This Easter, I’m taking part in a little Blogathon that Caz from Let’s Go To The Movies put together a little while back. For this feature type, I want to give you all a little insight to what film took my breath away and made me want to get involved with writing about film. So let’s take a little journey back to the year 2000.
I’m 11 years old, quite a big film fan as my parents had a lovely collection of VHS tapes in all different genres, so I had seen quite a few films by this point in my life. Films with their ratings back then weren’t as bad as they are now. Something like a 15 now would be considered an 18 back then and even some 18’s back then could probably sit comfortably at a 15, maybe even a 12A. Mind you, the only thing my mum literally made wait until I was 18 to watch was Scarface… which is understandable. Obviously by the age of 18 I was running rampart with 18 rated films with Saw 4 being the first 18 rated film I watched at the cinema. All I wanted was a bit of real bloody violence sprayed up against the walls with guts flying around everywhere. Was that a lot to ask for?
As it goes, The Matrix had been released on Sky Movies and my parents were already big fans of Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and the sci-fi action genre, so it was a must watch. Being a child at that age, your awesome imagination is still alive and you appreciate a lot of things more than when you are an adult. I watched The Matrix with eyes wide open and was so consumed by the story, the action, Keanu Reeves’ portrayal of Neo “the one”, Agent Smith, the cinematography, fight choreography, just everything about it. I didn’t completely understand what the actual Matrix was, so I was excited to know that this was a film I needed to watch again to fully understand it. Plus it wasn’t a film that was completely finished as it was part of a trilogy. As there’s a first for everything, this was the first time I had been exposed to such a structure and later on realised exactly what a trilogy was.
At school the following week, we had a task to write an interview. So we had to write the questions we would have asked and the interviewee would have answered the questions. Being so love-struck by Neo, I decided to interview Keanu Reeves. I honestly wish I had kept that A4 piece of paper that I wrote it all down on because it was magical. Obviously I can’t remember exactly to detail what I asked but I know I had asked him things about his personal life and working on The Matrix. My teacher, Kerry (yes I still remember her name) was mega impressed with it and said that when she was reading it, it really felt like I was interviewing Reeves and my mum said the same thing. I also remember it being a talking point in our little parents evening too.
That right there was the moment I realised I loved writing, I want to write about films and I want to interview the cast. I was so chuffed by it, I used to keep it under my mattress on my bunk-bed for safe keeping, hoping the day would come that I was able to interview him. It’s been lost in transit since then but I really wished I had it to refer back to. Especially if a day came where I managed to nab an interview with the man himself – #life goals.
Putting aside my anecdote, why is The Matrix so awesome? For me, it was just a massive turning point in the film industry. Written and directed by The Wachowskis, The Matrix is a Sci-fi action flick with a bit of cyberpunk and martial arts thrown in. A beautiful mix of different genres to create interesting, unusual characters with really awesome names and this little world of it’s own. Every character and scene had a purpose.
It also made popular the whole “bullet time” visual effect with the audience being able to see the heightened perception of “the one” while the action was moving in slow motion. The Matrix also explored a lot of different religious, mythologies and philosophical ideologies adding that depth to the story and what The Matrix was all about, with the added sprinkle of technology of course.
The Matrix also introduced me to not only one of my favourite protagonists, but to one of my favourite villains, Agent Smith. I felt threatened and scared by him whether he was on screen or not. I just kept wondering if he was going to pop up again, especially with the fact that they could just dial in and change into someone else. That thought was scary.
The Matrix made me feel a lot of emotions I had never really had before and is truly an incredible film. Not only is it entertaining, but can easily be dissected with a great discussion lying underneath it all. It gets the brain ticking and for me, that was my turning point.
If you haven’t seen The Matrix, why not!? And if you have, I’d love to know your thoughts back when you first watched it.
Keanu, if you happen to read this… I’m ready when you are.