#19 Cypher



Year: 2002

Director: Vicenzo Natali

Screenplay: Brian King

“Cypher” is one of my favorite movies from a very cool Director, Vicenzo Natali. You probably know him from Cube (the first), Splice or Neuromancer. He’s one of my favorite Directors, I’l soon write something about another of his movies: “Nothing”, which I found very creative! I’ve seen “Cypher” a million times and this last time I though to myself: “Man, I wish I could feel the same sensation I felt the first time I saw this! I now know everything that’s going to happen, I need more movies that can give me that feeling of astonishment!” Yet, I watch the movie every now and then, it’s one of those movies that makes me feel good, don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it, but there are some movies I see quite often because I feel I need to. I even might see the same movie like 3 or 4 days in a row… It might sound crazy, but it’s true.

Anyway, another thing I wanted to try here was talking about the movies without spoiling them, but I find it very hard. On one hand, I want to comment the scenes, the concept, the characters, wtv. On the other hand, I want to make people see the movies I talk about and think about them, so how am I suppose to comment a movie without talking about its’ scenes?

Anyway, “Cypher” is a movie that will make you look at the screen with your eyes wide open. The story is relatively simple, if you pay attention – it’s one of those movies you just can’t miss 5 seconds or you won’t get what’s next. It’s a thing within a thing, within a thing! And you’ll be like: “AAAWWWW!! No WAY!! What The Hell!!”

Let’s spoil: it’s about a man, this guy Morgan Sullivan, who’s being hired by a company, Digicorp, to be a spy. But in reality, this company is brainwashing their “spies” so that they infiltrate another company, Sunway Systems and steal data from them. Morgan Sullivan is intercepted by a woman, Rita Foster, who helps him to stop the brainwashing and arrive to Sunway Systems as Morgan Sullivan, not as Jack Thursby, the identity Digicorp was trying to instill in him.  Sunway Systems’ boss asks Morgan to continue acting as Jack Thursby and give corrupted data to Digicorp. Both enterprises dispose their workers after they complete the tasks they were given. Rita Foster eventually tells Morgan he is, in reality, a man contracted by her own boss, Sebastian Rooks, to infiltrate the vault of Sunway Systems to retrieve an important piece of information. He manages to enter the Vault, steal the data, and escape with Rita, with the promise that Sebastian would not get rid of him like Digicorp or Sunway Systems. Once at Sebastian’s house, or at least one o them, since the man likes to move a lot, Morgan finds out he is not Morgan after all, neither is he Jack: he IS Sebastian Rooks!


What amazes me is how his subconscious mind was telling him all along! As Morgan Sullivan, he was kind of dorky, his glasses, his hairstyle, his actions, his attitude, his passiveness… As the movie goes on and he makes his transformation into Jack Thursby – the name Digicorp gave him to use in the false conferences he was suppose to record – his appearance also changes. When he’s given that name, he immediately asks: “What’s he like? What’s his personality?”, to what Finster, the head of Digicorp, replies something like “Whatever you want him to be” (I don’t recall the exact words). So Morgan starts acting like a new man, the complete opposite of what he is: he starts smoking, although without any difficulty, any cough, starts drinking, scotch on the rocks, something he never did! He drops his glasses and stops using that hair, unbuttons the first buttons of his shirts… well, he starts being (so much) less stiff. And he doesn’t understand why, he just feels that’s who he REALLY is. In the end, when he finally finds out he’s Sebastian Rooks (a man never seen by anyone, a very, very secret man, who would be killed if anyone knew him, only one person knows his identity: his lover, Rita Foster) he realizes it by looking at the room he’s standing on: golf clubs, his favorite brand of cigarettes, scotch… and finally, a picture of him and Rita. That’s another think I love about the movie: his love and interest for her is never forgotten, even when he’s Morgan/Jack! When he meets the disguised Rita, he flirts with her and tries to approach her. It was all a plan created by him – Sebastian – to infiltrate that Vault!! Sebastian knew he was going to meet Rita in the process, who was going to help him get that important data! He knew he was going to forget who he was and become Morgan, he knew it all!! And in the end, there’s no exception: those who saw his face get killed! And what was the important data? Rita Foster’s file from Sunway Systems: she too was a pawn for that company, and Sebastian destroys it by throwing it into the ocean, making Sunway Systems free of Rita’s files, so that she won’t be “disposed”. So I guess, in the end, this is just an awesome love story!


Another thing it made me think about is how easy it is for one to control another’s mind… It only takes some steps to be followed. And how are we certain we ourselves are not controlled? Are we the product of someone’s agenda? Are we certain of who we are?

I always recommend this film to everyone who asks me for new stuff to watch, for it isn’t a very known one and it’s totally  worth it! Just now I was able to see a flaw: some of the special effects can be seen as computer generated, but I only noticed it now, after watching it all those times before! I guess I was so absorbed by the whole story I didn’t even notice those details! I won’t describe more scenes here, you just have to see it, one in particular – my favorite – is very creepy, but I already told the story, so these are just (awesome) details, although important too.

I’m glad to know this movie, it was much easier for me to write about this one, I love it! How about you?