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I got this strange movie from a friend lately. It’s black-and-white and silent, although I don’t think it’s supposed to be that way. I watched it and skipped through some of the scenes, but I’m sure that if you’ve seen it, you’ll recognize it by some highlights. Anyway, I can’t quite figure out what was happening there, so maybe you can help.

This is a movie about a peculiar guy. It starts with a protagonist being killed but afterward quickly revived. You know movies these days, they just can’t kill off an enjoyable character at the end, otherwise, the audience will tear them to shreds in the reviews… But why should I care about this particular character's death at the beginning of the movie? After all, I’ve only seen him for a couple of minutes.

Now there’s a separation scene. The protagonist holds another guy most firmly and dearly. They separate, the protagonist flies away, and another man stays in chains. Our protagonist probably decided to pursue a construction worker career, because, in the next scene, he’s able to renovate a nearly demolished interior. And he’s not at it alone, something tells me that a team of three helps him… Whatever that means.

Okay, this gets a little boring, lots of dialogs that I can’t hear, so I think I’ll just do a fast-forward… Now the protagonist is beating the hell out of a guy. At the end it looks like he is not very happy about it, maybe he broke some bushido code or something. Seems like he now asks to restrain him or make him forget how to inflict damage so that he never ever does that again. The wish is granted, and he’s no longer able to harm people. Serves him well.

And looks like it worked too because now the same two guys seem to have a calm conversation. The vis-a-vis asks to return something. He shows an object as a sample, like, "I want another one of these". Oh, wait, actually he wants an object from a pair which looks exactly the same… Luckily, the protagonist has it and willingly gives it back. Now the vis-a-vis has the full set, I hope this makes him happy.

Hey, the protagonist no longer harms people, and he gave away what he took, so why are they dumping him in the sewers? Oh, I see, he’s using the tubes to secretly get to his home and then succumb to sleep for a long, long time. Something tells me that someone also cast a sleeping spell on him.

And a good one at that, because the protagonist actually seems to have overslept: he’s quietly breaking into the office through the window and trying to secretly sneak to his desk. Something tells me that the guy is new here. Maybe he doesn’t want to violate his probation period rules? Looks like no one has noticed, phew! At the end of the day, the guy comes home, chats with his new friends on the Internet and goes to sleep. I like happy-ends!

Hold on, there’s an after credits scene! Wait, a woman in the headlights? Okay, I don’t think I’d miss something important if I skip this. Who watches these after credits scenes, anyway?

That sums it up. Maybe you can help me figure out what was going on in this movie?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know why, but the way this is described reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho. Probably wrong, but that's why this is a comment. $\endgroup$ – Joe-You-Know Jun 13 '18 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ "The protagonist holds another guy most firmly and dearly. They separate, the protagonist flies away, and another man stays in chains." Is "another guy" in the second sentence the same as "another guy" in the first? $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation Jun 14 '18 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Acccumulation yep $\endgroup$ – Sergei Petunin Jun 14 '18 at 1:29
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I think you are describing

The Matrix

but

you were watching it backwards.

To elaborate a bit:

It's silent because otherwise the backward sound would be a giveaway. (Not quite sure why it's black and white; The Matrix isn't actually in black and white, though some bits use a deliberately desaturated and oddly tinted colour palette.) Many of the scenes are described in reverse; e.g., no, Neo is not redecorating that interior, he's shooting it up.

I might as well explain (more or less) everything -- so if you've read the above and want to figure out the details for yourself, don't read on.

This is a movie about a peculiar guy.

His. name. is. Neo.

It starts with a protagonist being killed but afterward quickly revived.

Not literally the end of the movie, but close. Of course alive-dead-alive reverses to alive-dead-alive.

Now there’s a separation scene. The protagonist holds another guy most firmly and dearly. They separate, the protagonist flies away, and another man stays in chains.

The other guy is Morpheus, chained to a chair and guarded by Agents.

Our protagonist probably decided to pursue a construction worker career, because, in the next scene, he’s able to renovate a nearly demolished interior.

Played forwards, of course this scene shows him and his accomplice shooting up the building. Lots of atmospheric slow-motion shooting; curious that our viewer didn't notice all the bullets flying slowly backwards.

And he’s not at it alone, something tells me that a team of three helps him… Whatever that means.

That would be ... a Trinity.

Now the protagonist is beating the hell out of a guy. At the end it looks like he is not very happy about it, maybe he broke some bushido code or something.

Training with Morpheus. "I know kung fu."

Seems like he now asks to restrain him or make him forget how to inflict damage so that he never ever does that again. The wish is granted, and he’s no longer able to harm people.

Before using the magic training tape.

The vis-a-vis asks to return something. He shows an object as a sample, like, "I want another one of these". Oh, wait, actually he wants an object from a pair which looks exactly the same…

Ah, that's why the movie is in black and white. Red and blue pills.

Hey, the protagonist no longer harms people, and he gave away what he took, so why are they dumping him in the sewers? Oh, I see, he’s using the tubes to secretly get to his home and then succumb to sleep for a long, long time. Something tells me that someone also cast a sleeping spell on him.

The scene after Neo's interview with Agent Smith.

And a good one at that, because the protagonist actually seems to have overslept: he’s quietly breaking into the office through the window and trying to secretly sneak to his desk.

Trying to escape the office, guided by advice over the oh-so-modern flip phone by Morpheus.

Hold on, there’s an after credits scene! Wait, a woman in the headlights?

It's OK, she got out.

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    $\begingroup$ +1, this seems to fit well. I reckon the black and white thing is a nod to the movie Memento; the scenes telling the story backwards are in colour but those progressing forwards are in black and white. It may be that that's the hint. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 13 '18 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, could be. I haven't seen Memento. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 14 '18 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I think there's another reason: it enables two famously not-quite equivalent objects to be portrayed as equivalent. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 14 '18 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ Well, that was quick! There are some more hints on the characters names in the text, but otherwise you’re 100% accurate. $\endgroup$ – Sergei Petunin Jun 14 '18 at 1:28

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