Flashback #1 – The Matrix

Posted: December 14, 2009 in Everyone's a critic, Flashback
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A few days ago while randomly channel hopping, I happened to catch “The Matrix” playing in one of the local cable channels. Despite the fact that I have seen the movie countless times, so much so that I can quote each and every dialogue of the movie, despite the fact that bullet-time mode and super slo-mo have been used indiscriminately in quite a few movies, despite the fact that the sequels were actually bad (but then when are sequels good, a Dark Knight excepted), one can still view the movie with fresh eyes and enjoy it like you are watching it for the first time (though I wager, viewing the movie for the first time, one would have struggled to fully get it)

Exactly, 10 years ago, The Matrix was released. This was among the days when Keanu Reeves still knew how to act and before his I-am-giving-competition-to-wood acting style morphed. It was a thrilling journey literally “into the rabbit hole” following Neo aka Mr. Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) as he senses something is just not right with the world and attempts to discover what exactly is wrong. Neo encountering Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) and understanding the truth that the world he was living in is just a virtual world designed by machines easily increases the shock value for both Neo as well as the audience and we are as flabbergasted as Neo is. While the rest of the story is all about Neo realizing his destiny and what he is meant to be long after everyone (in the movie as well as the viewers) realize, the journey is  fascinating.

The first few scenes of the movie with Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) hovering with her leg poised for her special kick grabbed our attention, while the immediate chase sequence and the ramming of the telephone booth hinted that this movie had lots to reveal.

With plenty of awesomely well written dialogues and one-liners, the movie hardly sags.

“Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony”

“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it”

“Never send a human to do a machine’s job” – Agent Smith (more on him later)

“Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Do you think that’s air you’re breathing now?”

“What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this. “[holds up a Duracell battery]

Action in the movie is over the top as befits the fundas introduced in the movie and is pretty much hyper kinetic. Some of the best action sequences are the fights in the building where they have Morpheus hostage, the subway fight and the unforgettable scene of Neo dodging the bullets (the butt of many a parody)

Of course, the biggest draw of movies 2 and 3, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is introduced here. Entirely contemptuous, haughty and  superciliously sneering, Smith is the other pillar that makes his movie insanely brilliant. With his own deviant and twisted logic, Smith seeks an escape and an empire of his own and the seeds of future conflict with Neo are already sown in this part. Its difficult to imagine anyone else as Smith apart from Hugo Weaving.

While one as sufficiently movie mad as myself manages to watch quite a lot of movies, some movies simply stay in the mind forever and Matrix, with its combo of literary, religious and scientific allegories simply remains unforgettable. or as Cipher says “Buckle up Dorothy, as Kansas is going bye-bye”

PS: Among the irritating moments of the movie include the scenes when Tank says “He is the One”. That is like a cue for all to say this line almost with the same frequency as the Indian team drops catches

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Comments
  1. tachyon says:

    ha ha…nice write up…
    yeah, its true that the sequels did not live up to the brilliance of 1…but i didn’t mind 2 and 3 either…if anything, it highlighted how good 1 was…
    and out of curiosity…when have u seen KR act?…if not woody, its a lost, vacant expression all the time…

  2. Anakin McFly says:

    I’m not the OP, but times I have seen Keanu act, not in any order:

    1) The Devil’s Advocate
    2) The Gift
    3) A Scanner Darkly
    4) Under the Influence
    5) Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    6) Constantine
    7) I Love You to Death
    8) Street Kings
    9) The Matrix
    10) Permanent Record
    11) River’s Edge

    and others.

  3. Katrix says:

    awesome revisit bro! would look fwd to relive some other good movies in the same style. I do have a very unique link with this movie – hope u see it 🙂
    on this page – “You are the One”

  4. vinayvasan says:

    @tragedy: While I am not that big a fan of 2 and 3, I still have watched them innumerable number of times and I still 2 was a decent movie while 3 was unsatisfying in the sense it did not answer any questions. KR atleast acted or rather his role in part 1 suited his lost expression. His earlier movies, he did have some range of acting to display, most notably Point Break and Johny Mnemonic

    @Anakin: I have not seen most of those but I do agree that KR acted in Devil’s advocate while Constantin was a matrix hangover for him. I am surprised that Point Break does not figure in this.

    @Katrix, I fail to see the connection with Matrix :).. Dont worry, thre will be loads of stuff like this which is why i started the numbering on Flashback 🙂

  5. wednesday says:

    I got so very, VERY exasperated that they found so many ways not to use Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith in the sequels. What made the bad guys work in the first film was him, and it was such a disappointment to see Weaving’s time onscreen reduced to next to nothing in the latter two. Yes, we had Agent Smith, but it wasn’t Weaving until the deluge at the end. Darn it.

  6. bharath says:

    Good one. Had watched the first movie thrice to really understand it… And I don’t think the ending in movie three was bad either. It did answer the most important question about how smith is defeated. Agent smith’s “Purpose” of existence is over when he kills Neo. And he perishes as well…

  7. gordon says:

    they got some cool Matrix TV commercials in Japan for some game called Pachinko
    http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/pachinko-matrix-tv-commercials-from-daiichi/

  8. Bella says:

    I adore the matrix and the scene when Trinity says dodge this to one of the agents it just brilliant! The shot of her then is so good

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  10. bdbmoi says:

    Thanks for this. I love the Matrix. I reference it often when I coach younger people on starting their dreams of financial independence with their ideas. Yeah, 2 and 3 were not as good, yet the first was such a mind f**ck, once you figured it out, how could they possibly continue to produce the same altered state? The sequels were just closing the loop…..

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