V for Vendetta (2005)
I suppose V for Vendetta (2005) is the kind of film that Russell Brand would make, always talking of a revolution that will probably never happen but we all wish would to rid ourselves of the political elite, the uptown unfairness of the economy, the national debt, the war and conflict etc. The list is endless of the problems facing the United Kingdom alone. That’s before we even think about the Islāmic State, Ebola and UKIP winning their first seat in Parliament. Boy a lot is going in the world today. And out of that comes a film, admittedly nearly a decade old still has a resonance that comes out of something that we still feel today. Based on a comic book written 30 years ago the events have been updated for a contemporary audience we have a dystopian future that we could easily see happening if we give into the notion of fear. An emotion that has already seen so many of our rights being signed away in the name of the war of terror in the light of 9/11. It’s scary to think how real this could be if we give into a fascist leader such as Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt) who uses fear as his main tool to control the nation that has been trained to consume the “bollox” that is transmitted through the government controlled media.
Enter out hero, a masked figure taking the guise of a Guy Fawkes who plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 that forms the basis loosely for a victim of the government that left him a much changed person. A guise that allows this tortured and reborn V (Hugo Weaving) to perform terrorist acts, killing those who were the created him, a dangerous figure to those in power, yet a saviour to the wider public who slowly wake-up and listen to the masked figure who is able to avoid the government as they try to track him down.
Whilst caught up in all of the chaos is Evey (Natalie Portman) already suspicious of the governments control of the country who is saved at the beginning by the masked crusader, taking her to his underground home. Filled with treasures of a forgotten time when culture was free to express it self, not fearing the control of an oppressive regime. An unlikely relationship forms between V and Evey, after being introduced into his lost world, a courteous gentlemen from a bygone time, speaking eloquently from behind the mask, which hides the pain of a past he hopes to avenge.
You can tell V for Vendetta is based on a comic book, from the strong visual style throughout, taking cues from Brazil (1985) and other Orwellian inspired worlds. That of control and order, everything has it’s place. Watched over by John Hurt’s overacting as the Chancellor, mostly seen from a giant screen to a few members of his closest advisors. It’s the bravery of one detective Finch (Stephen Rea) whose investigative tendencies lead him to the truth, a truth that was hopefully buried long ago start being unearthed again. The truth always comes out, even amongst all media blanket that was supposed to blind the public. Making the audience question the power and truth of our own media, how much is fact, and fiction, are we kept from what we really need to know. More and more we are discovering about our government such as the expenses scandal, due to the freedom of information act. Breakthroughs in transparency are happening, but not as much as we hope.
A cast that is mostly British, bar Portman who delivers an acceptable accent, make this a more authentic Britain, well London where he action takes place. Even Stephen Fry has a decent part (playing himself), a free thinker in an industry that has lost it’s way, still trying to make his voice heard amongst all the lies and propaganda. All this makes for a stronger richer film that delivers a future we should avoid at all costs.
Maybe a revolution is needed as was in this dystopian future to break free from our current system? Yet they rarely succeed in the long term really. At least we see a single man rise up to make a country think for themselves once more, making he government fear the people who elected them, not the other way around. Reinforcing the power of democracy, to question our government, to watch over those who we ultimately put their and can take away again.
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