V for Vendetta, based on the graphic novel with the same name, is set in a harrowing future wrought with disease, fear and political corruption. The story follows two protagonists: a Guy Fawkes clad freedom fighter named V and a traumatized young woman that serves as our window into this tyrannical world. Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Pros: Although he is hidden behind a mask for the entire film, Hugo Weaving instantly steals every scene using only his voice. The action is well shot and choreographed, but the main reason to watch this movie is for the articulate, poetic and thought provoking dialogue. The society has lost it’s voice in many ways and adapted to their oppressive government, but V is there to remind them that freedom is worth fighting for! A noble cause indeed, and a powerful message as well.
Cons: V for Vendetta starts and ends with a literal bang, but the midsection of the film is bogged down by an exposition heavy subplot. However, this subplot does fill gaps in V’s backstory, and it also shows Evey’s dramatic shift from a frightened citizen into a fearless free thinker. It adds context to the characters and their motivations, but the pacing is slightly jarring due to the bombastic nature of the film around it. My only other negative also happens around the halfway point. V makes the questionable decision to kidnap and torture Evey, mimicking what she would surely experience at the hands of their own government. Evey comes out the other side a stronger person, but do the ends justify the means? I’ll let you decide.
I give V for Vendetta a A-. The parallels between this movie and the world we live in today could not be more poignant. It’s important for us to maintain our voice as a society and V represents that same idea. Happy Watching!
“Ideas are bulletproof.”