Anthony's Film Review
V For Vendetta (2005)
The film works as both drama and mystery thanks to an intriguing setting and central character...
Let me first address a few possible issues with V For Vendetta. Is this film intended to parallel current events or the current state of governments like that of the United States? Not necessarily. Is it trying to predict that England will become a totalitarian society since this is the country that is portrayed? Not at all. The reason I answer no to both questions is because the story is fiction. It's a story about concepts, not propaganda. It's about a few people with enough courage to stand up against a powerful regime. I could care less if the film were set in Poland, France, Brazil, or any other country in the world. It would still be the same to me.
The title character of the mysterious V is a fascinating one. He is a threat to the government, but to those who are willing to listen, he is a charming person. He has anger deep inside but still conveys his ideas eloquently, even with the ones he is prepared to kill. The mask he wears, a reminder of Guy Fawkes and his death centuries before, has a fixed smile. It's either gentle to the innocent or intimidating to those whom he considers a threat. If I were to walk into V's presence, I would somehow like him because of his nobility and willingness to do good for the benefit of mankind. Of course, that would lead me into an argument of whether the end justifies the means. It's something to think about. That's one of the strong points of this film.
Natalie Portman plays Evey Hammond, who works at the British Television Network. She is the one who slowly understand who V is and what he stands for. It begins when V saves her from an attempted sexual assault. What's interesting is that Evey isn't a hostage of V but rather a new friend for V. This friendship leads to understanding, which eventually becomes shared identity so that she, too, is willing to fight for freedom.
I almost forgot to describe what kind of setting the story involves. Suppose that Germany emerged victorious after World War II. Suppose that Great Britain were to have strict curfews along with speakers on all streets to remind everyone to go inside before a certain time. Suppose the leader is the brutal chancellor Adam Sutler, who urges his aides to not make any mistakes in the orders he gives. Also consider the fact that the government controls the media and what information it allows the public to see. It's a scary scenario, especially because dictators have made their marks throughout human history.
The film also works because it's engaging enough as a mystery. Besides the question of V's identity, there's also question about his motive and what ultimately led to the events in the film. This is where a certain police inspector discovers as his investigation into a terrorist attack by V leads to many more strange clues that ultimately fit together in a shocking way. It shows that even someone like this inspector has the capacity to question what he has been told all along.
I liked the film, but I did have a few problems with it. There were a few questions I've had throughout the film that were never answered. They were not plot holes but story details that would have added much more depth to the characters. The pacing was a bit uneven. In the beginning, the plot was fast-paced with quick jumps from one scene to the next. The later part of the film goes slower and makes it more dramatic, but you have to wait about halfway through the film until that happens.
But I still liked the film. It has enough decent writing and dialogue to make one think and appreciate the characters. It starts off well enough and does get better in the second half. Overall, it is enough for one to remember, remember, the 5th of November.
For more information about V For Vendetta, visit the Internet Movie Database.