The Matrix (1999) is an extension of the existentialist motifs of the mid 20th

Century set in the 23rd, for its obvious influences from the American Noir

Style. This is apparent when looking at the five points of this existentialism.

First, Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a.k.a. "Neo," is portrayed from
the beginning of the film as a "normal Joe" who holds the potential of a
world savior, yet without the narcissism. He does not have X-ray vision or the
ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but rather, he is a lowly
computer programmer for a respectable computer company. He does not appear
important to anyone else in the film at first, and it is because of his
lifestyle. Mister Anderson is immersed in the world of computers. As a result,
he is lonely and alienated from the world or "reality." This feeling is also
reflected in the high, swooping camera angle found in the film, which is
characteristically Noir. But what is reality? The truth? "Neo" makes the
conscious choice to "see how deep the rabbit hole goes." One finds out later
in the film that at the point of making such a choice, he was nothing... or
nothing more than an oversized Energizer; but upon choosing the "truth" he
is also trying to "free his mind" from the prison he cannot taste or touch
or see. Neo is doomed to fail, as no one has come before him to succeed in the
freeing of his own mind. As a result, he is under a sentence of death; the
system is set up against him; the Matrix has him... he struggles with the choice
between life and death, as he must let his instructor, Morpheus (Lawrence

Fishburne), die or sacrifice himself to save him. There is only one element
holding his life in tact: Fate... At first, Mister Anderson does not like the
idea of fate, as he cannot stand the idea of not being able to control his own
destiny. Throughout the entire film, as Mister Anderson further transpires to
his alter ego Neo, he struggles to accept the reality of his destiny. But
something happens that makes Mister Anderson realize the authenticity of his
destiny; he learns that he is, in fact, "the One" who is to save the world
from Artificial Intelligence. No one can change their destiny if they do not
realize that their pseudo-reality is a part of them. There are also other
characteristics of a Noir film in the Matrix. The chiaroscuro lighting is very
apparent in many scenes. Also, it invokes a great sense of alienation with its

Noir-like high angle shots. The entire film is very dark and rainy. There are
also many reflections, which are found in many Noir films, such as Orson Welles’

Citizen Kane (1941). Kane was an obvious motivation and influence on this film,
as was Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948), as mentioned by producer Joel Silver,
editor Zach Staenberg and Effects Supervisor John Gaeta. These people had the

Noir template in consideration when writing and editing this film. It is evident
that Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), the head Sentient Program hunting Neo, is the
hard-boiled detective, and Neo is the "Fugitive from a Chain Gang" that is
always on the run. Moreover, there is the classic "tilt shot" seen in the
film that clues the viewer to the film’s Noir-like style. This modern-day,
science fiction, Kung Fu fighting Neo-Noir (no pun intended) thriller is clearly
rooted in film classics from the past. "Wake up, Neo... The Matrix has
you..." Thomas A. Anderson is a respectable software programmer for a
respectable computer company. He pays his taxes, has a social security number,
and even helps his landlady take out her garbage. He’s just a normal guy in a
normal job, doing the normal thing, much like Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon.

But one thing the viewer does not count on is Mister Anderson’s alter ego,

Neo, to be one of the world’s most renowned computer hackers, guilty of
virtually ever computer crime there is a law for. It is not until this
e-lifestyle starts to spill over into his "real" life that he must start to
make choices... choices that will forever change the way he sees the world, and
changes that will forever impact his effect on that world. Neo feels alone in
his quest for the "Truth." He is trying desperately to find out what is out
there, and most importantly, "What is the Matrix?" He begins to be hunted
like a fugitive, and upon capture is thrown into an interrogation