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