ThatFrenchGuy (he’s already asking for trouble with a pseudonym like that) just sent in this review of V FOR VENDETTA.
If you’ve been reading the Talkbacks for other recent reviews of the film here on AICN, you may have noticed a lot of discussion about the film’s political orientation. ThatFrenchGuy, a professed “moderate conservative” from Mississippi, continues the trend with an interesting perspective on the film and its relation to our world. Keep in mind, while V’s message is pretty damn obvious, the meaning people take from that message will undoubtedly vary -- and is clearly a source of hot debate.
Here’s the review. See what you think…
Just thought you might want to know what a Fox News watching, George Bush voting, moderate conservative from the red state of Mississippi thought of the film "V for Vendetta"....
I really really liked it. The only thing keeping me from loving it has nothing to do with the supposed "controversial" issues it brings up, but more on the fact that I'll have to watch it again before I make my verdict on that.
Anyways, on to the movie. You all know the basic premise about a "terrorist" named V who sets about to somehow go against the totalitarian like government that rules England. He comes across a girl named Evie who he helps from some baddies and they start an uneasy relationship which begins with Evie wanting to do the seemingly right thing, that is not help a wanted "terrorist", but of course things change.
Instead of focusing the review on how great the performances are or how well the story grabs you by the throat with V's first great speech to the people, because you've all heard about that through Harry and company in the aftermath of BNAT, but I wanted to focus more on the controversial issues that the story deals with from my perspective.
But before I dive more into that, I do want to say that Hugo Weaving is great, he is able to spout out his lines in a very lyrical and literate way, thanks to the either the screenplay by the Wachowskis or words lifted right from Alan Moore, I'll have to read to comic to find out who, but during the entire movie words come out of the actors' mouths beautifully without seeming too preachy and obvious. Speaking of beautiful, Natalie Portman is great here as well. When she breaks down to cry, I want to break down and cry, she's that good.
Now people are making a big deal, comparing the US government to that in the movie. Yes I can see where there might be some similarities, such as the whole issue of phone tapping and anti homosexual sentimentality (although this country doesn't go as far as the government in V does.) And that's what this movie is all about, its about the extremes of some of the issues Americans take and really turning them up. However, if there were a government more akin to the likes of the one in V, I'd say it's more like the Iraqi government under Saddam or the North Korean government. In order to elaborate I'm going to have to go into some spoilers...
Again, spoiler alert!... To me, this movie represents exactly what the Iraqi people should have done after they found out (if they found out) what Saddam had done to his people back in... I don't know, somewhere around 1990? when he gassed thousands of his own people. Though the reasons of both governments differ, the fact is that they both took out a large number of their own people through way of gas or virus in order to either test out a new biological weapon or for their own rise in power and well being. Any American today in their right mind would do what the people of England did if they found out the Bush administration had created a virus and killed 100,000 people just to make a little money and get some votes. Another way the Iraqi and V government are the same are the ways they use censorship.
I'm pretty sure that Leno and Letterman are still alive and well despite countless jabs at both the Clinton and Bush administration, something a talk show host died for (or did he?) in V. Hell you think a website like "Aint It Cool (and sometimes liberal) News" would make it if it were up and running in a place like the V government and openly taking jabs at the High Chancellor? I think Harry's head would literally end up on a serving platter if this were an Iraqi website promoting anti Saddam material, yet Harry is free in this country to have his own opinion and post it to millions of viewers all over the world wide web. (Although if Quint being threatened not to talk about Cars by RoboWalt isn't censorship, I don't know what is..)
The fact is, this fictitious government, in my eyes at least, is more true to that of the likes of Saddam's with some Neo Nazism thrown up rather than our own here in the states, which is why I don't think it's all that controversial.
One more thing, people have also had issues rooting for the "terrorist" V in the film. Yes the government calls V a terrorist, but is he really? He's more of a freedom fighter in my eyes. The difference to me is that a terrorist will kill innocent people for his cause, not caring if the people he kills were directly responsible for his pain or not, while V only kills those responsible for some atrocity one way or another. That and the fact that every building he blows up is empty of innocent people.
Go see this film. I think it may be getting a bit overhyped, its definetly not the second coming of movies, but its a solid film thats entertains on many levels. Mystery, drama, and a little action thrown in (especially V's final badass takedown towards the end.) Go and enjoy yourself and make up your own mind about the political stance you think the movie is taking, thats the fun thing about a movie like this, you can discuss and argue with friends about it for hours.