Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Monday, May 26, 2003

What happens when people stop viewing movies just for the pleasure of the experience and start reading too much into the theme of the movie?! They start philosophizing about it and start drawing allegories based on the details seen in the movie.

Matrix, with its futuristic plot and ideas provided a lot of cannon for the "philosophers" who wrote reams about the coded allusions that were liberally sprinkled throughout the movie.

And, the Wachowski brothers did not help the matters either. When asked how many hidden messages there were in "The Matrix," they once teased, "More than you'll ever know."

And now with the release of Matrix Reloaded, philosophers are once again having a field day! ;-)

Philosophers draw on the film Matrix [NYTimes registration required]
Now that its sequel, "Matrix Reloaded," is out, the interpretive industry is also gearing up. After the first film, Christian allegorists leaped at the bait the authors left: characters named Neo and Trinity, allusions to Jesus and resurrection, a city named Zion. The Buddhist character of Neo's "awakening" to reality's veil of illusion was discussed. And academic interest grew because the film self-consciously tapped current fascination with pop culture and critical theory. Recent anthologies have included " `The Matrix' and Philosophy," edited by William Irwin (Open Court), "Taking the Red Pill," edited by Glenn Yeffeth (Benbella Books), and "Exploring the Matrix," edited by Karen Haber (St. Martin's Press). Even the Warner Brothers "Matrix" Web site contains a growing collection of papers by academic philosophers
And now, keeping in mind the current flavour... terrorism, the interpreters are claiming that The Matrix represents contemporary America with all its problems. And the solution or response to the 'hegemonic' power is said to be "terrorism".
Similarly, in "The Matrix," Morpheus tells Neo he must regard all inhabitants of that virtual world as enemies that may be killed; anyway, most people are "not ready" for the truth. Morpheus is even wanted by the Matrix's ruthless agents for "acts of terrorism."
And going one step further philosophers are also giving it an almost divine colour...
In fact we eventually learn through cryptic pronouncements of the Architect of the Matrix — its software writer, its God — that Neo is actually living in the sixth version of the Matrix. In each, a savior figure has arisen. And in each earlier case, the savior has not been able to free humanity at all. Instead, the result has been a large-scale loss of life, until the Matrix begins again, with an apparent upgrade — a new web of earthly illusions — allowing no recollections of the disastrous past.
Now doesn't this sound suspiciously like "Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya. Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,. Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya. Tadatmanam Srijami Aham", the famous verse from Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7)... which translates to "Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself". Hmmm! :-)

I wonder what path the third movie will take!


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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.