September 3, 2006

V for Vendetta - $9

Much of the world is in chaos and it is the year 2020. A virus has killed many, America is no longer the superpower it is today, and Britain is ruled by a fascist dictator who rules by fear and promises safety but not freedom. One man is fighting the government, that man is V, and he is effectively the hero and at times the villain in this tale. He is intelligent and twisted, kind and cruel. He fights an oppressive 'big brother' power as he attempts to put that power back into the hands of the people.

The best summary of V's belief system is this quote: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." It is this belief that compels V to carry out violent and destructive acts against the government who deems him to be a terrorist. I am one who does not think V has it right; wouldn't the ideal be governments and their people existing in harmony? Fear from either party seems like the wrong idea to me.

Philosophical differences with a fictional character aside, this is a movie that I enjoyed immensely. A truly creative story with images that stuck in my mind for days after. Hugo Weaving gives a great performance as V, especially considering that he is wearing a mask the entire movie so all his acting is done without the audience being able to see either his eyes or mouth, or any facial expression for that matter. The mask is the face of Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 tried to blow up the houses of Parliament. While this had huge potential to be hokey, and was a risky costume choice, somehow Weaving made it work. V pulls a young woman named Evey into his world half by her own choice and half by force. Evey loves and at the same time hates V, trusts and is afraid of him, helps and hinders his efforts, and Natalie Portman as Evey does an excellent job of convincing the audience that these seeming contradictions are possible.

To use a cliche, this was a very Orwellian story and a great example of this genre done right. We see a glimpse into a future that is more of a warning of what could happen rather than a prophecy of what will come to pass.

Written by one of the writers of The Matrix, V is a bit of a comeback for this screenwriter considering how bad the Matrix sequels were.

V for Vendetta's cinematography is engaging and I can't recall a time in the movie where I wasn't interested, involved and entertained.

I put this on my 'Watch It' list and give it a value of $9 out of the $10 it costs to see a movie these days.


Coutts said...

Well, you made me want to see the movie. maybe i'll come and say more once i've done so. i look forward to interacting often with this blog!

here's a question. are you spelling Natalie Portman's character's name right and if so is she supposed to be a sort of Eve to a sort of Adam? or is that reading way to much into something that i haven't even seen?

Tony Tanti said...

I think I'm spelling Evey right, and I don't think there's and Adam and Eve parralel being drawn.

Let me what you thought after you see it. I've met a few people that didn't like it so I won't be hurt if you don't love it like I did.

Coldstorageunit said...

I loved this movie. It has been my favourite movie of 2006 by a long shot, and possibly the best movie i have seen in a couple years. However, I still haven't seen Ong Bak, so maybe we will have a new champion.

Coutts said...

finally saw this one. you are right, it was fantastic. so different and so smartly written. there were a few things i thought were philosophically errant (i can't remember them though) but as you said it was still very intriguing and had some great things to say. beyond that it was just very entertaining without being stupid or the usual drivel. kept me guessing, kept me interested, made me laugh, made me think. good movie. $9 is about right, I'd say.

this is a decent genre isn't it? i liked gattaca. fahrenheit was an awesome old movie like it too. what else would fit in this genre?