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Musings and Meanderings
Thursday, April 06, 2006
V for Vendetta
Alex and I finally got out to see V for Vendetta today and we are sure glad that we did. Although it has been out for 3 weeks the only place we could find a daytime showing was the big 18 theater cineplex in the area.
This is a cautionary tale about the slippery slope of civil liberties and "big brother". Hugo Wearing's performance as V, and we never see his face, is just outstanding. Wearing's Shakesperian background is soundly felt in his delivery of several monologues about everything from personal freedoms to personal tragedies. The script contains many nuggets which I wish I could have to read over. It is no suprise that this is a Wachowski Brothers' production, and much of what made the Matrix trilogy so fun to listen to, makes this movie great as well.
After having to suffer through the abysmal scripts of the Star Wars Trilogy it was great seeing Natalie Portman in an intelligent movie with great dialog. Her role as Evey is one of personal discovery and trial by hardship in which she discovers her inner self.
Although we only see John Hurt's face for most of the movie, his performance as the the county's leader is chilling and very reminiscent of "1984". We see more of Tim Pigott-Smith as Creedy, a Himleresque figure who leads the Fingermen, the Government's secret police. His portrayal makes you want to wash your hands after, which is just what the role needed.
I was also taken by the role of the Chief Inspector played by Stephen Rea. Like Evey he experiences a personal journey as he unravels who and what V really is. He is as central a character to this movie as the two stars as it is his journey of discovery that the audience follows to fill in the back story of the character V as well as the history of the country.
The cinematography is very apropos for this tale of a future England that is caught in the steel grip of tyranny and oppression. Even the slightly over the top usage of red and black for the government's symbols brings into focus how easily any civil society can become a Hitlerian dictatorship. There are some hoopy special effects, especially the fight scenes with "V", but these do not power this movie, only offer a bas relief to the steady pacing and rich dialog.
I was emotionally caught up in the tale as well, and I think that we can learn much about the slippery slope of evaporating civil liberties from this movie. The end is very appropriate and satisfying. I have always had a soft spot for the power of the people to affect their lives when stirred enough.
As the script takes events in our present and uses them as a springboard for a rich back history of how England becomes a Tyranical Dictatorship by the mid 21st Century, there are lessons to be learned, and cautions to be concluded from this tale.