Matrix is coming back on the screen after almost 20 years. Boy, time flies I must say.
The Matrix is basically a computer software where humans and machines coexist. In the near future, machines have taken over the planet and humans have sought refuge in the center of the planet. We see the marvels of artificial intelligence today but this was prophesied in the movie back in 1999. They live in a constant fear of being killed. The Matrix therefore is an interface that eliminates the grim reality of the existence. It serves as a gateway to escape from the reality in essence. Today when we hear about the most ambitious project by Facebook named “Metaverse”, it is just a form of Matrix if you think about it.
We are told that this software has evolved and the configuration has been fine tuned across several iterations. The 6th version is currently in use. The 1st version was supposed to be utopia where humans were always supposed to be happy. No wonder it was a massive failure. Happiness comes on the predicate of no uncertainty. This means total conformance which goes against the idea of happiness. Besides, happiness can only be felt when misery exists. If there is no misery, happiness cannot exist at the first place. Lacanian philosophy also highlight that the reality can only be experienced through the realm of misery.
The first stable version of the Matrix had an important ingredient called “choice”. Choice was the human characteristic which ensured that the Matrix does not crash and the equilibrium is maintained. This was the turning point. Choice if you think about it breeds uncertainty which further breeds misery and if in favor results into happiness. This is a profound thought portrayed in the movie.
Agent smith and his clique are in charge of maintaining the Matrix and ensuring that anomalies do not exist. The anomaly here is the chosen one who can bend the rules of the Matrix. Just like how the dimension of time can be bent when the mass exceeds the speed of light, similarly, there will be a special one who will bend the paradigm of Matrix to his / her advantage. This again correlates to the notion of evolution which is governed by will / choice. The fact that Neo needs more than 1 life to develop the special powers in Matrix which he utilizes to destroy agent Smith in the last scene of the first movie and the fact that agent Smith develops new abilities to clone himself after the combat with Neo describe evolution in its true sense. Our body does this regularly to fight against deadly viruses and once in a while there is an agent Smith like Covid19 that develops special powers.
Matrix also draws parallels with the theology. The current version of the Matrix is 6 and based on the Bible and the Quran, the heavens and the earth were created in 6 epochs. The idea of the savior or the one also align with the idea of the prophet or the son of god.
The choice between the blue and red pill is not actually a choice as the decision is already made. It just needs to be followed. Moreover, it is paradoxical to make the decision between the essence and the appearance, logic and fantasy. In this case truth and lie but the choice of the truth ironically follows the lie when Neo finds out that he is not the chosen one and this was a mere ideological fantasy of Morpheus. This is a psychoanalysis at its best.
Neo is working as a software engineer with a mundane job in the Matrix not realizing that his world and his life is nothing more than a virtual reality software. Elon musk popularized this idea that our life can be part of a virtual reality just like the characters of a video game. Watching Matrix in that sense is like watching virtual reality while being part of one! Hope to find the Morpheus one day;-)