You will be writing an analysis of a movie based on some of the interpersonal communication concepts we have learned in class. You will choose a movie from the following list of movies below or a movie of your choice (just be sure to run it past me first). Your task is to thoroughly analyze the film and look for prevalent interpersonal concepts. In your paper, you will define and explain the concepts and then provide a detailed description of the example found in the movie. Your analysis might include relationship dynamics, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, listening, and conflict.
Since you are filtering through large amounts of information, it would be helpful for you to view your film more than once, and taking good notes will be essential. You will not be able to write about everything-so using your notes, choose elements you find most important to the film and the concept or concepts. Organize your essay in a way that best highlights your information.
Be sure to include background information on the film to begin your paper. Then summarize the film as briefly as you can. These items should be about one page. The rest should be analysis and examples.
The Matrix is a science fiction movie which was released in the year 1999. The Wachowski Brothers wrote and directed the film. The cast of the film consists of Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving. The movie shows a dystopian or frightening future where the reality which is perceived my most people is in actual a stimulated reality which is known as the Matrix. The Matrix was created by the living machines who wanted to overpower the human race while they use their bodies’ electricity and heat as the source of energy. Bullet time is a visual effect which was made popular in the movie (Akechi et al., 2014). The film has been awarded four Academy awards along with many other awards. The movie has also appeared in the list of films which were science fictions and was added for preservation to the National Film Registry in the year 2012.
The movie begins with the shot of a computer screen which indicates that a phone call is being traced as voices can be overheard discussing on whether they were able to find The One. A woman, Trinity, played by Carrie-Anne Moss is cornered by police in a motel where she overpowers them with her superhuman skills. A group of superhuman Agents arrive at the scene and lead the police in a rooftop chase to try and catch Trinity. Trinity reaches a phone booth where she answers the phone and vanishes. Thomas Anderson who is a computer programmer lives a double role of a hacker, Neo played by Keanu Reeves. He becomes confused with a cryptic phrase, the Matrix, which he encounters online repeatedly. Trinity contacts Neo and says that a man named Morpheus can provide him the meaning of the phrase. The Agents capture Neo and threaten him to help them catch Morpheus. Despite that Neo meets Morpheus, who in turn offers him two pills a red one which can show him the truth and a blue one which can return him to his previous self. Neo takes the red bill and disintegrates and wakes up weak, naked and hairless. He is rescued by Morpheus by his hovercraft which was called the Nebuchadnezzar. As Neo recovers, Morpheus tells him the truth about how the living machines declared war against the human population. The Matrix is a shared imitation of the world, where the harvested humans’ minds have been trapped. The last refugee world, Zion, is inhabited by the free humans. Neo and Trinity along with Morpheus and his crew enters the Matrix to pay a visit to the Oracle, who is a prophet who had predicted the existence of the One. She says that Neo is not the one and warns him that soon he will have to make a choice between Morpheus and his own life. While leaving the Matrix the group is attacked by agents and the tactical police because of the betrayal of a crew member named Cypher. Morpheus gets himself captured by the Agents so that Neo could escape with the rest of his crew. Cyphers exists the Matrix and kills several defenceless crew members. While attempting to disconnect the tanks of Neo and Trinity, he is killed by Tank, another crew member whom Cypher had left to die. The Agents questions Morpheus in the matrix to gain access to the codes to the mainframe computer in Zion. Tank proposes killing Morpheus so that this could be prevented, however, Neo decided to return to the Matrix and rescue Morpheus. Trinity accompanies him and while rescuing Morpheus, Neo regains confidence over his abilities. Trinity and Morpheus exits the Matrix but Neo gets killed by Smith before he can get a chance to leave. In the real world, Nebuchadnezzar is attacked by machines known as Sentinels. Trinity’s loves awakes Neo and he defeats Smith and leaves the Matrix just when the electromagnetic pulse weapons of the ship is disabled and attacks the Sentinels.
