Pattern variation III


The repetition of patterns takes place on all levels in Matrix, from the micro- to the macrostructure.  If one abstracts from individual scenes and focusses on the structure of entire films, then it becomes clear that the entire story of the whole trilogy revolves around two central motifs:

1.)    Penetration into the enemy’s centre
2.)    Liberation / taking a person hostage for this purpose

First a simplified summary in a table:

The plot of Matrix contains twice the motif of taking prisoner followed by liberation:

     1. Neo becomes a prisoner, is liberated and then freed from the Matrix
     2. Morpheus (the owner of the key) is taken prisoner and then liberated

The same motifs occur just as often again in the two sequels:

     1. Neo becomes a prisoner and is then freed from an intermediate world
     2. The keymaker is taken prisoner and then freed


The motif of penetrating into the (local) centre of the enemy occurs three times in Matrix:

     1. The machines want to penetrate into the central computer of Zion
     2. Neo penetrates into the government building
     3. The guards penetrate into Nebukadnezar

Again, the sequels contain the same motifs the same number of times.

     1. The humans want to penetrate into the central computer of the machines
     2. Neo penetrates into the city of the machines
     3. The guards penetrate into Zion


Direct penetration into the enemy is an individualised form of penetration into the centre of the enemy:

Smith questions Neo …
Smith “questions” Neo …

◄ … he then successfully penetrates Neo with a bug.
► …he then unsuccessfully tries to penetrate Neo.


◄ Smith questions Morpheus and tries to penetrate his intellect …
► Smith fights with Neo and Morpheus and tries to penetrate into Morpheus ...

[Translate to English:] ◄ & ► … Neo rettet Morpheus und verhindert Smith Vorhaben.


◄ Neo penetrates Smith …
► Smith penetrates Neo …

◄ & ► … Smith is destroyed from within.



Always with the same yet different elements, Matrix always tells the same and yet different story.  This statement is true on the plane of individual scenes and complete films.

What stands out is that Matrix already shows what happens in Reloaded and Revolutions.  From the point of view of the substructure, Matrix, Reloaded and Revolutions are not three indpendent parts of a trilogy.  The sequels are united by the fact that they together – seen as a unit – vary the plot elements of the first film.  The fact that the sequels, seen as a unit, repeat the first film, is one characteristic of the overarching structure of the trilogy.  “The Matrix – Reloaded” even has this property in the title:  The sequels are Matrix, but reloaded, in the form of a more detailed reinterpretation which involves permanent changes of planes – as an upgrade.


Matrix deconstructed - On keys to be freed and opposing centres