Written this past Monday night:
I just got back from seeing V for Vendetta and am anxious to read all the critical reviews, message boards, and other fellow bloggers’ posts. Finally!
But first, my own untainted and unblemished personal thoughts. WOW! This is a remarkable motion picture. The story is engrossing, the action non-stop, the symbolism pervasive, and its overall political message one that has left me pondering and questioning my own current government more than ever before!
This movie comes at the right time for me, in that I have had enough of trying to stand by a president who has become a sick repressive war-loving tyrant. Natalie Portman is great in her role and so many times I saw myself in her character—that of a conforming member of future English society who has accepted what her government has been telling her. That was me, except I live in America and don't dress up like a girl. Ahem.
The stabs at America are eerie and merciless in the movie, despite it taking place in future Britain. I could’ve sworn I was watching President Bush as Chancellor Sutler, Dick Cheney as Creedy, their supposed War on Terror, biological terrorism, martial law, anti-gay rhetoric, and media control. It was quite comical, yet chilling at the same time. In the film, America is in deep civil war, something I also found quite disturbing and perhaps prophetic. Why the original comic book author of this story divorced himself from this incredible movie is a mystery to me. I’ll have to read up on that.
Hugo Weaving is absolutely wonderful as the rebellious V: an outspoken, sophisticated, and subversive killer who will stop at nothing to keep the value of freedom and his hero Guy Fawkes' memory alive, to the point of even wearing a mask of Fawkes' likeness, which in addition helps to ironically hide his horrible disfigurement. I loved every moment of Weaving's performance, and credit the actor, director, and screenwriters for conveying lots of wonderful emotion (even through the mask) with awesome soliloquies from this most intriguing and profound character. Marvelous!
The movie is also beautifully laced with deep emotional scenes, such as the final moments of a once corrupt murderous doctor who finds redemption and forgiveness as V mercifully kills her, or the sad story of a tortured lesbian, who despite what the government has done to her still manages to leave her heart-wrenching story written on rolled up toilet paper to be found by whoever does with love in its words and overall message still intact long after she is killed. Powerful stuff indeed!
So the controversy lies in the question: is V a revolutionary or is he a terrorist? If we are to believe the American government/media--Osama Bin Laden and Al Zarqawi want to repress the world with their fundamentalist evil form of Islam. Hence, they are terrorists right? Repression and fundamentalism are what V stands against; hence, he is a revolutionary hero.
Bravo to the cast and crew! This is a smart comic book special effects big budget blockbuster movie that is as intelligent and politically intriguing as any of the end-of-the-year Oscar films we've seen or will see.
Well...except for Crash of course.
“Fear became the ultimate tool of this government.” - V