The Matrix, Most Influential Movie of My Life – English Essay
Imagine that the world in which we live is a dream. Imagine that you are plugged into a massive computer simulation and everything that you have seen, felt, and sensed in your entire life is nothing but a stream of code running through a computer’s mainframe. This is the world of Andy and Larry Wachowski’s The Matrix. It is a world brimming with complex philosophies, incredulous
deception, and shattered reality. It is a world that has affected my reality in the deepest way imaginable.
When I walked into that crowded movie theater to watch this film back in 1999, I was an obscenely naïve 13 year old who had heard that the action sequences in the movie were incredible. When the screen faded and the credits began their ascension, I sat in my seat, transfixed – not because of the action sequences (although they were incredible) – but because of the sheer depth and complexity of this film.
From the moment the film ended, I had an innumerous amount of questions brewing in mind, some were questions about the film’s events, but most were philosophical questions which had never dared to cross my mind. I came back and saw the film another three times, each time my brain filling with more and more questions which yearned to be answered. They nagged me every moment my mind wondered, searing across my brain with an array of complex solutions and possibilities.
In the movie, Neo, a character played by Keanu Reeves, is told that there are two realities: one that consists of the life we live every day – and one that lies behind it. One of these realities is a dream, the other is The Matrix. From the beginning the movie asks the question: “What is the Matrix?” Neo is soon told by Morpheus, played Laurence Fishburne, “The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” That truth is that in the real world, machines have enslaved the human race and has plugged them into a computer generated reality to keep them under control.
It is here that Neo (and the audience) is confronted with one of the film’s major underlining questions: Would you prefer to stay in The Matrix, a world based on lies, but a world that is comfortable to you, or come to “real world,” a world full of uncertainty and darkness?
As you watch this film, any number of questions enter your mind and begin to dig into your thoughts, going deeper and deeper the closer you are to an answer: How conditioned are we to our reality? Would we be able to survive in a world with alternate physical definitions? Can the body live without the mind? Is it our physiological or psychological composure that defines us as human? It is not The Matrix’s spectacular special effects that embody the experience of this film, it is its subject matter and the intricate web of questions it poses that defines what this film is.
The Matrix has influenced me because it thought me how think critically, and how to question many aspects of my life – and of reality itself. It showed me new boundaries of human thought, and offered me a glimpse in a world so shocking and thought-provoking, that it changed the way I would think forever.
As Morpheus so eloquently put it, “Welcome to the real world.”