I’m telling you right now that you have not seen any movie like “V For Vendetta”. In fact I can not believe that this movie got made, and is being supported by a major Hollywood studio. Sure, on the outside it may seem like yet another comic book adaptation, but I assure you that it is much more than that. Rarely do you see a mainstream movie filled with ideas and intrigue. Yes of course it contains kinetic action and special effects, but it also causes our brains to produce thoughts on subjects like true terrorism, freedom of speech, and the very core of human nature.
The movie open’s as Evey (Natalie Portman) is out after dark on the streets of London. It is after Curfew. She is spotted by a few corrupt police officers. They decide to teach her a lesson by raping her, but she is saved by a lone vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving). He wears a Guy Fawkes mask and dresses like Jack the Ripper. His skills in martial arts and knives is evident as he takes down the corrupt officers. To make the most of the evening, he also decides to blow up the Old Bailey court rooms.
This is the future Britain, which has become a totalitarian state, and is being ruled by a ruthless dictator played by John Hurt. The world has been through another major war, been ravaged by a dangerous virus, and left in the hands of this dictator, who has shaped it in to a society of control. He is ridded the world of people who oppose the system, are gay or are just different. They try to cover up the bombing of the Old Baily but are foiled by V.
After V takes over the air waves and promises to bring down the parliament building on November the 5th of the following year, the government does everything in their power to try and make him out to be a terrorist. This launches portion of the story in which we follow a detective played by Stephen Rea, as he tries to uncover the origin’s of V’s past in order to try to stop him from his future plans.
From start to finish this movie is stellar. The script is strong and bold, the direction by first timer James McTeigue is first rate, and the performances are mesmerizing. Hugo Weaving never reveals his face, but his puts his usual finesse on all of his dialogue. And what glorious dialogue he is given. He is smart as a whip, using his knowledge of poetry and literature to try and justify the revolution he is trying to trigger.
Natalie Portman has really come in to her own in the past year. Her Evey takes her own path through the movie. At one point she finds herself in prison, awaiting death by firing squad for not giving up information on V. In her cell she finds a letter from the former inmate. It tells the story of how she fell in love with a girl and was made an outcast by pretty much everyone she knows. But she found love and enjoyed a good part of her life. That is until the government that came to power destroyed everything she had, including her life. This is probably the most heartbreaking and powerful passage in the film. It sets the tone for everything else that follows through.
A movie like this really makes you want to rise up against any government, or any persons who think they can tell you how to lead your life. There is nothing like being free. Free to think and speak as you will. Free to live your life in a way that makes you the happiest. To have those freedom’s violated by somebody else’s views is a violation of that which make’s us human. And when it boils down to it, the way things are going today, this movie’s bleak vision of the future may not be too far off.
Now the movie is by no means, absolutely perfect. Something about the ending of the film didn’t sit well with me. Too me, V’s enemy is the system and not a building. But I guess that building is a symbol. And as we all know, sometimes it takes the destruction of a symbol to shake up the world. For better or for worse.