The Matrix appeared on our movie screens in 1999 and immediately caused people to question their understanding of reality. It drew attention to the fragile nature of humanity and provided a metaphor for our unrealistic expectations of our existence. From birth, we are inundated with images of beautiful people, expensive possessions and luxurious lifestyles and we are socialized to aspire to these things. However, The Matrix raised awareness that these things are purely superficial and like the un-reality presented in the film, we are raised to desire a reality that for the majority, simply never comes to fruition. In The Matrix, those characters that are ‘free’ no longer require anything other than their freedom but still desire other luxury items and people, such as the woman in the red dress.
In The Matrix, the most basic premise of the plot is that the human race is enslaved by machines and suggests that a lot of people would be unable to exist without the machines; outside of the matrix. The film both comments on our society and prophesises our dependence on machines: the rise of Google, for example. We no longer refer to ‘search engines’ and instead, we now use Google as a verb when wishing to find out information – a term which was not in substantial use at the time of the film’s release. This prophetic metaphor suggests that our society has always been dependent on machines as we rely on them for our entertainment, health, economy and increasingly for our intake of information.
To conclude, The Matrix presents us with a future world where the perceived reality experienced by humans is actually a virtual one, simulated by machines. With the advent of concepts such as Second Life, our society is increasingly more online and as such, we being increasingly more dependent on machines. Coupled with our extremely unrealistic expectations thanks to our socialisation borne out of the media, our society is one based on a lack of reality, much like those living in the matrix itself.