“Remember remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason, should ever be forgot!” – V
“V For Vendetta” is a remarkable film based on Alan Moore’s revolutionary graphic novel. As ground breaking as Moore’s work is though, I have to say that this adaptation is (in my humble opinion) one of the very few exceptions to the rule – it’s actually better than the source material. That’s not to say that the original V comics aren’t worth reading, they are. Alan Moore’s tale (published in 1988) was a new twist on George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984” (written in 1948).
The movie however, takes all those themes, modernizes them and then amps up the feels to 11 with some of the most spectacular movie making of the last decade. Released in 2006, directed by James McTeigue, the Wachowski’s cautionary version of the future is perhaps more relevant than ever before. In a world full of misinformation, fear and corruption, “V For Vendetta” is a political thriller that echoes the darker side of our modern world, or what it could become if we trade freedom for security.
The story follows a woman whose life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a masked vigilante. This mysterious figure turns out to be a much more than he seems as he begins to dismantle the fascist government in which they all live under, but is he a freedom fighter or a terrorist? One thing is for certain, “Ideas are bullet proof.”
The Wachowski’s cinematic style (first seen in “The Matrix”) is used less for bullet-time action and more for deep symbolic meaning. There are moments of visual poetry, where images and dialogue rhyme to enforce the narrative’s themes. Some of the most iconic moments from the book are lifted directly from the page, but some of the most powerful scenes are actually unique to the film. To top it off, Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving both give some of the greatest performances of their careers.
If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you haven’t read it, pick up a copy!
Check out my other Retro Reviews:
Erik Slader is a blogger, barista, web tech, digital artist, gamer, comic book aficionado, history buff, part-time nerd, and full-time husband. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer for SuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.com and ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com