I just rewatched the Matrix recently, and of course there’s so much metaphor and symbolism in the movie that each re-watch, it’s fun to overthink everything. I’ve already had a couple of viewings in which I’ve focused on how Neo’s story is a trans narrative and how him ‘being the one’ in many ways is about him discovering himself. It’s a narrative that I think easily stood up before the Wachowskis confirmed it, but obviously is generally easier to spot and analyze with their confirmation.
This time however, I found myself focusing more on Trinity and the romance plot. Let me first just make a disclaimer that this is me reading super into the movie and that I know that in a surface reading, none of this stands up. But if we say... go down the rabbit hole a little of what these themes in the movie could be... well, I obviously feel there's some grounding for it.
In many ways, the romance in this movie is fairly traditional, but in other ways... it's just not. Neo never pursues Trinity in any way. In fact, he generally seems completely oblivious to the possibility that Trinity could be interested in him. Contrast that to Cypher, who feels entitled to Trinity, I think it's worth noting how there's an implication that at some point, he thought he could be The One. He clearly also knew what the Oracle told Trinity about her relationship to the one. And yet while he pines, there's this feeling that he is acutely aware that it's impossible that she would never be interested in him.
Not only though does Neo seem almost to imagine Trinity could never be interested in him and Cypher has a resentful belief that she would never be interested in him, even Trinity acts arguably strange about the whole thing herself. There's an air to her reaction to the concept of 'The One' and her prophecy that while she wants it to be true and believes so much in Morpheus she will, it seems truly impossible to her. She holds it close to her chest and struggles so much with accepting how she feels, that there just feels like there's more going on under the surface. And with the narrative of knowing that Neo can stand in as a metaphor for a trans woman, I couldn't help but read in this viewing that Trinity is a lesbian. She's a lesbian who was told by the oracle that The One would be the man she falls in love with. The Oracle names things as they are in the moment, telling Neo he's not the one. So it makes sense when she saw Trinity that she would refer to him as he sees himself in that moment. But if being The One is also the story of him coming into realizing trans-ness, then it's no longer so strange that a lesbian would fall in love with The One.
Neo discovering himself as The One is the culmination of many things. The battles to get Morpheus back, to fight the agents, but also even Morpheus saying to Neo after he gets rescued, "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path" is a reiteration of the Oracle's statement that he has it in him to be The One, but it seemed he was waiting for something. He has to choose to embrace it, to live it, and he starts down that path at least by the time he faces Agent Smith in the subway tunnel, declares his name is Neo.
But if we imagine for a moment that Neo was aware that Trinity was a lesbian (she strikes me as the type who wouldn't hide it) or even assumed as much, it would make sense he might just assume that like gravity keeps one grounded, her romantic disinterest in him was obvious. But the moment she whispers to him that he has to live because she loves him, one might see how validating, how solidifying, that could be. How he could start a new life.
I think it was the scene where Cypher had her on the phone, revealing his betrayal, that the headcanon solidified. She cares so deeply for these people, and the actor so well manages to convey her despair as her friends begin dying, but she remains so steady and calm on the phone. She has this steel in her and an unwillingness to let Cypher see how much he's breaking her. And he takes a new tact. He taunts her about the prophecy, seeming to mock her for this destined love. It almost seems to say 'do you really even know yourself?' He's questioning her very sense of self because he wants to hurt her for not making herself accessible to him. He wants to punish her for making room for Neo and not him.
(*The spouse pointed out after watching that it struck him in this scene how Cypher is literally on top of Trinity, speaking to her, looking at her, making her his entire focus, whereas to Trinity, Cypher is just a voice on the other end of the phone. To Cypher Trinity takes up so much space, but it's the opposite for Trinity. Just a neat observation. )
In less tangible ways too, there's something about the way Trinity is played and filmed that felt queer coded. That could just be that it was written and directed by queer people though I admit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
To be fair, I will also admit here that I was happy to look for something that made the romance plot more palatable. To be fair to the movie, I do think it's done in a way that feels fairly organic to the plot, like it's saying something. But on the surface, it can feel pretty par for the course cinematically. So I found it enriching to go looking for a way that the romance would be saying something bigger than what other movies use it for, that further added to the metaphor, and this is how I parsed it for myself to make that work, and I felt like sharing in case anyone else would find it enriching too. Okay mostly to explore these thoughts more fully, but hey, if someone else finds this heightens their enjoyment, then hell yeah.
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amsat really doing god’s work introducing children to the culture
if you ever doubt the power of amazing saturday, just remember that a bunch of kids who had never heard of SHINee recognized key as “that guy who guesses lyrics well” and *poof* new shawols were born:
“oh, you’re key!”
“do I look really different in real life XD”
“have you ever seen me sing and dance?”
“yes, when you get a right answer [on amsat]...”
“no, not on amsat ☠️”
*looks at key*
“why’d you glance at me?”
“the person I love the most on amsat is key, and I can’t believe I’m meeting him...”
“all of a sudden?”
“is that why you’re nervous?”
“wait I know him... from amsat?”
“oh, yes, you’re right!”
“oh, SHINee’s back?”
“this is the song that keeps getting played on amsat!”
“oh it’s key!”
*jealous ming* “haeun should have done this with key”
“how’s the song [good evening]?”
*grooving to don’t call me*
“do you like the song?”
“that’s a relief... I’ll send you an album later”
“how was spending today with me?”
“I think it was the best day”
“who do you like most from SHINee?”
“that’s right XD”
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