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Film Analysis Essay on The Matrix by Larry and Andy Wachowski

4 pages
974 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The movie, The Matrix by Larry and Andy Wachowski, is a science fiction movie that tells the story of Thomas Anderson, also known as Neo, a young online hacker who questions his reality and is contacted by a group of underground hackers who promise him the answers he is seeking. As the movie commences, the audience is first introduced to Thomas Anderson, a software developer by day and a hacker named Neo by night, who is looking for answers about The Matrix. In his quest, Neo is contacted by a group of underground hackers and freedom fighters who explain to him that the reality he knows is in actuality an intricate computer simulation called the matrix. The matrix, created by a malevolent artificial intelligence, is used to hide the truth from the humans by simulating life in 1999, while in the real world it is closer to 2199, allowing the machines to subjugate and use humans as an ongoing energy source. As the movie progresses, the underground freedom fighters, led by their leader Morpheus who believes Neo is The One, humanitys savior from the machines, free him from The Matrix. Together with Trinity, Morpheus and Neo battle against The Matrixs enforcers called agents with the aim of ending humanitys enslavement by the machines as Neo hesitantly starts to accept and believe his role as humanitys savior, The One (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999).

Following its release, The Matrix elicited numerous reviews, one of which was by Mark Caro entitled An Easter Parade. The main point put across by the review is that although The Matrix is clearly a science fiction movie, the ideas of the movie are not new to the audience. For instance, the movie borrows from other movies such as Total Recall that also explored the intersection between the mental and physical landscapes, Terminator that explored the man versus machine future theme and the Star Wars franchise whereby parallels are drawn from Neo's training as The One and Anakins training as The Chosen One. The review further goes on to praise the movies writers, directors, and cinematographer. The author recognizes and appreciates the directors and cinematographers ability to utilize the available technology at the time to produce visually distinctive levels of reality while ensuring the fluidity and dynamism of the action sequences through the use of in motion high-speed cameras. However, the author does have an issue with the movies script. Although the review recognizes that the writing is ahead of its time, the storytelling is at times too wrapped up in numerous abstract concepts and mythical allusions. Ultimately, the author recommends that the people should watch the movies as the writing as compared to other works of science fiction is more thrilling and more intelligent, and the action scenes are well executed (Caro, 1999).

To a certain degree, I do agree with the majority of the author ideas on the movie. For instance, the movie does borrow from previous works of science fiction in its storytelling. Furthermore, although the idea of a love story between characters, Neo and Trinity, is introduced, it is not well developed and aspects of the script by the Wachowski show that it is ahead of its time. The review also notes that the movie draws various clear parallels to other works of art, more specifically to previous movies and literally works. Thus, although it can be claimed that the characters as presented in the movie are not well developed, it is clear that The Matrix draws parallels from various works of arts in its storytelling.

For starters, I agree that the movies main theme is very similar to Alice in Wonderland. For instance, both works question reality and the ability to know exactly what is real. Furthermore, The Matrix follows a distinctly similar storyline to Alice in Wonderland in that in both there is a prophecy about the one and both Alice and Neo are the chosen ones. Also, both Alice and Neo are at first hesitant in believing that they in fact The Ones but as their journeys progress they eventually believe in themselves. Ultimately, The Matrix and Alice in Wonderland both tell the story of two main characters that deny their destiny at first but eventually realize and accept their full potential.

One of the major issues raised in the review is that the characters in the movie are not well developed. Case in point is Neos and Trinitys love connection. The emotional connection between the two characters can be viewed as simple in that Trinity only falls in love with Neo because he is The One and it had been predicted by the Oracle that she would fall in love with The One. Furthermore, although the audience expects and knows the two will to end up together, Trinitys affection for Neo only becomes apparent at the end of the movie. However, such undeveloped characters can be explained by the fact that the Wachowskis knew that The Matrix was a part of a franchise and as such, in the first movie, their intention was to introduce the characters to the audience.

In summary, The Matrix reveals various thought-provoking as well as philosophical concepts in regards to reality and how we perceive it. Through the multiple parallelisms drawn from previous work of arts, the movie is able to deliver its message on reality effectively by challenging the audience to consider their reality as a construct of virtual reality and perceptions that can be manipulated and controlled through the power of thought. As such, through the incorporation of such philosophical ideas, the Wachowskis raise the movie from other movies of its genre.


Caro, M. (1999, March 31). An Easter Parade. Retrieved January 22, 2018, from Chicago Tribune:

Silver, J. (Producer), & Wachowski, L., & Wachowski, A. (Directors). (1999). The Matrix [Motion Picture]. United States: Warner Bros.


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