summer of ’99, I queued up with my then-boyfriend (now-husband) outside a movie
theatre waiting to see an action movie, little knowing that it would be the action movie to define the genre for
decades to come. I didn’t know or care much about the content – it featured Keanu Reeves. That
was all I needed to know. I had developed a serious crush on him since I had
seen him in Speed,
though of course I hadn’t revealed that to my boyfriend at that time. (He knows
finally watched it, the first action sequence simply blew us away. We held on
to our seats, eager for more. Even in the theatre with tattered barely-there
seats, unhygienic but tasty samosas, I dawned on us that we were in for
the basic concept, but my sister and several of my friends understood little of
it, and derived what pleasure and enjoyment of the movie from the continuous
unfurling of action.
I am talking
about The Matrix
of course. Twenty years have passed since its release, which is astounding given
how well it holds up even after recent viewing. I showed it to my eleven-year-old
daughter the other day, and it shocked her that it was so old. She thought I
was showing her a new movie.
I told her
all the cultural impacts the movie had in addition to the effects on action
movies. Every movie after the Matrix featured the same effects and they’re
repeated until now.
black trench coats with sunglasses became a signature look of any show that
wanted to look cool.
properly understand the movie, I had to read the book Taking
the Red Pill, which explained the Christian influences and the significance
of each pivotal scene. I smacked my head – why hadn’t I thought of it before? The
references should have jumped right out at me.
watching it multiple times in the cinema hall. Unfortunately once I watched it
with my mother, who is, to put it politely, not an action movie buff.
She laughed louder
than she did when reading 101 Jokes for Kids. Her belly ached and trembled more
than Santa Claus high on holiday spirits.
It was the
most embarrassing experience I had ever been through. People around us were giving
me nasty looks, probably wondering what the joke was, or where we could find
Despite all the
accolades, the next two movies that promised similar but better action
sequences and storylines simply disappointed.
Keanu Reeves in everything he did, but my sister just dismissed him as “Mr.
Wood”, because of his lack of expressions while acting. It surprised me to know
that he wasn’t the first choice of the directors or the studio, but got it only
after everyone else rejected it. This included Will Smith who was
then shooting for Wild
Wild West (not sure if that’s supposed to be a pun), and we all know how
well that went.
is full of juicy one-liners and action sequences. To list my favourites would
be to describe the entire movie, but Wired
offers a pretty nifty rundown of the best
Atlantic writes about how such an original movie would probably not even be
The Matrix remains one of my favourite movies until now. If I ever find it
playing, you bet I’m going to watch it.
from “The Matrix generation”, let me know your fondest scenes and memories of