Stars Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea
Directed by James McTeigue
Perhaps it would be beneficial to begin with an explanation of what it takes to be a 5 pulse movie. When rating a movie, there are several elements that have to be considered: quality of acting, appropriate set design, creative directing, etc. While those details are important, it all boils down to three questions: “What were they attempting?,” “Did they succeed?,” and “Was it worth it?”
In “V for Vendetta,” McTeigue and the Wachowski brothers, the writers and directors of the Matrix trilogy, are using the story from a five-part graphic novel to arouse political wakefulness. Of course, that’s what is already known.
“There aren’t many cheeky, cheery characters in “V for Vendetta” either; and it’s for people who don’t switch off the news,” said David Lloyd, illustrator of the novel.
Although Alan Moore, the writer, washed his hands of the Wachowski adaptation, the brothers did not misplace the political objective. Movie goers unfamiliar with the current administration fail to notice much that is insinuated in the film, but will nevertheless be absorbed by the plot and characters.
It could be said that the brothers did a little polishing on the characters to make them a little more “cheeky” and “cheery.” For instance, Evey Hammond as played by Portman is a meek and honorable girl on her way for a date when she’s assaulted by the “finger men” or police. However, in the comic, Evey is a 16-year-old girl who, desperate for extra funds, solicits an undercover officer for sex. Perhaps the Wachowskis realized the U.S. audience isn’t as sympathetic to prostitutes (the original was targeted at the Thatcher administration in Britain).
Vendetta is nowhere near as close a film adaptation as recent comic films, such as “Sin City,” that much is true. Many of the events that unfold in the graphic novel are altered and rearranged for the film, but isn’t that to be expected? The comic book, which published in 1982, was futuristically set in 1997. For the film to achieve the same goals, it had to be set forward. It can still be said for both the graphic novel and the film version that they are warnings of what horrors the future can hold if the wrongs of the present are allowed to evolve.
The film succeeds in this endeavor, if you realize what it implies. It forecasts a future where the government uses the fear of terrorist attacks to take control of the country in an Orwellian sense.
Using the finest elements, acting, costume, set design, etc., the makers of Vendetta pulled together a flawless film which presents the question “Does this sound like an administration you might be familiar with?”
The fact that it follows the audience out of the theater, incites debate and refuses to be forgotten certifies that it is an instant classic. As the masked revolutionary (Weaving) says in the closing scene, ideas don’t lie. Neither will “V for Vendetta.””,,”Apr 6, 2006 00:00:00