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Favorite Movie Moment: The Matrix

One of my favorite moments in film occurs in Matrix, a sci-fi film in which future society is run by sentient machines who control humans by plugging them into a simulated reality that they believe to be real. Computer programmer and hacker Neo knows something’s up and, through rebel leader Morphesus, he launches into a battle to save humanity—a battle in which he may be prophesied to play an important role.

This film actually holds more than one favorite moment, but the one below is up near the top. Neo is facing a crucial decision. He knows there’s something wrong with the world, but he doesn’t know what. Morpheus offers him the opportunity to find out what it is. I resonated with this moment because, as a follower of Jesus, I know there’s something wrong with the world, an illusion perpetrated by something that is trying to deceive and suck the life from all of us, something that does everything it can to keep us in bondage. And once that illusion is revealed, there’s no going back. Everything changes—as it will for Neo if he makes the right choice.
MORPHEUS: Let me tell you why you are here. You have come because you know something. What you know you can't explain but you feel it. You've felt it your whole life, felt that something is wrong with the world. You don't know what, but it's there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Matrix?

Do you want to know what it is?

Neo swallows hard and nods.

The Matrix is everywhere, it's all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out your window or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

NEO: What truth?

That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.

The leather creaks as he leans back.

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

Morpheus opens his hands. In the right is a red pill. In the left, a blue pill.

MORPHEUS: This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe.

The pills in his open hands are reflected in the glasses.

You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Neo feels the smooth skin of the capsules, the moisture growing in his palms.

Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.

Neo opens his mouth and swallows the red pill. Morpheus smiles.

Follow me.
(Image: copyrighted by Warner Bros; text from Sci-Fi Scripts)


David said…
Great movie moment. Is this how faith works too? You don't see it till you take the step?
Carmen Andres said…
david, glad to hear from you!

there's this thing about faith i noticed Jesus doing in the gospels. when he healed, he almost always seemed to require or respond to some act of stepping out--from as small a step as asking someone to put out there hand to asking them "what do you want" to friends lowering another through a roof to reaching out to touch his cloak in the midst of a crowd. if there is an act required of us, i think it's this--that we step out in trust that he is who he says and can do what he says. not belief as much as it is a stepping out in trust. and yes, you don't often see it until you take the those steps. my .02 worth anyway.