Idealism’s Resurrection

Love transcends control in the Matrix’s latest reincarnation

The Matrix Resurrections is the best film of 2021.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you might be surprised that I would give such unqualified high praise, given that it’s currently being review-bombed by a seemingly coordinated group of haters, all of whom seem to be using the same language to describe it (“woke”, “garbage”, “rehash” etc).

““They took your story that meant so much to people like me, and turned it into something trivial.”

Resurrections is a meta-story — a story within a story within a story within “real life” (that becomes part of the story). On one level, Neo is trapped inside a new simulation — he is Thomas A. Anderson, the decorated game developer for the award-winning Matrix game trilogy. In this simulation, the Matrix has taken Neo’s memories from the first 3 movies, and made him believe they are fictional, part of a successful story that “entertained some kids” and made a lot of money.

“It weaponizes every idea. Every dream. Everything that’s important to us.”

“Where better to bury truth than inside something as trivial as a videogame?”

In the new 21st century simulation, Lana comments on the way the original Matrix series and their message of liberation were co-opted by various forces of social control, in particular capitalism and political ideology. The endless studio meetings repeat themselves, like deja vu. Hinting to Neo (and Lana) that this is a type of program. The patterns of life — waking up, going to work, exercising at the gym, visiting the coffee shop — the same conversations, spiralling around and around.

You seem very triggered right now.

But how is Neo alive at all, let alone Trinity? Didn’t they both die at the end of Matrix Revolutions?

“Did you know that hope and despair are almost identical in code?”

The only way to really bring back Neo, would be to bring back Trinity at the same time. And so, they rebuilt her body as well, using genetic information stored from Trinity’s time in the Matrix.

“I never believed I was the One. But she did. She believed in me. It’s my turn to believe in her.” — Neo

That which made Neo different from other iterations of The One, was inside Trinity all along. It was only through their love for each other, that Neo was able to become the One who broke out of the Prime Program, choosing to save Trinity over the rest of humanity in Reloaded.

It’s so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head until you unplug. Something else makes the same kind of noise, takes over everything just like the Matrix. War.

Resurrections does a lot to expand the idea of the Matrix beyond just the metaphor of the computer simulation.

That’s what you changed, that none of us could have ever predicted. The meaning of “our side”.

However, even in this utopian enclave, recognisable themes from the Matrix are taking shape. Niobe attempts to lock Neo up out of fear he will try to rescue Trinity and thus anger the Machine faction that destroyed the old Zion. She asserts her authority, demanding she be called “General” and berating Bugs for freeing Neo without her permission.

“You care more about gardening than freeing minds!”

Fear is the main opposition to love in Resurrections — the emotion that is easiest to control people through, and the engine through which conflict and control find their power.

“You know the difference between us Tom? Anyone could be you, whereas I’ve always been everyone” — Agent Smith

And so, bravely, Lana Wachowski made her idealistic movie. Opening herself up to the possibility of hatred and derision (which did happen in the wake of this movie).

“Art is love made public” — Sense8

This movie is an act of love and belief from Lana Wachowski (and all the other artists involved in the movie) in us, the viewers.

“Not all wish to control, just as not all wish to be free”.

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Reverie

“The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds” — Cloud Atlas