Based on the story of a comic book (and staying true enough to that comic book spirit), 'V for Vendetta' is truly a film with a message. And this message is broadcast on more than just a fictional level, much as its classic counterpart, Orwell's 1984. Although there are unavoidable similarities, 'V for Vendetta' attains status of its own, largely through the dialogue of the main character, V, and through the acting of Hugo Weaving (V) and Natalie Portman (Evey). Truly masterful thespianism.
This film will provoke thought, tension and even laughter and I feel it is a must for anyone to see.
When a writer/director tries to pay homage to something, the end product can so often just seem like a rip-off. 'V for Vendetta' definitely does not deserve that label. It pulls off its homage to '1984' sublimely and obviously to anyone that has seen or read it. It even includes John Hurt on the other side of the fence in a "Big Brother" role. However, it pays this homage without relying on it. To understand and enjoy 'V for Vendetta' does not at all require you to have seen or read '1984'.
Intense performances of Hugo Weaving (V) and Natalie Portman (Evey Hammond) are punctuated with some dry humour, which makes this film a cinematic page-turner. It is a film that has already gathered a cult following but its acclaim should be so much wider. Vividly and veracious virtuous, it is, quite simply, amazing.
Wow. I'm gonna say that again for the effect. WOW. Capitals that time, see? I really wasn't expecting much from this film, I'll be honest. I heard bad reviews from the critics, and I'm a very fickle being, but it must be said - what do they know, really? They don't know me or you or the people that we know or the things that we know. They know themselves. I don't know these things either, but what I will say for myself is that I loved this film.
I'm going to take this simple analogy of the film critic here, forcing his/her ideas upon us, and translate it into something that marginally represents the future for us Brits according to this film, and truth be told it isn't pretty. Anyone who has read Nineteen Eighty-Four by the immortal George Orwell will certianly note the incredible similarities - totalitarian Britain rears its ugly head once more. However our hero is much more activist than old Geroge's Winston Smith. Known simply as "V" (played immaculately by the ever-impressive Hugo Weaving) and seen only ever wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, the sophisticated, suave and very eloquent gentleman you might see on the cover is seeking revenge, but mostly a future for his people, that is not burdoned by fear and overpowering intimidation. The other individual you might spot on the cover is Evey, who has the foundations of a successful activist, but requires a little help from V to realise herself and her true potential.
So the Wachowski brothers have taken the peg down a bit, don't they deserve to? It's true this film is no Matrix, but it is so successful in inspiring hope, inspiring a longing for freedom, for patriotism, for individuality, for choosing the right path, for fighting for the right casues and the right people, but especially for freeing yourself from fear. The film goes together excellently, and although nothing seems to be happening through the middle, I found myself not caring at all, and still very interested. The music is powerful and moving, and the climax is very well-fitting.
All in all I found the film very pleasurable indeed. I would tell thrill seekers to beware, it isn't action-packed, although there are some very impressive explosions and sword-fights, but generally I would recommend this film to anyone. It's a must-see, a must-have, a must-everything. Do yourself a big favour, and watch this film!
One thing I must comment on is how disgustingly Americans portray Britons. Seriously, one person calls "V" "chummey". Are they being serious? When the hell has anyone used that phrase in the history of mankind? Outrageous. But still...watch this film!
Excellent, largely misunderstood adaptation of Alan Moore & David Lloyd"s 1988 graphic novel that simply demands to be seen and pondered over, now more than ever (note to self: never trust Jonathan Ross again). 'V: For Vendetta' is, for those not averse to thinking for themselves, one of the most relevant, thought provoking films commissioned by any Hollywood studio since the original 'Matrix' (kudos to 'Warner Brothers' and erstwhile shallow plutocrat Joel Silver on both occasions). From a script adapted by the Wachowski brothers and helmed by James McTeigue (first AD on 'The Matrix' trilogy) 'V: For Vendetta' is practically a true story of our times; set in an England ruled by a fascist regime, the film revolves around the slow, but steady awakening of the masses to the heinous crimes being perpetrated by the very people they"ve been led to believe are protecting them. The Malthusian, neo-Nazi imperial dictatorship (imagine a cross between the 'Tories', 'New Labour' and the 'BNP'), having decimated democracy, civil liberties and the basic testaments of individual freedom / human decency, went onto exterminate Muslims, political activists, immigrants and homosexuals, commit genocide via chemical terror attacks against their own people (blaming it on "religious extremists") provided the cure, made billions and reigned to rule Britannia with an iron fist of fear-mongering tyranny.
