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Mal Cobb

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She had lock something away, something deep inside her. A truth that she once known but choose to forget. Limbo became her reality.
~ Dom Cobb to Ariadne about Mal
You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope the train will take you, but you can't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter where the train will take you?
~ Mal's riddle, the answer to which knows only she and Cobb

Mallorie "Mal" Cobb (neé Miles) is the deceased wife of Dominic Cobb in the 2010 science fictional film Inception. Her projection served as the main antagonist in the film.

She was portayed by Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, who also portrayed Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul, Lady Macbeth and Scarlet Overkill.

Background

Mal was born to college professor Stephan Miles and his wife Marie. She fell in love with one of her father's students, Dominic Cobb, and quickly began a relationship with him. The two bonded over their exploration in the dream world, in which they saw each other as grownups living as a happy couple. This inspired Dom to propose to Mal and they had two children: James and Phillipa Cobb. At one point, however, they got trapped in Limbo, where they build a perfect world for themselves and stayed there for around 50 years until Dom finally found a loophole back to the real world. However, since Mal was not willing to leave Limbo, because she had accepted that Limbo was "her" reality, faced with limitless possibilities on how to build their own world and becoming obsesed by the power of Limbo. Dom used Inception to manipulate her into believing there is no such thing as "the real world" and that death was the only way out. This backfired when Mal continued on believing they were in a dream even after they escaped, and that James and Phillipa were just projections.

Death

Due to her belief of still being trapped in a dream world, Mal decided that she and Dom have to die in order to go back to their "real lives." She took matters into her own hands by inviting Dom to their hotel room for their anniversary where she sat on the ledge of an opposing building and asked Dom to jump with her. Dom tries to convince Mal of what will happen if she takes that risk, but Mal does not listen and falls to her death. Despite her self-imposed suicide, a projection of Mal still lives on as a fragment of Dom's imagination.

Inception

Dom is currently on the run from his country as the police believe he killed Mal, leaving his kids in the care of Miles. Miles pairs Dom up with another student named Ariadne where Dom teaches her the art of dream-making. Over the course of the film, Dom keeps on his visiting his imaginary Mal in a dream world he has created in order to detain the projection. When Ariadne sneaks into one of his dream dates, the imaginary Mal develops a hatred towards Ariadne believing her to be her "rival" over Dom's love and even tried to attack her, which forced Dom to end the date earlier than schedule. Mal's projection wasn't seen again until the climax of the film when Dom and Ariadne found her on Limbo. The imaginary Mal offers Dom to move into Limbo to be with her and even offers to let him see the faces of their children's projections, despite Ariadne's protests. Dom declines the offer as well as confessing his actions that triggered Mal's confusions that led to her death. Furious at her husband's betrayal, Mal tries to knife him to death but Ariadne shoots her. Dom holds the dying projection in his arms and farewells her before they part.

Trivia

  • Mal accepting Limbo as her reality, gives a theory about that she was a "Power Hungry Villain", as she was obsessed with power of Limbo, to build her own perfect world without any limits or obstacles. As Limbo had no limits, it´s possible that Mal accepted Limbo as "her" reality because she thought that the real world did not suit her, possibly hints that she was not only living under the idea of "Our world is not real", also the idea of "Our world does not suit me". This also makes her into a "In Denial Villain".

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