If we can’t take a pill or jump through a multiverse, what to do?
For a halfway house as a conclusion to the realities of hyper individualism of the movie’s theme, think of Disney’s “Jungle Book” and Baloo and the simple observation that the ‘bare necessities of life will set you free’ (Buddhist simplicity gained through suffering). So, in a way, you can use this as a refuge when the far greater journey of pursuing a purpose to one’s life, if one has the agency, (though as depicted in the film not many do) to follow the instruction/take the red pill. If you can recognise an unbound contentment free from the need for appreciation and recognition by your peers, then I would say you would recognise the simple conclusion of the film. Being free of such status stress reveals the pointless vanity of the pursuit of status, like chasing the wind (Book of Ecclesiastes 1: 14).
This ultimately led the protagonist to a point of less than a perfect acceptance of others, seeing difference not as a threat, but as an alternative that may, if followed, have better outcomes. A realisation that all have the baggage of life to contend with and thus choose to empathise rather then go on the attack. Less Dragon Mother more Enlightened Pilgrim willing to listen, learn and be open to the world that she is passing through, as should we all.
Capra, F. (1946). It’s a Wonderful Life [Motion Picture]. USA: RKO Radio Pictures.
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Kaufman, C. (2008). Synecdoche, New York [Motion Picture]. USA: Sony Pictures Classics.
Laughton, C. (1955). The Night of the Hunter [Motion Picture]. USA: United Artists.
Lumet, S. (1957). 12 Angry Men [Motion Picture]. USA: United Artists
Schrödinger, E. (1935). Discussion of probability relations between separated systems. Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 31(4), 555-563.
Wachowski, L., & Wachowski, A. (1999). The Matrix [Motion Picture]. USA: Warner Bros.