The Matrix (1999) – Free Your Mind

Exactly 20 years ago, the Wachowski brothers had a chance to create a mindblowing world of the universe and philosophical deep question in “The Matrix”. This movie creates a science fiction genre with superhero-style trends before “X-Men” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” appears. This is before Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. Hearing news about the fourth movie, this movie again questions about existentialism in this world. Bullet time effects, the world of simulation, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Coupled with captivating visual effects at the time.

It’s about Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson, a programmer as well as a well-known hacker as Neo. After receiving a cryptic message through his computer, he meets two mysterious people. They are Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. Morpheus told Neo that the world we all knew was actually a simulation of virtual reality. The world is called the Matrix, an actual reality behind post-apocalyptic. In the real world, there is a war between humans and artificially intelligent machines. However, humanity is also lost in the current world so there is no revenge other than Morpheus and other characters who know this.

After Anderson learned that the Matrix was basically a computer game, he tried to bend the rules. He made his own avatar very strong and fast because he is the one. He is a leader like a God whose superpower, has the duty to save humanity from robots. Anderson is one of the heroes who do nothing but get his status as a hero or the one. He knows kung fu from technological assistance, unites with the Matrix, and is also brave, smart, and trustworthy.

Neo is basically just a beginner, a programmer, and a hacker. He has nothing yet he just nothing. He is an introvert before he becomes the one after what he has done on the internet. For Neo, there is nothing wrong with this world. He just doesn’t know what’s there, like a fragment on our mind that can make us angry or whatever. Neo never paid attention to his surroundings or participated in the revolution or a fight against the machine. Just like Edward Norton as the narrator from “Fight Club“. But, while “Fight Club” explores the fear of revolution and the fall of capitalism, “The Matrix” is about existentialism.

Another comparative can we get from Ron Livingston as Peter in “Office Space” and Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank in “The Truman Show”. While both of the films have prevalence and relevance in the current era and pop culture, both of them share themes with each other. It’s about how to be professional in a middle-class of society. But, “The Matrix” is like a reserve hyper-reality about how bored the real world and the dream world. In thereof the movies, they have a similar pattern, a rage with the system, the office, and the machine.

The protagonist, Thomas Anderson, removes his fake identity as a middle-class worker by the name Anderson. For this reason, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) relentlessly calls Neo by his real name. Meanwhile, Neo himself has erased his real name. Or what if the matrix is ​​a fake universe where this is the world what we live in. He was scolded by his boss and treated unfairly around him. He isn’t aware of his surroundings, including not knowing who he really is.

When we talk about this movie, it’s like we talk about all aspects. We talk about this movie as a philosophy of awareness and our self-awareness as a human being. We can also see this film as an influence on pop culture. Or we can talk deeply about how fascinating the bullet-time scene is where the Wachowski brothers record every smooth frame into one of the most phenomenal scenes in the entire filmmaking history. This movie, with all its attributes and ideas, as well as the action, wonders why the trilogy of “The Matrix” was a matter.

However, we are still surprised that the power of this movie, or even cinema, is really not about existentialism, being awareness, free will, or anything. Instead, it’s just about love. Really, how many times have we actually seen this cliche? Yet, there is another meaning of this element because we can talk about this film for a long time and would continue to be discussed often in the next two years when the fourth movie comes. Or what about the spoon and what exactly does being the one with the Matrix mean? A lot of people came out of the cinema 20 years ago and still wonders what all this is really about or what the film is about.

In addition “The Matrix” has many wild ideas and amazing effects, this is as well as the beginning of the cliche action and science fiction movie. What’s more, we are just tired to see how the films after this movie try to parody the bullet time scene. At first, it’s funny but when many films use the trademark, we just feel annoyed with. Of course, “The Matrix” provides a visual beauty effect including the choreography between Neo, Morpheus, and Agent Smith. Really, we just have hard to forget about this film. But, yeah, “The Matrix” gives a lot of ideas not just as entertainment and action but it’s more than a film. And the movie ends with “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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