Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Must We Pursue our Desire? (Brazil, 1985; The Matrix, 1999)

84. Brazil (1985)

Sam is a low paid but expert bureaucrat who has a very specific woman in his dreams, drawing him to a utopia.  He accomplish his tasks with the utmost skill until he actually meets the woman he sees in his dream.  From that point on, he gives up on his life and pursues his dream, despite the objections of all the knows, the woman herself and the opposition of the entire system. 

Imagination and love is all well and good, but is that worth trading in an existence in the real world?  In The Matrix, Neo trades in a false life for a harsher real one.  In Brazil, Sam makes the opposite decision—he would rather live in a glorious, unreal dream than to live in the harsh, stupid real world.  Who is to say which is the better choice?

In the end, does not the choice between the red and blue pills depend on our own deepest, heartfelt, intimate desires?  Will we not, in the end, pursue our desire, wherever it leads us?  And even though Neo chose reality and Sam chose fantasy, didn’t they each make the same choice: to pursue their true selves?

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