Monday, September 22, 2014

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Directors: Andy Wachowksi, Lana Wachowski
Writers:    Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Cast:         Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. Morpheus believes that he can prevent this by getting Neo to the Source to fulfill the prophecy. The whole film  is a buildup to Neo's meeting with the Architect who can be interpreted as the God (Creator) of the matrix.

 The story progresses significantly through three meetings and the three overly long action sequences associated with them. First one is Neo meeting Oracle and the Kill Bill like action sequence with 'more and more' agent Smith's. The second one is the meeting with Merovingian and the highway action sequence. The third one is meeting with architect which completely flip many of the assumptions that the characters themselves had about their own existence. Unlike the first film, the balance is not quite right but still I enjoyed it more than I thought I would this time round. 

One may wonder about the reliability of explanations given to Neo by these three people but if we go by their words, especially of that of architect, this is the second version of the Matrix. The first one was created as a perfect world like the Garden of Eden in Bible and it ended up as a disaster because of lack of choice. So the second one (Serpent & the apple) was created with a seemingly false sense of freewill which worked for the majority 99.9% of people in the matrix. The rest would always free themselves from the matrix to form the Zion and 'The One' is a systemic anomaly in the matrix. The Oracle, who is referred to as the mother of the Matrix, with her prophecies about 'The One' gives a purpose to the people of Zion but the machines just use 'The One' to selectively destroy the Zion and reboot this version of Matrix. It has been rebooted five times and Neo is in the sixth iteration. All of this is explained by the architect to him and he can choose either to cooperate with him and save the people in the matrix by helping him selectively destroy the Zion or go back to the futile resistance causing all of their deaths. 

In a way some people will feel that they were deceived by the directors since all the events leading up to the meeting with the source/architect is along the expected lines as desired by the machines. I don't have a problem with it because there are plenty of clues given leading up to it. Both Oracle and Merovingian talks about the versions of the One, comparison with the previous versions, expectations about the next version etc. Then there is also the talk about control especially in the scene between Neo and the leader of Zion where the latter appears to doubt whether Zion itself is a form of control exerted by machines on them even though they think they are free. Snake in the Garden of Eden must have also been created by God and if that is the case he/she also desired that the humans will disobey given a choice. One could view this version of God as a creator who does not take operational control of his creation and just watch from sidelines how it is going to play out which I am led to believe is similar to the role of Brahma in Hindu mythology. I am not well versed with the mythological aspects of various religions since I don't give a fuck about them and so many of the symbolism that they have included in the film is lost on me. Still it is worthwhile to dissect it because vast majority of people in this world are still influenced by it. Even in the developed world where religion does not play a vital role, I think majority of people live a life akin to slavery tied to their jobs, desires or social conformance. 

I still feel the whole Neo-Trinity love angle in the film is a weak point even though it is central to the plot. One reason for it is the script itself which is not that great during those scenes and also the unconvincing portrayal by Keanu Reeves who is not a even a good actor. In terms of meat in the story second one in the trilogy is the most significant even though it kind of gets diluted by the plethora of action scenes. It also dilutes the significance of first film somewhat with the revelation about the iterations in matrix but first one still works very well because of its subtext message about capitalism.

Rating: 4/5