Who was the star? Larry Fishburne? Or Kenau Reeves? Yes, Fishburne was the more dominant figure, but what was his role? And what was Reeves’ role? Recall Reeves was called “Neo,” and was proclaimed as, and ultimately realized that he was, the One. The one what? The Savior. Reeves played a Christ figure. Fishburne was his herald, that is, he announced His Coming. Fishburne said in effect, “As great as I am, there is one, far, far greater than I.” Sound familiar? Yes, Fishburne played John the Baptist to Kenau Reeves’ Christ?
In keeping with this religious theme, note the female lead was called “Trinity.” And the man that betrayed them was “Cipher.” Cipher means “zero,” “nothing.” Cipher played the Devil, Lord of the Abyss (Nothingness). Cipher is the only one with facial hair. He has a wicked-looking “Fu Manchu,” moustache and goatee. In several scenes he tempts the other characters.
To many people, the word “Neo,” which means “new,” is automatically followed in their minds by the word “Nazis” as in “Neo-Nazis,” modern day followers of Hitler’s doctrine of white supremacy. Throughout the film, the characters wear black clothes, black boots and long, black coats reminiscent of Hitlers storm troopers.
Look at the look on Fishburne’s face, the absolute humility and awe with which he gazes at Neo, by the end of the film. Since you’ve identified with him, and seen him as an authentic character, was that feeling transferred to you? (Recall that soon after The Matrix Reeves stared in another sci-fi adventure film called Constantine, which also happens to be the name of the Roman emperor who made Christianity Rome’s religion.)
In the very final scene, Neo steps into a phone booth, takes off his glasses, steps out, and flies high up into the air. Kenau Reeves becomes a superhuman, a Superman. (Is it just coincidence that the two actors who played Superman on TV and in the movies were named George Reeves, and Christopher Reeve?)
The “Matrix”, as you recall, is the make-believe world that we see, but there is a terrifying world underneath, the “Real” world. Neo, before he even meets Fishburne and his band of rebels, was himself trying to understand how things really work. Is that not the universal question that all young people ask? What is the meaning of life? What is my role in this massively detailed, ongoing story, and what does it all mean? The film manipulates this perenial youthful quest, and youth’s intrinsic rebellion against “the System” in order to pull the young into its own matrix.
Recall, early on when Neo is first initiated, Fishburne holds a flashing cube in his hand and talks softly, deliberately to Neo who hangs on his every word. Fishburne is really flashing the cube at, and mesmerizing, us. Note Neo is a techie, his boss at work is constantly on his case, he feels very alienated, etc., things that the young person (of any ethnicity) can identify with. Also, the use of gangster-like costumes, and unremitting violence, also taps into the matrix of images that young American moviegoers have been fed on.
In Hollywood, when a film turns into a smash hit, like this one did, they soon develop it into a “franchise,” that is, they lay the groundwork to produce any number of sequels. Some “franchises” like “Halloween,” and James Bond, have produced more than 20 followup films. “Franchises” are so lucrative that even when a sequel flops, the people will still line up for the next one, so deeply are they into the matrix. (This is exactly what happened with The Matrix. The sequel was terrible, but people still lined up for the third film, which was even worse.)
We know that many of you loved this movie. We are not trying to take away from your enjoyment, only asking that you use the theme of the film to really understand the film. Get into THE MATRIX OF THE MATRIX. As for the idea of there being an underlying reality, note that our perceptions are all just that, perceptions, electronic sensations taking place inside our heads. Hence, the apparently hard and fast material world is, in actuality, a form of virtual reality. And so what is the real reality? Every religion has its answer. And all religions, in turn, stem from ancient Kemetic, African systems of thought. Why not go to the source?
Finally, in the film, look at the scene soon after Neo has the martial arts fight with Fishburne. Cipher and Trinity are talking. Trinity says to Cipher, “Don’t tell me you are a believer now?” Freeze the frame, and look at the symbol in the door that Cipher’s hand is touching. It is a crucifix! This is just one example of THE MATRIX of THE MATRIX…
( by Dr. Arthur Lewin, from his book Read Like Your Life Depends On It, www.readlikeyourlifedependsonit.com )