Saturday, April 01, 2006

Movie Review: V for Vendetta

If V for Vendetta is indicative of the quality of movies we are going to see in 2006 then it is going to be a good year (we probably can't conclude that, though!) It is the near future in Britain (around 2020) and the government has become extremely oppressive, controlling the populace by fear. The government's message is, 'You need us; you will not survive without us.' And on that basis, society has become controlled by a government that justifies its undermining of citizens' rights to freedom and privacy by claiming it is protecting them from various threats - physical and moral (sound familiar?). The people are fed government propaganda via a government-controlled TV station that distorts and discards the truth for its own agenda. One night, Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) is on her way to visit someone and finds herself in a dark street after the official curfew. Three men accost her and, when she discovers they are actually secret police, they begin to attack her and rape her. Just as it looks as though she will lose her life, a larger-than-life shadowy figure appears in the night and rapidly disposes of Evey's assailants. He is V (Hugh Weaving), a masked man who, as is eventually revealed, is plotting to bring down the tyrannical regime using terrorist tactics and persuading the people to rise up to bring about a revolution. Evey becomes a cautious ally of V while a cop, working for the government, begins to uncover a dark secret that explains the origins of V's desire for vengeance. In the process, Evey discovers a great deal about herself and her family. V for Vendetta is action, science fiction, mystery, thriller, drama, and philosophical argument all rolled into one incredible movie based on a graphic novel written in the 1980s by Alan Moore (who has, apparently, disowned the movie). It raises all sorts of questions about freedom, government, terrorism, privacy, truth-telling and lies, and the media. The cinematography is stunning and every cast member puts in an excellent performance, especially Weaving and Portman, who n this film does her best work so far. The only thing that disappointed me was the violence which was occasionally excessive in my view. V for Vendetta is movie-making at its best -- entertaining and making us think. It has something to say with its "prophecy" of the future that could result from Britain and America's recent policymaking. It's controversial ideology should provoke a rich discussion in our society and make us ask some pretty difficult questions about policies that are being made by our own leaders -- in the best interest of the people, of course!! My Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5) Positive Review 'Richly satisfying entertainment the way movies are at their best, when they prod you to think.' - Ruthe Stein/San Francisco Chronicle Negative Review 'A piece of pulp claptrap; it has no insights whatsoever into totalitarian psychology and always settles for the cheesiest kinds of demagoguery and harangue as its emblems of evil. They say they want a revolution? Then give us a revolution, one that's believable, frightening, heroic, coherent and not a teenagers' freaky power trip.' - Stephen Hunter/Washington Post Content Warning Strong violence and some language Related Links

1 comment:

  1. watched V for Vendetta recently, loved it... eye-candy effects, amazing how much character they developed into a mask