In the 1999 movie The Matrix, what color is the pill that Neo decides to take?
And the answer: red.
In the movie, the leader Morpheus gives Neo a choice between a red pill and a blue pill. If he takes the red pill, he'll see the world as it really is, but if he takes the blue pill, he'll live in blissful ignorance. Neo chooses the red pill, and that's when things get weird.
Though technically classified as an action film, The Matrix (1999) did more than just involve the audience in intense fight scenes – the Wachowski sisters created a fictional reality that has persevered in its eerily modern portrayals of powerful technology. Not unlike a modern-day version of Plato's allegory of the cave, The Matrix presents a future in which "reality" perceived by humans is actually a manipulated reality controlled by non-human, sentient machines. In order to pacify the human race, the sentient machines draw from human body power to present an alternate version of reality. Computer hacker Neo soon discovers the shocking truth: the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.
By using ground-breaking special effects and dealing in profound moral issues, The Matrix was an instant hit. Audiences were entranced by the quandary between a "red pill" and "blue pill" – forcing reflection on their own quickly-modernizing society overrun with the ability to access information. Beyond that, The Matrix's attention to detail, martial arts training that allowed actors to perform their own stunts, and filmmaking techniques lead to its success "on whatever level you want to bring to it," as author William Gibson states.
What do you think? Would you take the red pill of knowledge, or the blue pill of blissful ignorance (or skip the whole thing altogether)?
Check out the film's 2013 trailer below.