So what’s with all the idiot characters thinking they are geniuses? First we have Saito, with his best smug grin, exclaim “Ah, dream within a dream!” Oh wow, what an incredible idea! What if people were in a dream, and they dreamt that they fell asleep and were dreaming in the dream? Woah, man. Maybe it would seem incredible if I was high, I guess. And very stupid. But Saito seems very proud of his insight.
Then there is the exchange, “you want to do two layers?” “Three.” during which I honestly burst out laughing. “This one goes to ELEVEN.” Reminds me of those jokes about multi-blade razors. “Fuck it, we’re going 13 levels!”
The realization should be immediately apparent to anyone who thinks about this concept, that a dream within a dream is theoretically possible, and that what we call real life might as well be a dream and we’d never know, and the dreams could be nested ad infinitum. Yes, each layer adds to the instability, but so what? How do you know that you haven’t been subjected to an advanced sedative without your knowledge? But nobody even mentions any of this. They are all awed at the idea of a dream within a dream like it’s some incredible insight.