“The Matrix”, a 1999 science fiction action film, depicts a dystopian future whereby intelligent machines are using the bodies of humans as an energy source by distracting them in a simulating reality, which is called the matrix. Only a few rebels have broken out of this computer program to face the reality of the world created by the intelligent machines, and together recruit a computer programmer with hacker alias “Neo” who has uncovered the truth.

At the time of release, technology has gained an important place in society, and, high-tech computers and information technology was rapidly progressing, eliminating many mechanical tasks that were once required to be done by humans. However, the development of such technology also gave birth to anxiety and a fear that intelligent machines might one day rule humans and make humans technology’s slaves. “The Matrix” was one take on visualizing this fear.

The movie draws on mathematics, Greek mythology and the Bible, especially in the names that were chosen to depict what each character symbolizes in the plot. The title itself is a mathematical term meaning “a rectangular array of elements set out in rows and columns, used to facilitate the solution of problems” and the word is defined as “a substance, situation, or environment in which something has its origin, takes form, or is enclosed.” Technologically, matrices are used to reference holograms, much like the virtual reality that is portrayed in the film. There are numbers with mathematical significance that make an appearance within the film, such as the name Trinity, which represents the number three which Pythagoreans believe to be perfect, and room numbers like 101 and 303, both representing the binary numbers used internally by all modern computers and trinity respectively.

Looking at the names of other characters, the rebels’ fearless leader is called Morpheus within the matrix, which in Greek mythology is the name of the God of dreams; Morpheus is also the leader who “awakens” people from the dream of the matrix as he knows that it is all a simulation. Neo’s real name is Thomas Anderson, which in Greek this last name translated to “Man’s Son,” referring to the Biblical Messiah. According to the principle of trinity, Neo also represents the Son, all coming together to enhance his character’s vital role in being “the One” to topple down the matrix.

Taking a step back, the one theme that stands out above all is this concept of waking up, which is seen specifically in the use of the red pill required of Thomas Anderson (“Neo”) to join the rebel forces led by Morpheus. In the way that science fiction can illustrate non-fiction within a made-up universe, “The Matrix” allows watchers to tap into their subconscious and identify what realities exist today that embolden their fears and anxiety towards the advancement of technology. Ultimately, my interpretation of the movie is that we must choose which pill to take to create a reality that we want to live in even with the advancement of technology.