The Matrix is set in a futuristic world, where planet Earth is no longer inhabitable and the surface of the Earth is highly toxic. The natural environment has been completely destroyed and the machines have taken over the planet and enslaved humans. Human beings are artifically created, harvested and maintained in pods by the machines. The humans are plugged into a computer program which stimulates a real life experience but is really a dream world called the Matrix. The Matrix has been used as a form of a mind control which enables the machines to maintain power over humans while using their body heat and energy as a power supply for machines.
The real world shows that planet Earth is a environment where humans live underground and continuously escape from the machines. In the real world there are no fresh food supplies and the characters eat synthetic food produced by machines, they wear tattered and old clothing and the machinery and computers they rely on are extremely old. The atmosphere of the real world is cold, dull and grey with muted colours symbolising a struggle for survival. The real environment is toxic, highly polluted and there are constant electric storms. In contrast, the dream world of the matrix is bright, and familiar to us with their shops, cafes and restaurants. In this environment, the characters can access any resources such as helicopters, weapons and training programs. In the Matrix, characters do not have plugs in their arms, legs or heads and the self image is entirely different.
When we initially meet Neo, he works for a computer software company and is identified as Thomas Anderson. He appears dissatisfied and disillusioned with his life, his job and senses, there is something wrong with this world and environment. When he is freed from the Matrix, he struggles with the real experiences. He struggles for the fact that the Matrix is a lie used to deceive human beings and enslave them. Through his training and experiences, he gradually develops a stronger sense of self and his identity, which helps him to prepare for his role as the hero. The audience is able to identify with him because throughout the film, we see him as an ordinary being who struggles through identity and gradually develops into someone we admire. The transformation of his character relies heavily on the use of special effects and the elements of science fiction. It is believable because in the film Morpheus taught and helped him through Neo’s struggles which lead him to the understanding of the real world. The point of transformation is shown when he decides to go back to the Matrix to save Morpheus. By the end of the film, he is able to see the Matrix in terms of codes and able to change the codes as well.
The elements of Science Fiction include the future. The futuristic world suggests that humans have to struggle for survival and there will be a shortage of food and supplies. The film also suggests that most of the human population will be destroyed by war, starvation and disease. With the scene of nobody else than Morpheus’ crew and Neo also shows the idea of the futuristic world.
A second element, is the use of technology questions our extreme reliance on machines, robots and technology which makes our lives easier. In placing the machines in a dominant position, the directors suggest that our reliance on technology will eventually cause