V For Vendetta

Freedom!

Main Cast: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt

Director: James McTeigue

How far can things go? That is the question. Within the war on terror are the seeds of tyranny, of which our own founding fathers had many things to say. Such wisdom should be heeded, now rather than later.

This story focuses on Britain, much changed for the worst. Terrorists have driven the government to take over (with predictable results), which bodes ill for the regular bloke. One regular bloke is Evey (Portman), a young woman who finds herself out beyond the curfew. Braced by a bunch of thugs in a dark alley, things look bad until they reveal badges. But that is little comfort. What does it matter if one is raped by criminals or officials? The result is the same.

As it turns out she is rescued by a masked man, a rebel who is suave, intelligent, and literary to a fault. Calling himself “V” for vendetta, his goal is to rouse the masses against their oppressive government. The beginning of his campaign starts off with a bang on November 5: Guy Fawkes Day. On that day in 1605, Guy Fawkes was discovered in a tunnel beneath Parliament with many barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes and his friends wanted to bring down their corrupt government. He was not successful. Could V do what he could not?

I won’t answer that directly. What I will say is this tale is very thought provoking. Stylish and incredibly violent at times, this tale of freedom is much, much better than the producer’s earlier great, but flawed, Matrix trilogy. I very much enjoyed the first film, and “V” is on par or better than this offering. The characters are unique, with an incredibly strong female lead in Portman. She is the thematic center, moving from weak to strong, ending up a true individual at the end.

I very much enjoyed this movie. While I believe it is topical, the ideas behind it are not. Freedom from tyranny is eternal, as are the consequences thereof.

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