“Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
The keyword when considering a Wachowski brothers feature is overtones. Be it religious, political, or otherwise, the metaphorical and direct implications don’t necessarily dominate the thought-process of the feature; instead, they provide for a noticeable layer of intellect under the action. Much like The Matrix, V for Vendetta couples spectacle and suggestion.
In V for Vendetta, the people of Britain live under a totalitarian government, and one man is determined to overthrow it. That man is “V” (Hugo Weaving). Once “V” gives a well-communicated speech with alliterating “V’s,” the articulate man in a Guy Fawkes mask shows what he is capable of in conducting a terroristic orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. A building explodes, and a message is construed.
This campaign of terror occurs in the presence of Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), a practical innocent bystander whose parents were once rooted in political activism. Since “V” saves Evey from a couple of dirty cops, Evey gets caught up in the ride and eventually becomes an ally.
V for Vendetta depicts an Orwellian 1984-ish Great Britain. In this future time, the U.S. has fallen to Godlessness in a pharmaceutical scramble, leaving Britain the only God-fearing nation. As one television personality exclaims, “England prevails!” However, with fascism on the rise, the country’s inevitably downfall looms.
Overall, V for Vendetta transports you to a revolutionary land that is grim yet ultimately liberating. The film outlines the striking differences between an idea and a man. It preaches that “People should not be afraid of their government; a government should be afraid of their people,” and “Fairness, justice, and freedom are perspectives — not realities.” Furthermore, the motion-picture mirrors The Matrix’s underlying theme of “There are no coincidences — only illusions of coincidences.”
With the inclusion of “Cry Me a River,” Vendetta’s soundtrack is beautiful. In addition, amid the finely-adapted plot, the cast is spectacular. Natalie Portman acts gutsy and affecting with her head shaved, while Hugo Weaving shows a whirlwind of emotions without having his face visible. Weaving’s most memorable lines are “You’ll all be dead before you’ve reloaded,” and “Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bullet-proof.”
Ultimately, V for Vendetta is an affixing action piece that simultaneously oozes with politics. Much like Groundhog Day, it’s also one of those films to pull out and watch on the specific day it celebrates. In this case, when your calendar reads 11/5, call it a holiday, reach for V for Vendetta, and bask in its despotic political scene and impressive action.