Background of The Matrix
There are various interpersonal communication concepts that have been used in this movie. Firstly, relationship dynamics means the relationships that exists within different people. It is the likings and disliking that people have towards each other and in different relationships (Palmatier et al., 2013). There can be different kinds of dynamics between different people. It can be about power and control. It can also be about liking and disliking. It can be about respect towards one another. The main point of relationship dynamics is that people form different kinds of bond in various kinds of relationships and it can be of different values. In the movie the Matrix there are different kinds of relationship dynamics. However, the most two important relationships is that of Neo and Trinity which is a relationship of liking and love. Both of them like each other and at the end of the movie we can clearly understand their love when Trinity is able to awake Neo from his death by kissing him and telling him that she loves him. The second relationship is that of Neo and Morpheus which is a relation of respect and that of a teacher and student. Neo treats Morpheus as his teacher and listens to every advice he has to offer. This relation is understood more prominently when Neo risks his life to rescue Morpheus from the Matrix without thinking about his own safety. Secondly, verbal communication means the kind of communication which is done through words. This is the most common type of communication which is done by people all over the world (Huczynski, Buchanan & Huczynski, 2013). The whole movie is mostly based on verbal communication. The characters speak to each other to convey their feelings whether positive or negative. The communication between Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, Smith and all the other characters are all examples of verbal communication in the movie. For example when Morpheus tells about the reality and the Matrix to Neo he was verbally communicating with Neo regarding the truth that existed and prevailed. Thirdly, non-verbal communication meant communicating without the use of words. This kind of communication could mean that people are communicating with each other with the use of body language, facial expressions, eye contact, touch, posture, use of space and so on (Mehrabian, 2017). This type of communication is very hard to portray and even harder to understand but it is done when words are no longer needed to express one’s feelings. In the movie the Matrix, there were many non-verbal communication used between different characters. For instance, the respect and loyalty that Neo had towards Morpheus need not be explained or expressed through words. It could be clearly understood from the actions and the unquestioning ways that Neo supported Morpheus. It could even be understood when Neo did not think once about the risk that he was taking on his life when he went into the Matrix to rescue Morpheus from the clutches of the Agents. There is also Trinity whose actions have always made it clear that she was in love with neo and would do anything to protect him from any harm. This was maintained till the end when she used words to describe her feelings towards Neo. Fourthly, listening meant to understand pay attention to everything that others told them but only to listen and keep in mind the important ones which would be helpful in the long run. Listening not just meant to simply hear each word that the speaker said, it also meant that the listener will apply the words into actions so that something comes out of it (Hayes, 2013). Listening is a step towards learning and a good listener will be able to learn new things if he listens to the worlds of the right person. In the same way the listener will embark on a bad path if he or she listens to the wrong person. In the movie the matrix, Neo listens to every advice that Morpheus gave him and followed it without questioning him about anything. For example, in the first training sessions Neo is given the task to jump from one huge skyscraper to another. His mentor Morpheus completes the task with ease and advices Neo to clear his mind. Even though Neo is not able to compete his task but he keeps his mentor’s advice in his mind and uses it later on in the movie. Lastly conflict means a disagreement or a kind of argument that is present between different parties which can lead to be very serious or harmful with the change in time (Van der Vliert, 2013). The main conflict that is present in the movie the Matrix is the idea of free will which is not given to certain beings. The machines have enslaved the human race with the vision to eradicate them from the face of the earth. The humans were not given free will to exist in their own world. In the whole movie, the concept of free will is what creates grave problems as this was not a reality in the world.
Hence, it can be said that the movie used interpersonal communications to a great deal and to convey different messages to different people. Not just verbal communication, all other types of communication such as non-verbal, listening, and conflicts were used to prove that not just one kind of communication is needed to explain the different feelings of the people. The whole film has depended on the birder of reality and illusion and have showed the different dynamics that the different characters had with each other. The movie, like every other, also showed in the end that good always prevailed over the evil and no amount of evil can eradicate the good deeds from the face of the world.
Akechi, N., Kitahara, I., Sakamoto, R., & Ohta, Y. (2014, November). Multi-resolution bullet-time effect. In SIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Posters (p. 30). ACM.
Hayes, J. (2013). Interpersonal Skills: Goal directed behaviour at work. Routledge.
Huczynski, A., Buchanan, D. A., & Huczynski, A. A. (2013). Organizational behaviour (p. 82). London: Pearson.
Mehrabian, A. (2017). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.
Palmatier, R. W., Houston, M. B., Dant, R. P., & Grewal, D. (2013). Relationship velocity: toward a theory of relationship dynamics. Journal of Marketing, 77(1), 13-30.
Van der Vliert, E. (2013). Complex interpersonal conflict behaviour: Theoretical frontiers. Psychology Press.