40 years ago
Mombasa, Kenya, Africa
|Behind the Scenes|
|“||Oh, ha bloody ha||”|
Yusuf is the team member who formulates the drugs, including his own brand of Somnacin, needed to enter the dream world. To allow the dreamers to enter the multi-level dream of the Fischer inception job he combines his drugs with a powerful sedative that keeps them "under", while still keeping the dream worlds somewhat stable. Only a falling sensation is able to wake the dreamers from the dream state while under the influence of these drugs. He is portrayed by actor Dileep Rao. He uses a two-toned SIG Sauer P232 in a attempt to eliminate the one projection that got onto the bridge in the first level of the Fischer Inception Job.
Dileep Rao describes Yusuf as “an avant-garde pharmacologist, who is a resource for people, like Cobb, who want to do this work unsupervised, unregistered and unapproved of by anyone. Yusuf obviously has a monetary interest in helping Cobb, but he is also motivated by a burning curiosity. He has been experimenting with this stuff for so long and now he wants to see what it’s like.”
“The role of the chemist was particularly tough because you don’t want him to seem like some kind of drug dealer. He’s absolutely not,” says co-producer Jordan Goldberg. “He’s someone who is committed to the art of dream sharing and making it work in ways it hasn’t before. We needed Yusuf to be funny and interesting and obviously smart, and Dileep is all of those things.”
When Cobb recruits Eames in Mombassa, the forger recommends Yusuf as a chemist, citing Yusuf's ability to create customized somnacin for dream sharing. With Saito, Cobb and Eames meet Yusuf at his workshop, where Yusuf is known for keeping a den of sleepers all sharing in the same dream while utilizing Yusuf's specialized compounds. They request that Yusuf not only to create a customized somnacin compound but also to enter the field in order to provide the subconscious knowledge required to create the compound within the dream layers to create a three-tiered dream. Though reluctant to enter the field, Yusuf agrees and demonstrates his expertise by offering Cobb a chance to try one of his compounds.
Joining the rest of the team in Paris, Yusuf sets up a laboratory in the workshop and becomes involved with the strategy to perform an inception on Robert Fischer. Yusuf contributes by creating a specialized compound and sedative that will stabilize the dream but will still allow the dreamer to wake with a kick, which he is seen testing on Arthur. The chemist is also assigned as the dreamer of the first level of the dream and is seen testing his dream with Ariadne, the team's architect. During the planning stages, he monitors Cobb as he supposedly tests the compound. When Yusuf learns that one of the risks of the combined compound and sedative means that a dreamer will drop to Limbo instead of immediately waking if the sleeper dies in a dream, Cobb promises his entire payment for completing inception if Yusuf does not reveal to the other team members this fact regarding the compound. Yusuf agrees, though he does not appear to know that the chance of dying is higher than expected due to Cobb's guilt regarding the death of his wife Mal.
During inception, Yusuf is the dreamer for the first level, a dream of New York, where the group abducts Robert Fischer. Because Yusuf consumed too much champagne before dreaming, the city is subjected to constant rainfall. After Arthur, Eames, and Saito abduct Fischer with a commandeered taxi cab, Yusuf, Ariadne, and Cobb witness a freight train unexpectedly barrel into the city streets. The event sets off Fischer's subconscious security and a fire fight ensues that results in Saito being fatally shot. The team regroups in a warehouse, where Cobb reveals the truth regarding the sedative and the risk of going to Limbo and Arthur angrily realizes that Yusuf had known about the sedative as well. The group is forced to accelerate their plans to complete the job before they are killed by Fischer's projections.
While everyone enters the second level of the dream, Yusuf remains behind to drive a van containing Fischer and the rest of the team to evade the projections until it is time to drive the van off a bridge to initiate his portion of a simultaneous kick to awaken everyone from all the dream levels. Though Cobb and Arthur warn Yusuf to drive carefully due to the instability of the dream levels below, the projections begin to overwhelm Yusuf. His reckless driving begins to translate immediately into the dream level below, where gravity begins to shift and Arthur, as the dreamer of the second level, is forced to fight projections in a rotating hallway. Unable to fend off the projections any longer, Yusuf drives the van off the bridge before his teammates have achieved their objectives in the dream levels below. The free falling van removes the gravity in Arthur's dream and causes an avalanche in Eames's dream, forcing Arthur to improvise a new kick in the second layer according to when the van will hit the water in the first layer and the dreamers in the third level to finish the inception on Fischer as quickly as possible.
When the van hits the water, Yusuf's teammates immediately wake from the dream levels below. Fischer and Eames (disguised as Fischer's godfather Peter Browning) escape from the sinking van first, followed by Yusuf himself and then Ariadne and Arthur. After everyone woke up back to reality, Yusuf is present with everyone else in baggage claim at LAX, where he and everyone else part ways.
Yusuf is a master of his craft, and as such, maintains a cool and collected attitude when within his own comfort zone. However, of the team, he is one of the least experienced in the practice of shared dreaming, and by extension, in the practice of extraction and inception. As such, he makes many rookie mistakes, such as forgetting to go to the bathroom before going to sleep and forgetting, for a moment during the car chase, that the rest of the team was asleep.
Yusuf is an extremely talented scientist in his field. His ability to concoct powerful and creatively useful sedatives is beyond compare. As a chemist, his talents lie mainly in the theory of dream-sharing. However, he has extremely limited experience with actually entering into the dreams his drugs help create. As a result of these limitations, Yusuf struggled to protect the sleeping members of the team in the van during the first level of the Fischer job from the oncoming projections. Despite his reckless driving, Yusuf proved to be capable of defending his team members while driving and shooting.
- Arthur: "And you. You knew about this and went along with it."
Yusuf: "I trusted him [Cobb]!)"
Arthur: "You trusted him. What, when he promised you half of his share?"
Yusuf: "No... his whole share."
- He was known as The Chemist in some promotional material.