I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how good this film was. Then again I had been expecting rubbish, and as we all know low expectations makes it easier to appreciate an “alright” film.
The basic plot involves a future England, one with an authoritarian government, with curfews and Fingermen. An England created out of the fear of terrorist attacks, plagues, and war. An England where the government rule through fear.
So, no subtle messages for us today then
One November 5th, a date no longer remembered as Guy Fawkes night a terrorist, known only as V blows up the Old Bailey, a gesture to show that not everyone is content to let Chancellor Sutler continue in power. The rest of the film takes place over the next year, as V has called on all citizens to assemble and watch as he destorys parliment buildings the following November 5th.
I have never read the comics that this film is based on, so I can’t compare. But I will say that this is a really good film. There are flaws however. Keeping Hugo Weaving masked works on a certain level, but it also creates problems in identifying with the character. Maybe that was the point? Possibly something that works better in the book. Also Natalie Portman’s accent was all over the shop. And I never got the character of Evey, especially at the start of the film. Portman seemed quite wooden, and unbelievable in her portrayal, although this did change later on.
Mention must be made of Stephen Rea. I’ve always loved him as an actor, he has had some great roles, and he is wonderful as the “honest cop in a corrupt world.” His Finch is a character that the audience can clearly identify and empathise with, plus it means we get mention of Ireland :)
There are two main problems I have with this film. The first is that it is all so overt, and over the top. The parallels with Nazism and fascism do work, but wouldn’t they have been better is made a little subtler. Using the actual English flag would have had far greater impact, in my opinion. The over the top TV presenter Prothero however was perfect. England Prevails! Great stuff. The other problem is one that is a huge spoiler, Show Spoiler ▼
All in all I really enjoyed V for Vendetta. Over the top in places it is still a very effective film.