the final scenes. The beginning.

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