I admit that I’ve never watched the first movie all the way through, because I just don’t get it. Oh, I understand the central conceit; I mean that, having watched the first 45 minutes or so, I simply wasnt interested in what happened to the characters and saw no reason to think that Morpheus & company were any less villainous than the machines. But anyway…
Neo goes to see the Oracle to determine whether he is the One. The Oracles tells him he’s not–no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Later Neo discovers that he is, in fact, the One.
Why would he ever listen to her again in the subsequent movies?
I always took it as meaning “No, you are not, YET.” and the corollary, “There is something you must do before you become.” And indeed, he wasn’t. The One must be strong and confident, and he was wishy-washy and hesitant.
And you didn’t watch it, so what do you know? Not being rude, just truthful. Everything else she says does indeed come true.
ETA: I should point out I did like the movie, and even the sequels. It doesn’t have to be deep every time. It was entertaining and food for thought. If you accept the central premise, you can build on that…anyway, I don’t really look to my movies for logic, just entertainment.
Man, Skald, we should NEVER watch movies together. We disagree on everything. Is there any movie we both love?
From the little I understand of Matrix analysis, the options are:
The Oracle knew Neo wasn’t the one, but knew he had the most potential to be the one, and knew how how to balance the “equation” so that he was (they made a big deal in the later movies where the Architect “balanced” the equation of the Matrix and the Oracle “unbalanced” it, so she may have been pulling some strings).
Neo WAS the one, but telling him at that time would either lead to Neo not being the one (basically the inverse of 1) or get him killed/prevent certain events from occurring that were necessary for the end of the Matrix to occur.
As far as she knew, he wasn’t at the TIME. She told him honestly, but it was only the way things were, he eventually became it. Basically 1 without a plan behind it.
Neo isn’t the one, this one is a favorite of “alternative” theories people, the ideas range from of a minor character really being the trigger even though Neo does all the stuff (bad example, but the only one I can think of, Trinity was “the One” because she drove Neo to do all the crazy heroics), him actually failing and the ending we see is false or a “fantasy”, or there being a Matrix within a Matrix and Neo was just living out a fantasy and the REAL one who would destroy the higher level Matrix had yet to come to her. So… yeah.
think about the scene with the Oracle & Neo… esp. the part where she says: don’t worry about breaking the vase. He says “What vase?” He turns around and knocks it over.
Neo asks “How did you know I was going to do that?” and the Oracle says “What’s really going to bake your noodle later on is wondering would you have knocked it over if I hadn’t said anything?”
She also says “Being the one is kind of like being in love… you just know, you don’t have to ask.”
Neo had to, of his own volition, come to his own personal conviction of his divinity. If she’d said “Yes, you’re the One”, he’d continue to be cynical about it because she was just saying what everyone else had been telling him. Instead she leaves him to be cynical.
So when he starts seeing little unexplainable feats not bound by the laws of physics, like walking on water and feeding hundreds with a couple of fish and loaves of bread (errr dodging bullets), it’s because he accepted his divinity. But he had to make the choice of his own accord.
Never mind Neo – why should she have any credibility with me, the viewer? I can suspend my disbelief for the sake of the hackneyed premise, and ignore the nonsense about human batteries – but then they want me to accept all this mystical prophecy stuff and “the One” bullshit?
I think you need to pay a little closer attention to what is actually said in the movie. The Oracle doesn’t tell Neo he isn’t the one – Neo says it. She replies “Sorry kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something” which may imply that he isn’t, but her response is truthful.
Neo begins to doubt the Oracle later because he correctly deduces that she is another program from the machine world, not because she is wrong in her predictions. In fact, she impressively gets everything right during their meeting:
[li]Neo won’t sit down[/li][li]The Vase[/li][li]Morpheus will sacrifice himself to save Neo[/li][li]Neo or Morpheus will die, the choice is Neo’s[/li][/ul]
If you notice her statement about the vase, you can see how she is hinting about not telling him directly that he is the one.
Baldwin, in the 2nd movie the Architect mentions this is the 6th iteration of the integral anomaly (The One aka Neo). Thus, it might be easier to foretell events if it has all happened before in basically the same manner 5 different times.
