Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gun powder treason and plot…
V for Vendetta is set in the very near future, right about now actually, in Great Britain which has been taken over by a fascist government. Adam Stutler, played by John Hurt, is the leader of the fascist government which patrols the streets in vans and listen to people’s conversations, holds strict curfews for anyone walking the streets past a certain hour, and controls the content broadcast on the news as well as entertainment programming all under the guise of “protection”. The story begins with Evey Hammond, played by Natalie Portman, who finds herself in a precarious situation after curfew and is rescued by the mask wearing “V”. As she learns more about “V”, what he stands for, and fighting against, she decides to help him; although, in a backward kind of way at times. I like Natalie Portman. She’s great at connecting with her character emotionally and brings a vulnerability to her roles; however, I REALLY wish she either had a better dialect coach or just make the choice to go without the accent. It held her back in many scenes and left a hollowness in her character. Evey learns some tough lessons about herself which reveals an inner boldness and resolve to live or die her way.
Let’s Talk About Hugo Weaving
“V”, played by Hugo Weaving, is brilliant in this film. He does what’s required of him to wake people up in the environment of protective illusion they live in to see the truth. He rallies them through discourse to stand up for themselves and those they’ve lost. Some key people have to die, of course, but no one really misses them when they’re gone. Well, except for one or two. Hugo Weaving has the enormous task of portraying “V” as someone to sympathize with, to empathize for, and connect as a person of shared experience all behind a Guy Fawkes mask. While intimidating at times, the script offers moments of sincerity and kindness which help “V” maintain a humanness. He cooks Evey breakfast, shares his favorite movie with her, and allows her to see him as he is. (Not literally, he never takes the mask off.) Stephen Rea plays Finch, the police detective sent to search for the elusive “V”. His mission backfires as the more he learns the truth, the less he supports the government he works for. Stephen Rea is the every man cop trying to do his job and please his boss at the same time. He sees the writing on the wall and has to tow the line but when the time comes to make a life changing decision, he makes it.
In this film, we learn just how far a government will go to gain control over its people. It isn’t pretty but for many in power, the ends justifies the means. Which is scary because if you pay attention to certain political speakers, you’ll hear the precursors for this type of future. I’m not talking about the Republicans or our current President. I’m talking about the ones who want to take away rights, privileges, and protocols in the name of safety, protection, and support. I’m not saying our government will do the same things this fictional government did to gain control; however, if done little by little, the life you live freely today will not be one of freedom in the future.