Fate and free will in the Matrix, fate is non-negotiable as the world is preprogramed. Human actions are predetermined so free will does not exist. When Morpheus offers neo the choice to follow him down the ‘rabbit hole’ or ‘stay in wonderland’ he is offering him the choice between fate and free will. In the scene where Neo first meets the Oracle, there is the possibility of learning what his fate is and his identity. In the final scene, Trinity reveals that she is not afraid to accept her fate in loving Neo; the filmmaker draws attention to the importance of the decision-making, which is at the heart of the fate and free will dichotomy.
In the matrix choice is only an illusion the pathway you chose it has already been encoded. The first scene begins with a bird’s eye view creating the idea that the world is not real that there is someone watching them. The main focus of this key scene is whether or not Neo will chose to be ignorant to the real world and go on living in a fake world, or whether he will chose to take the risk of living in the real world not knowing what lies ahead. The split between the screen when Morpheus is offering up the red and a blue pill to Neo there is an altered view and perception in each of the lens in his glasses.
The reflection reveals how we see the outside world but also importantly how we see ourselves and our own world. When Neo choses the red pill this is a crucial decision because he Is choosing to be a part of reality he is utilising the small amount of free will that he has been given by Morpheus. After Neo has made the choice to be a part of the real world you see in his transformations of the sliver liquid from the mirror that this is symbolic Neo’s illusions exploring that he has entered a new realm of perception and possibilities he is realising that he has a choice the choice of free will.
The filmmaker draws attention to the importance of the scene through creating a barrier like separation between Neo and Morpheus. Gradually the distance between them is reduced until the pills are offered. There is a close up of the hands. This is symbolic of the fact that everyone has the individual responsibility to have a choice between the real world and an artificial world. This key scene early in the film sets up the tension between fate and free will, which is further explored, in the key scene between Neo and the Oracle.
In this scene between Neo and the Oracle the focus is on whether knowing your fate determines your choices. This is clearly shown when Neo breaks a vase and the oracle says ‘what’s really going to bake your noodle later is would you still have broken it if I hadn’t told you about it’. The oracle is traditionally someone who is able to predict the future, in the film she is presented unexpectedly human and motherly and as a guide: ‘take a cookie’ she says. Neo has gone to see her expecting answers and predictions.
She offers rather mystery and unsettling projections. She prophesises the death of either Neo or Morpheus. The camera is close up to the oracles face a lot showing that she has nothing to hide from Neo. The oracle is condescending telling Neo what he believes that ‘’you don’t believe in any of this fate crap you’re in control of your own life’ but it isn’t fate that is signally choosing his own path that free will and fate and incorporated together for neo he makes his own decisions regardless of what if fated.
In the concluding powerful scene of the movie Trinity faces her own fate. The oracle has told trinity that she ‘will fall in love and that man would be the one’ this prediction is used tellingly in the dramatic scene where neo is lying dead. Trinity never loses hope in Neo because of the power of her love. The filmmaker uses extreme close ups and flickering bright lights on Neo and Trinity’s faces to show the intensity of the situation.
The flickering light is also symbolic of the inner enlightenment that Trinity feels when she says ‘I’m not afraid anymore’ because she makes the decision to love Neo consciously not because it was fated, utilising the free will. Trinities kiss brings Neo back to life as the One, through both of the characters accepting their fate and making the decision that they would not let fate control their decisions they make the conscious decision to chose their own path whether it is fated or not. Neo becomes the One in this scene because he is ready to be the One.
The films exploration of fate and free will is in-depth and is explored in complexity through Neo Morpheus, Trinity and the oracle acts as a catalyst to the future, the filmmaker is showing that the matrix being an artificial world is much less satisfactory then the real world where people make decisions regardless of what’s fated hard decisions and love concurs all. The oracle acts as a director in guiding Neo, Trinity and Morpheus to their fates, and together they productively shape the future. When living in the matrix choice and free will is simply an illusion and through choosing the real world free will can be achieved.