V For Vendetta is about a freedom fighter known only as “V”. Similar to that fictional hero, Zorro, he fights to free his countrymen from an oppressive and evil totalitarian government. He even leaves his own mark the letter V behind him just as Zorro had.
V wears a black Cape and hat similar to those worn by Zorro. He wears a mask in the likeness of a great English revolutionary, Guy Fawkes. The English observe a national holiday in his honor on the fifth of November.
The story is set in an Orwell like 1984 future version of London. V harbors a vendetta against his government because leaders sanctioned Nazi like medical experiments to be performed on him and other innocents.
The scientists created a monster, however, when V survives with newly gained superhuman stamina and fighting skills. His face was badly burned while escaping his tormentors ergo his mask.
There are a few references to the punk rock culture in England. The word bullocks, for example; a vulgar colloquialism often used by punks in England is used over and over again in the film.
There is a reference to the Sex Pistols song God Save The Queen. The film’s theme literally brings to mind the Pistols’ punk rock anthem Anarchy InThe UK.
The producers, the Wachowski Brothers adapted the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd for the screen. Alan Moore requested his name taken off the graphic novel and had no involvement with the film because of his objections to past movie adaptations of his works From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentleman.
He felt his work was not faithfully adapted for the screen.
The story provides a lot of food for thought. It is a metaphor for the main message of the film, which is “Ideas are bulletproof!” In other words, men may die but ideas can live forever.
The film was violent but necessary for the story to be effective. Throughout history violence has been a necessary evil to create great change. Such was true of the American Revolutionary War and World War II.
I enjoyed the film immensely. Hugo Weaving was the epitome of an antihero. Even though he could not use facial expressions his voice and gestures made his performance outstanding.
V For Vendetta was a dark and moody film but uplifting in the end. When I left the theater I felt glad to be a free American citizen enjoying all rights we sometimes take for granted.
Running time: 131 minutes
Director: James McTeigue
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, and John Hurt