“Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”
That quote by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) during a pivotal scene in The Matrix illustrates not only a central aspect of the film, but also handily sums up a problem with reviewing the film. It’s not one of those films that is only able to be watched once; I’ve watched it several times, personally, and enjoyed it every time. But it is a film in which that first viewing is substantially different from every subsequent viewing. There is a mystery at the heart of The Matrix, a central question that drives the first half of the film, and like all good mysteries, there is a lot of foreshadowing to the revelation. But like all good mysteries, it can only be mysterious once. The question “What is the Matrix?” that was used so heavily in its marketing — including the web site for the movie, back in 1999 when that was still a relative novelty — is a question you now know the answer to. And yet, what remains is still one of the best modern science fiction films and a great action film.
As Morpheus offers Neo a choice of a red pill representing a dangerous truth, and a blue pill representing safety in ignorance, so too must I offer the reader of this blog a choice. If, perchance, you have not seen The Matrix for yourself, I suggest you take the blue pill. Spend time on my other articles, or go elsewhere on the web; though I do not wish to drive you away, I also have no wish to spoil this for you, and it is impossible for me to discuss it without doing so. Take the blue pill, you stay unspoiled, and you can believe… whatever you want to believe until you see the film for yourself. If, on the other hand, you have seen the film, then take the red pill, click the continue link, and we shall see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Continue reading