Site Columns By Caillan
February 11, 2002 - 10:56 AM

Hello World!

'The Matrix' was on television last night, and never having seen it I sat down to watch. I don't know quite what I was expecting, but it was different from what I thought it would be. For one, although it had a nominally happy ending, it wasn't really. These people are still stuck in a horrible future ruled by machines, and all those in the Matrix are living lives that don't really exist. It got me thinking, which would I prefer - to fight or to live in blissful ignorance?

The film 'Dark City' has a similar theme - none of the humans know they're being experimented on, and if they're content with their lives, why bother to interfere? Of course, that film has an ending that may appear happy, but isn't really in my view. A truly happy ending would have Murdoch and his 'wife' escaping back to Earth. Instead, we have to settle for them still being stuck on the city floating in space. I found it quite depressing, but still, I like it that way. There's something attractive about a film that doesn't need to take things any further than necessary.

Take 'The Truman Show' - in the original draft Truman got into the studio backlots and held Christof over a ledge by his neck. Do we really need to see that? No, and the story wisely ended when Truman left. It gives the viewer a sense of completion, but also room to imagine what can happen afterwards.

Getting back to 'The Matrix,' I liked the way that all of humanity wasn't freed in a glorious revolution or anything like that. There was a happy ending for our heroes, but that's only for the moment. Now, that doesn't mean that movies shouldn't have definitive endings - but it's often nice to ponder what the future may hold for the characters.

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