My thinking is that Neo is not The One. He is the anomaly that happens to pop up each time they remake the matrix. He is part of the overall program as is the Architect and the Oracle.
I took The One to mean the one that will change everything and the one that does that is the new program created by two sub-programs. The One is that little girl that the couple is trying to sneak through on the underground train station and who at the very end of movie three is sitting on the bench in the park with the Oracle and there is a rainbow in the sky behind them.
She is The New. She was not created with the original program and thus not part of its design. She is The One who will bring change to the original program.
Neo, although an anomaly and the sixth incarnation of the anamaly, was a part of the original program from the beginning.
The Oracle doesn’t tell Neo he is or isn’t The One. The exchange goes like this:
Oracle: OK, now I’m supposed to say, “Hmm, that’s interesting, but…” then you say…
Neo: …“but what?”
Oracle: But… you already know what I’m going to tell you.
Neo: **I’m not The One. **
Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something.
Oracle: Your next life, maybe. Who knows? That’s the way these things go.
So I read this as he can be the one as soon as he decides to be.
Also, in the third movie, Neo specifically asks The Oracle if she is a program, how can he trust anything she says:
Neo: I suppose the most obvious question is, how can I trust you?
The Oracle: Bingo. It is a pickle. No doubt about it. The bad news is there’s no way if you can really know whether I’m here to help you or not, so it’s really up to you. You just have to make up you on damned mind to either accept what I’m going to tell you, or reject it.
Also, I don’t buy the “humans as battaries” thing. I mean there are obviously much better ways to get power - nuclear, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc (not solar though) - and it may be a nice biproduct, but the machines IIRC never really state that they are storing humans as a power source. Trinity and Morpheus tell us that and they plainly know jack shit. Plus you don’t need to keep humans in some sort of Matrix simulation either. Humans keep perfectly nicely in a vegetative state.
I always suspected that the machines keep the humans in The Matrix in a sort of iRobot “protect them from themselves” kind of way.
I was going to mention this line, because the whole point was that we, the viewer are intended to believe that she told him that he wasn’t. It was Neo who said he wasn’t, and she never exactly confirmed what he said and, in hindsight, it really looks like she’s saying the opposite. To add to that, remember the conversation he had with Morpheus prior to being unplugged in which he mentioned he didn’t believe in fate; that is the part of his character that is important when analyzing that discussion. He didn’t believe Morpheus or anyone else because they were telling him he was the One and it was his fate and all that. He needs to see the evidence first hand.
So, if she had come out and said “Yes, you’re the One!” he wouldn’t have believed her and never would have done what he needed to do to develop the abilities of the One. However, by her allowing him to believe what he wanted to believe and thinking that Morpheus’s life was more meaningful, he went back into the Matrix and was able to get the evidence he needed.
I think it comes full circle because it’s clear that there are other people who have the gift, like all of the children in the Oracle’s apartment, and what she says is true, he clearly has the gift, and he wasn’t the One YET, but once he took advantage of the gift to remake the Matrix, that’s when he became the One and it was the proof that he had the gift that he was waiting for.
The One is the anomaly that keeps things “in balance”. Basically Zeon is the cumulation of the “half-penny” rounding errors (people who didn’t take to the Matrix). The little girl and some other programss are just sort of emergent behavior not originally designed in the code. Normally “The One” returns to The Matrix or something and a select group of humans rebuilds Zeon once it’s destroyed. The big difference this time was Smith broke loose and went crazy threatening to destroy everything.
My take is that in order to become The One, he has to believe he isn’t the one - if for no other reason than *that’s just the way it’s meant to come about, as foreseen-ordained by the Oracle. (like the broken vase, but on a grander scale)
Morpheus clearly knows about the workings of predestination and foreknowledge right from the start, as he tells Neo to keep it to himself as soon as he comes out from seeing the Oracle.
The sequels are completely unnecessary, frivolous embellishments on what - for better or worse - is a self-contained and self-sufficient first movie. The first movie - for better or worse - tells a story and makes some kind of sense. The sequels are almost-random assortments of stuff the producers thought it would be cool to throw in.