This wretched, fascistic 'New World Order' of pseudo-Zionist depravity, is eventually challenged by an enigmatic hero going by the moniker of 'V' (some fine voice / mask-work by Hugo Weaving) wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and armed with knives, a rapier wit and killer vocabulary 'V' takes on novice charge Evey (Portman) after rescuing her from a pair of government finger-men (i.e. secret police) and detonating an abandoned Old Bailey, dedicating "...this concerto to Madame Justice in honour of the holiday she"s taken from these parts, and in recognition of the impostor that stands in her stead".
Having heard the Wachowskis discuss weighty subjects like the works of Jung, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard or how the 'New World Order' aims to impose systems of neo-globalist enslavement upon nations and their people. I wasn"t at all surprised that they addressed issues like false flag state orchestrated terrorism, 'The Hegelian Paradigm' (i.e. 'problem-reaction-solution paradigm') and corporate media misinformation. Its this kind of, and I hesitate to call it an intellectual treatise, but certainly a sober and serious approach to the subject which makes 'V: For Vendetta' an engaging, unashamedly high brow political thriller, rather than a straightforward superhero or comic-book movie. I"d even go so far as to say it"s of the same calibre as old school epics like Akkad"s 'Lion Of The Desert' or Pontecorvo"s 'The Battle Of Algiers'.
Some may argue that whilst the Wachowski"s are quick to damn the crimes of big government constructs in America and Britain, Israel is conspicuous by its absence, the missing link in an obvious 'Triangle of Terror'. Not so, for there is a poster in this film which depicts 'The Collation Of The Willing' (i.e. Britain, America and the Nazis) and for many Jews (orthodox or non-practising) the Swastika of Nazism and the Israeli Hexagram of Zionism are interchangeable. As Zionists worked hand-in-glove with the Nazi regime in the 1940s, systematically eliminating orthodox Jewry in Europe, epitomised by the words of influential Zionist leader Izaak Greenbaum, who declared during the Holocaust that "One cow in Israel (then Palestine) is worth more than (the lives of) all the Jews in Poland".
And though the main focus is on 'V' and Evey, 'V:For Vendetta"s" supporting cast are just as good, with fine performances by English / Irish veterans John Hurt, Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves, Tim-Piggott Smith and Sinéad Cusack. Stephen Fry also gives one of his best, most subtle and genuine performances in years, as state television presenter Gordon Dietrich. Natasha Wightman, playing persecuted lesbian Evelyn, is fantastic, and though her character doesn"t have any dialogue other than a voiceover and is only on screen for less than five minutes, the way she recounts how "America"s wars spread and unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition..." became markers of the rise of the police state apparatus, is truly unforgettable and a sign of how good an actress she is.
In many ways, I actually prefer this movie to the comic, as it brings Evey"s character to life, summarising chapters of heavy-going political philosophy (which wouldn"t have worked on film) into the changing ideas, expressions and actions of our heroine. And that brings us onto Natalie Portman upon whom rests a great deal of the picture. People of a certain age have grown up with Natalie; from her stunning debut as precocious, vengeful orphan Mathilda in 'Leon', to the "local Lolita" Marty in 'Beautiful Girls', troubled teen Lauren in 'Heat', annoyingly upbeat Sam in 'Garden State' and, of course, as Padmé Amidala in the 'Star Wars' prequels. Though its here that Portman gives her finest performance to date, as timid newsgirl Evey Hammond; who is made to face her deepest fears and rise from the depths of silent despair as a new woman, selflessly dedicated to the revolutionary ideals of justice & freedom.
'V: For Vendetta' is a verbose, verticillating venture which, in no uncertain terms, celebrates the valorous, veridical deeds of the veristic vigilante who, by resisting the vampirism and virulent vulgarity of the villainous viverrids in office, went from a man of vocational vengeance to the venerable visionary we"ve come to know as V. One of the best films of 2006: an incredible, unique, complex, emotional and intellectually stimulating masterpiece that"s destined to become a cult classic.A must see.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. A shadowy freedom fighter known only as "V" uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, this tense thriller tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as 'V'. Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself - and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.