You are offered a red pill and a blue pill. You are told that if you take the blue pill you will wake-up and remember nothing about what has just happened, if you take the red pill however, your life will change forever and that you will discover reality. Are you bold enough to take the red pill?
Having become aware of something called the Matrix through his illegitimate activities as a computer hacker, Thomas Anderson, under his computer hacker’s name of ‘Neo’ was finally contacted by Morpheus someone Anderson had himself been seeking assuming that Morpheus was the one person who would be able to tell him what the Matrix was.
Morpheus’ drive to find Neo is based on the fact that he believes that Neo is ‘the One’, is it coincidence that NEO is an anagram of the word ‘One’. The ‘One’ who will be able to bring an end to the war between man and machines, a war that has seen mankind unknowingly enslaved to be nothing more than mere batteries to supply energy to machines.
Neo was brave enough to swallow the red pill and found himself awakened and freed from his neurological bonding to the Matrix, a gigantic computer system simulating the world as we know it and providing those who ‘live’ in the Matrix with the illusion of touch, sight, sound, smell – everything they have around them.
Those inside the Matrix have no idea that it’s nothing more than an illusion, nor do they have any idea that there is a rebellion being waged by the few survivors of mankind who live in the reality of Zion outside of the world of make believe that is the Matrix. Morpheus is one of these rebels and they can operate inside of the Matrix by reconnecting themselves neurologically. Inside the Matrix they can operate with superhuman powers but they are continuously chased by the Agents; intelligent programs who enter the Matrix in-order to protect it from the rebels and who possess almost boundless power. The Agents, led by Agent Smith appear as humans dressed in a highly stylised FBI Agent fashion (think Men in Black) and as they are linked directly into the Matrix itself, Agents can transform and take over any human form.
Awakening to the truth of what has happened to mankind, Neo joins the rebels and with Trinity and Morpheus as continual companions they embark on a number of adventures that result inevitably in the destruction of the Agents and freeing of mankind.
The Matrix movies make great cinema. But are you brave enough to swallow the red pill and adopt a Matrix movie theme for your next costume party? I’ve just had a thought (oh, the pain), bowls of red and blue candy (Smarties) would be a good twist, better if you offer them to your guests as they arrive – hopefully all in costume they should take the red ones.
OK, some simple rules, wearing a costume doesn’t mean you can lead tall buildings (hang on that’s Superman) and more importantly it doesn’t mean that you can get involved in some highly stylised martial arts without getting hurt and as for dodging bullets forget it. BUT a few tricks can appear to make some of this possible.
Dodging bullets: Well, OK a picture of you appearing to stop the bullets. There is a fantastic scene towards the end of the original Matrix movie where Neo in discovering his true powers simply stops the bullets from hitting him by holding up his hand. A reasonable fun shot would be to buy a plastic bullet belt with removable bullets, superglue very fine clear fishing line to the bullets – say 8-12 to fill the shot, attach the fishing line to a square piece of card that can be fixed to the ceiling and adjust the layout of the bullets to look clustered and group facing the spot where ‘Neo’ will be. In the film the shot was set in a hallway so close to a wall would be good.
Some experimentation with the lighting will be required in order to make the bullets visible. The set is ready. Your guests dressed as Neo, simply assume the position with hand outstretched palm pointed to the bullets. When you’ve captured the image download it onto your computer ‘remove’ any fine lines left by the fishing line and input some ripple effects around each bullet to give the right appearance. What a memento to send your guests after the party. And of course this works equally well for all of the agents and hey why not for Trinity, Morpheus.
Any guests who come in costume as the Twins could have a series of frames in movement as they process the power of speed in movement almost instantly changing position in the Matrix. Having taken the shots, layer them, ghosting them through time (oldest has most ghosting) giving the appearance of rapid movement.
For the costumes themselves, most on-line retailers have a selection of fully licensed Matrix fancy dress costumes from the stunning full length flowing coat worn by Neo through to the very sexy black PVC/leather coat worn by Trinity. Clearly these are the main characters but Morpheus and the Twins are also available as are all of the stylised sunglasses favoured by most of the characters.
For any Agent, including Agent Smith, a black suit, white shirt, black tie and black shoes complete with accessories of shoulder holster, semi-automatic pistol and obligatory sunglasses should do the trick. And this is a perfect costume for anyone who doesn’t really like the idea of dressing up as its simple and taking off the glasses makes you look like any other human in the Matrix.
In the main, the main characters inside the Matrix; Neo, Trinity and the Agents all had slicked back hair and therefore a degree of time with the hair gel will be required. To complete the look for the Twins, there are long dreadlocked wigs available – clearly a number of couples costume themes exist here; Neo and Trinity; the Twins and any number of Agents.