and the death andresurrection of Neo from the film “The Matrix”In the film “The Matrix” there are many references to religion and reality.
The name Neo in its self is an anagram of the word, one, which could beconveyed as a suggestion of the Son of God. The directors try to convey thereligious aspects of the film through music and film techniques which Iwill explore throughout my essay.
The final fight scene starts with a distance shot of the subway and thetelephone and Morpheus, Trinity and Neo, running to the phone. The shotthen changes to a mid shot, and Neo beckons Morpheus to answer the phonefirst. This could be suggesting that Neo is like Jesus, letting hisfollowers go before him to the kingdom of God. The camera then cuts toanother mid shot of Morpheus picking up the phone and being transported tothe real world. This may portray the idea of ascending to heaven, or thereal world as it is portrayed in the film. In the film the last human cityis called Zion. In bibulous references it is the mountain on which paradisestands as the kingdom of God or the holy city of Jerusalem. After thisthere are a number of transitional close shots of neo and trinity’s upperbody. Just after Trinity picks up the phone and she sees Agent smith and asshe leaves the matrix he shoots the phone, the openly escape from the realworld. This could be interpreted as the devil blocking humans from a lifein paradise. If explored further it could be suggested that he is stoppingNeo, who is suggested to be Jesus, of return to heaven, or because Jesus isonly human.
The next shot is of Agent Smith approaching Neo. He refers to him as MrAnderson, which portrays a sense of disbelief of his true form, almost asif he was an atheist, not believing in him. Neo is then presented with achoice: stand and fight for what he believes in and suffer or to run away.
This is very similar to what Christ had to choose between in the garden ofGethsemane. It then cuts to a close shot of Trinity saying “Run, Neo, run”which is very similar to what Peter says to Christ, and tries to tell himto back away, and that he doesn’t have to go through with it, but to noavail. The next shot is of Neo viewing both choices but choosing the optionto suffer. This choice is then affirmed through Morpheus’ line, combinedwith a close shot “He is beginning to believe.” This shows that he hasalready made his decision, just as Christ had before he was arrested.
There is then a transitional multi focus long range shot between neo andAgent smith which some sort of litter blowing across the middle of theshot. This pays homage to the spaghetti westerns, directed by Serge Leone.
The actual fight scene contains a number of transitional close to longshots switching from each type of camera angles in the spectrum. Tension isbuilt up using music and the very acute sounds of items breaking andclicking such as the pillars in the sub way, and in particular, AgentSmith’s neck and fingers. As the first section of the fight scene reachesits climax (through the use of music) Agent Smith hits Neo and sends himhurtling away from him. His choice now stands again he can either run awayor stand and fight. He chooses again to fight. This act of courage isconveyed to the audience through the hand gesture to attack. There is thena zoom from a mid hot to a close up of Neo’s hand as he beckons.
There are more fast transitional shots between Neo and agent Smith as thefight continues but again Neo is defeated by Agent Smith, as he drags himonto the train lines and gets him in a head lock. As he is dragging him thecamera follows as if it were being dragged as well. As Neo hits the floor,the camera shakes to give the audience a sense of actually being there inthe action as it portrays what Neo’s view of the incident is like. AgentSmith then says “That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound ofyour death.” Neo then replies “My name is Neo.” This portrays to theaudience a sense of realisation on Neo’s part that he is ‘the one’.
Neo’s actual death scene starts with neo running through the building wherethe film started. As Neo runs to the ringing phone, the camera cuts fromthird person mid shots to first person. The audience can hear the phoneringing quietly through the bass, which portrays to the audience that hisblood is pumping in his ears and helps build the tension in the scene. Ashe opens the door, the camera changes to a mid shot from Neo’s abdomen andAgent Smiths gun is visible from the side of the shot. The phone volume isthen lowered to emphasise the sense of audience involvement in the film.
The camera then cuts between Agent Smith and then back to Neo. In this midshot of Neo, there is a flash in slow motion. During this slow motionsequence, the phone can still be heard in the background. The shot thencuts to a first person view of Neo’s point of view looking down at hischest with his fingers in focus with blood on them.
The next shot is a birds’ eye view of Agent Smiths gun firing another shotat Neo. Time then returns to normal and the camera cuts to a mid shot ofNeo falling backwards into the corridor. The only thing that can be heardin this section of film is the phone ringing and the gun shots being fired.
This has been done for dramatic affect as it suggests to the audience thatthis is the only thing that can be heard. The next shot is a long shot fromfurther down the corridor and it shows Agent Smith stepping out of the roomand shooting Neo three times. The camera abruptly cuts a close up of AgentSmith holding his gun, with an angry grimace on his face. Camera then swapsto a close up of Neo with Agent Smith’s gun in the frame as well. He thenslides down the wall. Further on in the scene, it cuts to Morpheus andTrinity after Neo has died. There are then close ups of Morpheus and of thesentinels destroying the ship.
Trinity then talks to Neo’s body. There is a close up of her face,occasionally swapping to a shot of Neo’s face. The volume of the musicdrops along with the sound affects as Trinity tell Neo “Neo. I am notafraid any more. The Oracle told me that I would fall in love and that man,that man would be the one. You see. You can’t be dead because I love you.”The camera then changes to a close up of Neo’s face as Trinity kisses him.
The next shot is of Morpheus, replying to Tank “Because he is ‘the One.'”The next shot is of Neo standing up. In this section the music is quietcalm but portrays to the audience that it may crescendo. This calmness inthe music portrays to the audience that there is a sense of understandingon Neo’s behalf. This section is also in slow motion which also suggests asense of understanding. The Almost religious music helps to portray theidea of the Messiah image incorporated with the idea of ‘the One.’ The Nextshot is computer generated and it gives the first person view of Neo now ashe can see the matrix clearly for what it is. The next shot of the Bulletscoming towards him is a third person of the bullet, or even a first personas if the camera was a bullet. The directors use the bullet time filming toportray the idea of control to the audience. The Scene transpires furtherand Agent smith tries to attack Neo, however Neo knows what and where Smithwill attack and manages to win the fight. In this scene the idea of clarityis explored further through the use of more slow motion and religiousmusic.
Throughout the film the matrix the directors use different camera angles,effects and music to set the atmosphere and portray their ideas to theaudience watching the film. They also use good effects to emphasise certainlines in the movie such as “he is beginning to believe” with incorporatesthe actors expression with the zoom on the camera, and the point in whichNeo shakes the dust from him. By using these key parts in the story withgood techniques the directors ensure that they have made the cinematicexperience enjoyable. The religious importance is also emphasised in themovie. One instance is where Neo destroys Agent Smith. There is a burst oflight that comes from Neo, which conveys the idea of a messiah. In thebible, when Jesus showed his Disciples who he was, and it was said heappeared in a bright light. The theme of religion is also conveyed throughthe music and the style it is in. The music, very much so, mimicstraditional religious music, which helps the audience relate that Neo is aJesus like figure.