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V for Vendetta (2006)

V, a universal symbol against any dictatorship — Written by JakeBlues on 10.06.2012


First things first: the graphic novel "V for Vendetta" from eccentric genius Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd is a literature masterpiece, and no movie can reach the same quality or overall importance in general culture.

This being said, the Wachowski brothers screenplay adaptation for the screen of V for Vendetta turned into a great movie, able to deliver to (wider) audiences many of the concept contained in the original graphic novel.
This difficolt task is achieved mainly by being as loyal as possible to the original plot, its characters, its both old fashioned and futuristic atmosphere.

The acting performance from Hugo Weaving is peculiar, as it's entirely played wearing a mask.
If this unusual situation doesn't allow the actor to deliver any facial expression while playing V, his performance is in my opinion praiseworthy, as his physical presence and movements are always as charismatic as the main movie character needs and deserves.

On the other hand Natalie Portman, playing V for Vendetta's other main leading role, contributes an extraordinary quantity and quality of facial expressions and acting.
Her character, Evey, goes through many transformations during the movie, and Natalie is always convincing in every part of the movie.

The way V and Evey's lives meet and the impact that each of them has on the other is the key element in the movie's story.

Evey's life and destiny will be totally changed (not only in positive ways) by her meeting with V, and she'll have to go through a complete rebirth.
In the end, V's intervention will not only save her virtue at the beginning of the movie, but will totally eradicate fear from her nature, in the end transforming Evey into V's true heir.

But it's probably the unexpected impact that Evey has on V's life that represent the most poetic element to the entire story.
V's initial feelings are completely dead, his entire existence is totally focused on his refined revenge plan, nothing else matters to him.
Evey's unforeseen arrival and presence brings back his entire humanity and, if this is not enough to change his mind and avoid his final sacrifice (and vendetta!), when he faces death he is not alone anymore, love is finally entered in his life, his redemption is complete.

Then, there are the proverbial visionary elements coming from the Wachowski brothers, that are particularly compatible with the original graphic novel.
The movie has many visually stunning and gratifying moments, not only in the fight scenes, one of their trademarks!

Overall, it's the cultural, social and political message of the graphic novel and of the movie that is the most important element, here.
In a moment in history such as this difficult, critical beginning of the 21st century, where democracy itself is under great pressure from economy, finance, political parties driven by personal profits, social tensions, etc., a story like V for Vendetta fits just perfectly.
Its strong message of complaint and condemnation against totalitarianism has a universal value, for everybody.

This is why V's mask, the most powerful (and beautiful!) visual symbol of the graphic novel and the movie, quickly became one of the symbols of the "Occupy..." movements around the world.

Alan Moore, as surly as ever, wanted his name eliminated from any credit of the movie, probably considering it too commercial for him and his reputation.
He will never admit it, but I'm sure that he's now secretely happy and proud that part of his work now has a real, concrete and precious presence in real life, as a universal symbol of fight for human rights, against injustice, and for the survival of (real) democracies.

For all these reasons this is not only a beautiful, but a very important movie, and I invite everybody to watch it and to:
"Remember, remember,
the fifth of November,
the gunpowder treason
and plot.
I know of no reason
why the gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot".


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