The Matrix Movie Review
The film The Matrix was created in 1999 by two famous American directors, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, who are often referred to as “the Wachowski Brothers”. This movie tells a thought-provoking story of Neo (Keanu Reeves), a brilliant computer hacker who faces a very difficult choice: learning the true nature of the reality or continuing to live in an illusion. When he chooses the truth, the story quickly unfolds, showing that the choice between the reality and the illusion was only the first one. Neo, together with the team of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and others, fight the agents whose job is to eliminate all the rebels who do not wish to live in the matrix. On board of Morpheus's hovercraft, the Nebuchadnezzar, they surf the world, trying to reveal the truth to humanity. However, the Wachowski Brothers prefer to change the perspective very often, turning everything 180 degrees every second episode, which makes retelling the plot of The Matrix without spoilers a difficult task even for experienced film critics. Therefore, watching The Matrix seems to be a better option than its retelling. The Matrix, both the film and the concept presented by it, is very enigmatic and mysterious, so the main task of the audience is not only to “wow” the special effects, but also reflect upon the meaning and nature of the reality.
However, the above given advice to watch The Matrix does not apply to all the categories of audience. This movie is strictly limited to the social group that is often called “the computer generation”. The Matrix is only for people who every day of their lives “enter” the world of the virtual reality, “friend” people whom they have never seen or write blogs on behalf of a celebrity, even if they work as bus-drivers in a village. The true meaning of the film can be understood only by people whose life is impossible without computers and other modern technological devices. Having looked around, it is obvious that the target audience for The Matrix is not too small.
The formal techniques used by the filmmakers are perfect and this word is not an exaggeration. It is obvious that the special effects in The Matrix are the part that draws most attention. Immensely innovative and creative, not only have they become a real embellishment of the movie, but also provoked an endless chain of various parodies and interpretations. The famous episode when Neo tries to avoid the bullets of the agent combining the slow-motion elements with the real-time movements of the camera is only one example, but probably the most impressive one. Another significant element of The Matrix that is worth being mentioned is the sound, both diegetic and non-diegetic. The decision of the Academy to award this film with two Oscars for the sphere of sound, for Best Sound and Best Sounds Effects Editing, was absolutely justified. The skills of the specialists who were responsible for sounds are almost sky-high. Indeed, the sounds in the scenes of fighting make the audience feel present behind Neo’s back and try avoiding the kicks from the enemy agents. The soundtrack list is also full of well-known music celebrities tracks, such as Rammstein, The Prodigy, Meat Beat Manifesto, Marilyn Manson and others. Even these names put together into one film are enough for an Oscar, not to mention the innovative and virtuosic approach to combining diegetic and non-diegetic sounds.
However, not all the aspects of the film are beyond perfection. Unfortunately, actingis not as brilliant as the sounds and visual effects, especially in case of Keanu Reeves. It seriously affects the film, bearing in mind that Reeves plays the protagonist and his role should keep the film together. In specific, Reeves is weak and unpersuasive in his attempts to save the world. The audience is unlikely to see any passion in his eyes, not only because they are covered with black glasses for most of the film, but also because Keanu Reeves behaves as if he is completely exhausted after a long sleepless jet lag trip. However, this drawback is fully compensated by the brilliant acting of Laurence Fishburne, who is the leading mentor and philosopher of this movie, and other experienced actors. In addition, some supporting actors can be probably called real jewels of this film. For instance, Joe Pantoliano (Cypher) and Matt Doran (Mouse) create such deep and realistic characters that their emotional life is even more impressive than the feelings of the central figures, as Neo or Trinity. As an example, it is Cypher who makes the audience doubt whether the truth is always better than the illusion and whether it is worth so much pain and sorrow.
The Matrix is a multi-dimensional film, whose surface impresses the viewers with extraordinary sound and visual effects and whose depths makes the viewer’s address serious philosophical questions about the meaning of life, religion and role of technologies in the modern world. The Matrix not only impresses the audience with a new level of special effects of different styles and techniques, but also adds a fresh meaning to the term 'paranoia'. It is one of brilliant blockbusters that tell a true and, unfortunately, unpleasant story about the modern world. Paranoia becomes the key feature of many people’s lives as they are constantly afraid that they are being fooled by the “system”, whether this term means computer intellect power, tyrannical governments or anything else. It is not a coincidence that The Matrix appeared at the time of a new wave of different conspiracy theories that were extremely popular on the turn of the centuries.
In addition to the major question about the relations between the illusion and reality, The Matrix puzzles the audience with a series of equally important problems, such as the meaning of life and religion. The filmmakers interpret the term “religion” in a rather broad sense: the Wachowski Brothers believe that religion is everything the people believe in. Therefore, it is necessary to ask who creates these beliefs: people themselves, God or some unknown system. In fact, The Matrix is unlikely to be defined only as a blockbuster sci-fi movie, as the issues of religion occupy a very important place in the film. Indeed, even the name Neo has the same letters as the word “one” meaning “the chosen one”, a person who is to save the world. Neo's mission, forecasted by prophets (the Oracle), is to reveal the truth that will set the humankind free. The character of Neo has strong parallels with different messiahs in all global religions; however, the question is whether the contemporary society is ready to be saved, and even more important – whether it wants to be saved.
Probably, the most famous image from The Matrix is a running code of strange signs and numbers. It is a very good symbol that reflects the true nature of this wonderful film that is definitely worth watching. It is a mosaic made of numerous small pieces that turns into a large canvas telling an important epic-like story about the life of modern people. The Matrix is a combination of revolutionary special effects and important questions about different aspects of human life that are still left without answers. The Wachowski Brothers do not argue that the film has answers: they urge the viewer to think and analyze, hoping that The Matrix can help them to find the truth.
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