The Matrix (1999)


Twelve years after its premiere The Matrix is on the verge of becoming what many call a cult film. It won four Academy Awards for its technical achievements, and it got some bad reviews mostly for its script; it was believed to be messy, utopian and lacking a cohesive structure. However, a deeper analysis and some Philosophy 101reveal a pretty grounded plot. 

Thomas Anderson: programmer by day, hacker by night, about to become The One – as Morpheus explains to him what is the matrix on that legendary red pill / blue pill scene. The base theory is that the world we live in – or the world we think we live in – is not real. 

In the sixteenth century the man who would change the way we perceive reality was born – René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy. In one of his most famous theories he argues that senses are often misleading, and therefore unworthy of our trust. For example: if we look at a railroad, the two rails appear to converge in one point on the horizon. We know that’s not true, they’re actually parallel, yet our eyes are telling us the exact opposite. So if our senses have failed us once, how can we be sure they aren’t constantly wrong? We can’t, so it seems only logical to agree with Descartes – they aren’t trustworthy, and quite possibly what we think is real is actually not. At least not in our minds. Sounds familiar? The Matrix is not based on some crazy, nonsensical notion, but on a theory that remains irrefutable to this day.

The Wachowski brothers took this theory, turned it into a fact, and added their own: this world does not exist, it’s a computer program implanted in our minds. From this point on, all the other pieces just complete this gigantic, perfectly conceived puzzle. No details are spared: from the obvious absurdness of trying to bend an actual spoon, to Neo’s inability to swim from birth – all these little things make this a script with no loose ends. Behind innovative special effects, outstanding set design and all that 90’s underground culture, we find a sci-fi movie that gives a completely different meaning to online.

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