Now the sequels to the original Matrix movie didn’t have much going for them. In fact, they were actually huge disappointments that didn’t manage to expand or even recreate the wonder and spectacle of the original. But they aren’t completely devoid of memorable moments. Now the Matrix Revolutions was perhaps the biggest disappointment of all but it had an amazing scene in it that I’ve carried with me since I first saw it.
In the beginning of the movie, roughly around the seven minute mark, we see Neo trapped in a train station – a intermediary point between The Matrix and The Machine World. Here he meets three programmes – parents, Ramachandra and Kamala and Sati, their daughter. Ramachandra and Kamala are trying to smuggle Sati out of the machine world to the Matrix. Ramachandra explains that he loves his daughter very much and thinks she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen; but that in the Machine World, this is not enough to justify a programme’s existence. If a programme doesn’t serve a purpose, it needs to be destroyed and he doesn’t want that for his daughter.
Now Neo (and I’m sure the audience) is confused at the idea of a programme, a machine being capable of love as love is a “human emotion”. To this Ramachandra responds with one of my favourite pieces of dialogue from this movie, this franchise and in fact any movie, “No, it is a word. What matters is the connection the word implies.”
That’s a beautiful piece of writing. We get so bogged down in labeling everything in our lives. Our religion, our friendships, our jobs, our relationships. We’re so obsessed with finding the right word for everything instead of thinking about the connection the word implies. This movie might have been a failure but this scene is a lonely ray of light that shows the potential that, not only this movie but the entire franchise could have had. Sure the first Matrix movie had amazing fight scenes and bullet-time was an absolute game-changer but the movie’s true success lay in the fact that it made people question their reality. It made us think.
The idea of machines being able to love would have been a great plot element if only it had been explored further. Humanising the machines in this way would have resulted in some amazingly well-layered conflict instead of the faceless tentacle droid battles we got in this movie. But oh well, maybe I’m just reading too much into this.