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The Film The Matrix Essay

1874 words - 7 pages

In the film The Matrix (1999) in the scene “The Two Pills” help characters and relationships are developed and continuation of the films narrative through various components of cinematography and mise-en-scène. Most notable in The Matrix is the use of costuming, sound effects, props, setting and camera movement. Through the use of these techniques the audience becomes more involved in the narrative as Neo meets Morpheus for the first time and is given the opportunity to learn the secrets of the matrix.
Mise-en-scène according to Dix (2008) is the visual elements that make up a scene. Costume in this scene is an important component of mise-en-scène, as it displays the contrast between Morpheus and Neo’s characters. Piatti-Farnell (2013) stresses the symbolic value of costume in cinema, and its effect on characterisation and the relationship between a character and its audience. Morpheus once lived as a human in the matrix, he wears mostly black, including full length a leather trench coat, mirrored sunglasses and black combat boots. Street (2001) talks of costumes power to make individuals stand out and to show an individual’s affiliation to a group. Although we are first meeting Morpheus, we are able to establish a lot about his character. As we can link him to the matrix, and his coat makes us feel fearful of his authority and power. Due to leather jackets and their connotations to biker gangs. Later the significance of these black trench coats is understood, as they are also worn by all those in the matrix. Gills (2005) believes costumes in this film are vital to both the characters in the film and the audience, as they aid them differentiating between the real and the manufactured world. This can be seen later on, as when Neo enters the matrix he slicks back his hair and adorns the trademark mirrored shades. But for the pill scene, Neo is wearing his casual clothes, which causes the audience to tell the difference in knowledge and power between Neo and Morpheus. It also makes the audience feel like they could relate in Neo as he is a more accessible character. Morpheus knows the truth about the matrix and has experienced it before, meanwhile Neo is oblivious about the matrix. The mirrored sunglasses in this scene are especially prominent. When Neo is being offered the choice between the two pills, in one lens you can see the blue pill and in one you can see the red. Representing the two different lives that Neo has to choose between, one of blissful ignorance and one in search of the truth. These glasses are significant as all the agents in the matrix wear them, they hide their eyes but reflect the eyes of those looking at them. Symbolising protection for the agents hiding their eyes, and somewhat concealing their emotions. Starmans & Bloom (2012) see the eyes as the location of the self, as they reveal emotion. So by covering them in this film the agents are portrayed as harsh, stern emotionless characters.
The significance of the choice...

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