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Movie Review: V for Vendetta

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Back in April, I saw V for Vendetta shortly after its release. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, especially Natalie Portman's character (but then, I have this thing for Natalie Portman). Hugo Weaving, of The Lord of the Rings (Elrond) and The Matrix (Agent Smith), also stars in the film, though we never actually see his face.

Weaving plays the mysterious and masked V, a man who is attempting to take revenge upon some of those people who have wronged him in the past. Other stars in the film include Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Rupert Graves.

This last week I watched the film again on DVD, and I was struck by one of the overwhelming themes of the movie. 

 am not talking about the obvious connections between the world in which V and Evey (Portman) live and the current situation in Great Britain and America. No, I am referring to the issue of overcoming fear that is central to the development of Evey's character.

While I am loath to say much more about this so as not to give away any plot points, I will say that it is in enduring torture and solitary confinement that Evey grows into more a fully human person.

Portman has been quoted as saying, "Through her imprisonment [Evey] learns to face her fear, and overcoming that fear is important for her own integrity." Portman, who was required to shave her head on camera, even looks good bald, and there is, in the film (as there is in The Shawshank Redemption), a scene in which Evey symbolically undergoes a "baptism" of sorts in the falling rain.

Near the beginning of the film V introduces himself by way of an amazing alliteration, and anyone who knows me, knows I love a good alliteration: 

"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, it is vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

At another time later in the film, V has another line that I find illuminating. He says, "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

I highly recommend V for Vendetta for your viewing pleasure and intellectual stimulation. I give it 9 out 10 dancing fish. My sentiments are echoed in a review written by Colin Covert of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

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  • Howard Dratch

    I like film as a medium so much that I can usually find something relatively good to say about any non-horror, non-sexploitation film.

    If I can ever force myself to see the rest of this film — we turned it off about 3/4 of the way through its’ slow, annoying and derivative plot or lack thereof — I will look for something good to say. Natalie Portman does look good bald or not. V has alliterative lines. The actors are not the problem. The director goofed. His film became dismal and boring and he didn’t fix it.

    Perhaps the idea that governments should fear their people, not people fear governments is indicative of our current American problems. Democracy calls for people and governments to share freedom and responsibility.

    I do like the “dancing fish” but I would give V maybe 3 day-old fish.

  • Francine

    I’ve stopped watching most movies at theaters because they are the same old boring action sequences, fart or sex jokes, and predictable plots. Well, V for Vendetta is definitely refreshing and different from most Hollywood movies. Yet it is the most unusual Hollywood produced film I’ve ever seen.

    This is a movie about ideas, and being that, it kept me glued to the screen, listening to V’s every word and watching Evey’s transformation into somebody who is not afraid to stand up to tyranny.

    Natalie Portman is wonderful! And Hugo Weaving is a delight as V.

  • David

    V For Vendetta is probably the best movie I have seen, ranking up there with Vanilla Sky. Hugo Weaving plays the part perfectly and Natalie Portman is equally as adept. It is, without question, a good rendition of government corruption, corporate greed, and media propaganda perpetuating the cycle of power that mirrors our own world of seemingly free and democratic states.