Monday, April 4, 2011

Classic--V for Vendetta

or: Remember remember the 5th of November...

One word to sum it up: Explosive.

Yeah, most people would probably remember this film as the one where Natalie Portman has no hair. Can I just say that she still looked stunning? She wasn't the only stunning thing about V for Vendetta, though. I've really been getting into these dystopian movies of late, and the vision that this movie has for the future is a strange, but extremely vivid one. Basically, it is set in a futuristic Britain, which is controlled by a fascist government and normal society has become powerless. Evey Hammond (Portman), a normal working class girl who is saved by a masked person called 'V' (Hugo Weaving), becomes the person who could save her country by bringing down the overpowering government. As she learns more about V's past, she starts learning more about herself and the part she plays in doing justice for her country, and decides to form an ally with him to carry out his plot.

I love stories like this. I guess you could say I like to see a world that is far from the one we are living in. I thought the vision that V for Vendetta had for the future was a very believable one, since the government's power over Britain is one which isn't too far from our imaginations at all, since pop culture has been trying to push this theme on us and there are those haunting memories from past wars and stuff like that. But out of this vision came a charming tale of heroism and living life without fear, beautifully played out through the character of Evey. She's an unlikely heroine, but with the help of the charismatic V and a great performance from Natalie Portman, she becomes the symbol for a person who has let go of everything and tries to define the line between good and evil, even though she never really defines herself as either of those.

While I feel the film was slightly let down by a slow first half, I truly think this is a masterpiece of modern filmmaking. It seems to push all the boundaries, and doesn't stop at being a political allegory, it's also a visually stunning action film too. The fight scenes are really well done, and have some great colour and vibrancy added into them. It's what I would expect from a film written by the Wachowski brothers. I also really enjoyed the characterisation of V. While he isn't given any identity, he feels quite rich in personality, with his charismatic speeches. Given he has no physical appearance, it is hard to view him as a character as such. He becomes a symbol, if anything. A symbol of hope and freedom. But at the same time, he is a symbol of evil and violence. Which helps add a depth to the story which is constantly trying to figure out what is good and bad. Sorry if this is starting to sound like an English's that time of year.

If you don't want to be a brainless blockbuster, then what should you be? A thought-provoking film rich with underlying themes. This film succeeds with that when it delves into a story about a lesbian woman who was taken simply because the government felt that her type was not needed in their country. This story was unbelievably well written, and serves as a message to our current world: accept differences and move on. I always felt the movie was at its best when it was focusing on one life affected by this struggle, whether it be Valerie's, Evey's, or V's. When the film gets to it's final act, it is an astounding, uplifting spectacle which truly does go out with a bang. It's amazing what I felt at the end of the film. It may sound stupid, but I felt like I had been freed by this movie. I suddenly felt a rush of hope. Too few films do that for me.

THE VERDICT: V for Vendetta is as thought-provoking as it is visually stunning, which nicely compliments a brilliant characterisation of a masked man who really doesn't have an identity.

What I hoped for:

What I got:


  1. I would give it a "I was perfect" really. As much as I loved Weaving, Portman, Fry and Rea, one of the best performances was of Natasha Wightman and it was also a very beautiful impactful scene.
    It is a dystopian film, based on the equally-brilliant-if-not-better novel. I don't think the world depicted in it is all that far away from ours.
    Also yes I agree that it gives hope...I love films that do that- Shawshank, Sleepless in Seattle and even most of the Harry Potter film endings. Hope is so important, people don't realise that.

  2. This is one of the only comic book adaptations that I really loved, I didn't think it was perfect, but it was far better than I expected!
    Great review Stevee.
    And if you're interested in dystopian films, I would recommend 1984, Battle Royale, Brazil and Soylent Green.

  3. I can't agree with you on this one Stevee, (or the commenter's.)

    I have to side with Alan Moore (the writer of the comic) who is not a fan of the adaptations of his work, (he should really stop people adapting his stuff, now). I'm not even a fan of his, though V for Vendetta, as far as I can recall from what I have read of it, is great and The Killing Joke, is awesome.

    I couldn't stick V for Vendetta the first time I saw it, but the second time round, I slightly warmed to it a little, and didn't think it was as bad as I had originally thought - far from it actually -, but I still think it's pretty camp, and not the good kind of camp because it takes itself too seriously.

    It has been a while since I last saw it, though. I think it's one of those films where I just didn't get what everyone saw in it, really.

    I'm sure there is an appeal of the film there, I just didn't see it :/

    *takes cover.

    Portman did look good with a shaved head though. Think there is a band called 'Natalie Portman's Shaved Head' that have been around for years. Excellent band name!

  4. I really enjoyed this movie! It moves along rather slowly, but I'm a sucker for rogue justice and throwing knives...and Hugo Weaving.

  5. This is one of my favorite movies[:
    ... and Hugo Weaving[;

  6. Nikhat - I totally agree with you about Natasha Wightman. Her scene was so beautiful, and was probably the best of the film. I love movies with hope, too. I like to know that there is still hope out there!

    Jack - Same! And I'll definitely check out those films. I'm really liking the dystopian genre at the moment!

    Cherokee - I can see what you're saying there, but I still really enjoyed it. And that band name is fantastic! Has a good ring to it.

    Rachel - Agree with you on all counts!

    Jordan - Cool!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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