A movie review written by: Lee Sonogan
2h12mins (2005) Action, drama, sci-fi
Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
The story revolves around a character who escaped from imprisonment and proceeds in seeking revenge on all of those responsible for their incarceration. This character played by Hugo Weaving wears a mask and speaks of ideas. All his actions are of an extremist. Important detail as his enemies are a dystopian government. The Guy Fawkes mask, which V the main character wears in the film, inspired the appearance of the computer hacking group ‘Anonymous’.
This was the first film directed by James McTeigue. He went on to make great films such as Ninja Assassin and The Raven. Natalie Portman also starred in the movie along with Hugi Weaving. Natalie Portman’s head buzzing scene was done in one take. James McTeigue utilized three cameras for the scene. Hugo Weaving based his accent on Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister from 1964-1970 and 1974-1976.
The original comic series was originally created by Alan Moore. In the original graphic novel, V’s cause was anarchy, not freedom. Alan Moore was very critical of the movie for changing what he called the ‘anarchy versus fascism’ structure of his graphic novel, into what he saw as an exploration of American neo-liberalism versus American neo-conservatism.
All of V’s dialogue was dubbed. Initially, a mask was designed with a small microphone inside, and another mike was designed to sit along Hugo Weaving’s hairline, but neither worked very well. Lilly and Lana Wachowski, huge fans of the original comic series, wrote a draft of the script in the 1990s before they worked on The Matrix in 1999, which shares several similar themes.
V is such an interesting character with so much to say and do. He made so much sense and then he can be brutal when he must. All his conversations with Evey has meaning and purpose. The story between the two really makes you want them both to survive and win. The film also has a great soundtrack, action scenes, acting, actors and so much more. One of the best movies that have come out of DC comics. I recommend this movie to everyone who has not read the original book of it.
V: Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
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