Film Review: V for Vendetta

by Nate Taylor

"Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot..."

In true British fashion, this rhyme was made to commemorate a moment in history in 1605 which became known as "Guy Fawkes Day" or "Bonfire Night." That should be enough to pique your historical interests.
Now fast forward a few centuries. In "V for Vendetta," it is the near future, and a totalitarian government controls England in the wake of a biological catastrophe. Fear rules, and freedom is a memory. Enter V, a masked crusader (or "terrorist" to those in power) who begins a campaign aimed at toppling the fascist regime.
I have not read the graphic novel that this movie was based upon. However, the fact that the writer of said graphic novel (Alan Moore) refused screen credit is not without reason, I'm told. Despite this, I was overjoyed with the cinematic translation of this particular piece. I found the acting to be very involved, and Hugo Weaving's performance, despite the fact that you never see his face, is captivating. There's a bit of overacting, but that's just the Vaudevillian charisma of the main antagonist (or is it protagonist?). I've heard from the BBC that Natalie Portman's English accent was laughable, which I believe is an unfair statement considering Michael Caine's American accent sucks (so there!).
There's no denying this film is controversial, especially in these times, but I am not going to address that here. Instead, I'll say that it does a great job at pulling the viewer into the world of the movie. This is particularly poinant when one character spoofs the government and you find yourself laughing at the same jokes as the people on screen. It makes you care about the characters, and best of all, it makes you think. It succeeds on so many levels. The only reason it didn't get 5 Crowns was because I felt that the director didn't make good enough use of the mood and sets to create interesting enough shots in the film.
This movie is a "must see."

So here are my answers:
Repeat viewings? I would verily view this vivacious virtual vision of vast vexation with virtuous velleity.
Bring a date? Not a classic date movie. It's a great group movie, though, and sure to inspire at least an hour's worth of conversation afterwards.