V for Vendetta

This is a ripping good movie – haven’t been entertained like this in quite a while. The Wachowski brothers tell a darn good story. They had a tough act to follow after Matrix, but they come good.

Of course, they have it in for Mr. Bush and that is pretty obvious. The England they portray, somewhere in the not-so-far future is a good estimate of what the US could be in 20 years time if the neo-conservatives had their way without any opposition. It’s an extreme portrayal, but if you can ignore the agenda, and just watch the movie as a movie, you can come away pretty satisfied with the experience.

The story is set in an England ruled by a Chancellor Sutler (John Hurt)who oversees a police state. He bans the Koran, torments gays and fosters a climate of fear. People who protest disappear overnight in camps that seem like Aushwitz but could as well be an approximation of Guantanamo Bay. V (Hugo Weaving whose face is never seen in the movie) is a Guy Fawkes mask-wearing former victim of the camp who is out to create a revolution. He spouts Shakespeare, leaves a rose as his signature in death scenes and is holed up in an underground Bat-cave-like hide-out filled with all things banned in the state outside. Evey (Natalie Portman) is the girl next door who is caught up in V’s grand plan – he starts off by blowing up the Old Bailey on Guy Fawkes day and announces his plan to blow up the Parliament buildings on the next 5th of November, inviting people who believe that they are living in a freedom-less world to join him. He has some pretty powerful lines – ‘a building is a symbol’ he says, when asked why he sets out to blow up buildings. After 9/11, that is a brave statement to make in a mainstream movie. I liked another line of his – ‘what is a revolution without dancing’, he says.

V gets the revolution he wanted – in a series of stylish, perfectly co-ordinated action sequences reminiscent of and yet distinct from Matrix. Leaving behind another classic line as a reminder to his by now vanquished foes – about how a man may die but the idea he represents will not. And a politically mature Evey to carry out his final grand plan.

I thought it was a brave movie made in an age of terrorism(one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, after all). It drew flak from a lot of people about the kind of messages it sends out (the original author of the graphic novel this book is based on, removed his names from the credits – his setting was Margaret Thatcher’s England) but as a pure entertainer, it is quite one of the best I have seen in a long while.


UL said…
I caught this on the tele the other day, by chance, but I have to admit it grabbed my interest right away. And I watched it all the way till the end, even though I wanted to get up and do other chores. A very nice thriller. But I would stop there. I cannot see US or Britain coming to that..that's too far fetched an idea. But hey, imagination is a fine thing and the creators of the movie definitely got some thinking. More so than matrix, I guess.
Anonymous said…
bleeding heart pinko movie, that's what it is...no wonder it crashed in 2 weeks
Anonymous said…
I just saw this movie - i reminded me of the Rajan incident and emergency in India. I was really young but my dad was "accidently" picked up by the cops in front of our house - luckily someone saw this and my uncle who in the kerala police was able to intervene and get him out next day but not bfore he was tortured pretty badly that night.

US has just passe dlaws that allow the government to classify anyone as a enemy combatant and they hav no right to habeas corups - so is this far fetched - not really.

I found this blog via a search for new info on the Rajan incident



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