V for Vendetta is an action drama/thriller set in future England, in the aftermath of a virus epidemic brought by the government itself. It is the perfect display of oppression and rebellion, corruption and punishment, and most importantly, the mighty power of revolution by a united and motivated people. Let me also add, a display of the mastery of the English language, with words you can’t even decode the meaning of even if you had a dictionary, because you can’t even figure out their spelling in the first place. It’s packed with lots of quotes that have been used in real life protests against oppression.
The Movie Hero- V
The main character is a surviving victim of the government’s efforts to produce a biological weapon, a weapon they ended up using on their own people for profit. His name is ‘V’. Now V is not your everyday super hero- dodging bullets, flying, spinning webs, none of all that clearly fictitious stuff. He is human enough to make you think you can kick his butt, and extraordinary enough to actually kick your butt, you and your entire army. He is some strange guy who lives alone in a secret hideout, and you never get to see his face because he is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask all the time. The mask is clownish with an annoying grin. But don’t be fooled, behind that silly grin is an efficient and serious killer.
It all starts when Evey, played by Natalie Portman, is attacked past curfew by the local vigilante called ‘Finger Men’ who sought to have a free good time, only disturbed by the arrival of V (Hugo Weaving). V instantly and effortlessly kicks their butts, and while he is at it, he quotes lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, much to the confusion of the now immobilized and ignorant Fingermen.
The same night, V goes on to destroy The Old Bailey in a celebratory manner, combining fireworks and demolition explosives, accompanied by music. This is to be the beginning of a series of acts of rebellion which will climax in the eventual demolition of Parliament Building.
The country’s leader, called The Chancellor, immediately calls for a meeting and initiates a search for the ‘terrorist’. The Chancellor is an enigmatic and stern man who cuts his subordinates no slack. He has a commanding tone of voice and is flawlessly eloquent.
Later V hijacks the Country’s state controlled national broadcaster and inspires the nation to a revolution, one that will only be accomplished with him destroying Parliament building on the 5th of November the following year.
But while the Wait is on, V sets out on a mission of revenge, killing all those involved in the operation of the biological weapons facility. Will he succeed? How will he destroy a building as important as Parliament Building, on a date known to the government right under their watch? Well watch it if you haven’t.
Fives and Vs
One fascinating thing about the movie is the occurrence of Fives and Vs. The fives and Vs are seen throughout the movie, sometimes just in your face, and sometimes in subtlety. Some of the fives and vees are seen in the following parts:
- First of all, the movie itself is called ‘V for Vendetta’. The main character was called V because while at the biological weapons facility, he was in cell No. 5, Roman numeral V.
- The facility is destroyed in one act of arson by V, on the 5th of November, at which point he escapes and goes into hiding.
- When Evey tells him her name, he comments on the coincidence of him meeting Evey?, a name he pronounces as E.V.
- There is a number of scenes where the time is shown with the clock hands making the V shape.
- At his hideout, Evey finds a mirror with the following inscription on the frame:
Vi veri universum vivus vici
- Right before he goes out to destroy the parliament building, V topples a large red arrangement of dominoes in the shape of a V.
- After the showdown in the subway, V is injured and as he struggles to leave the scene, his blood makes a big skewed V on the wall.
The V Speech
When V rescues Evey from the Fingermen, he puts up a dramatic introduction full of V words. The Dialogue goes like this:
Evey: Who are you?
V : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well I can see that.
V : Of course you can, I?m not questioning your powers of observation, I?m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey: Oh, right.
V : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it?s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.
Evey: Are you like a crazy person?
V : I’m quite sure they will say so. But with whom have I the pleasure of speaking?
When Evey tells him her name, he comments on the coincidence of him meeting ‘Evey’, a name he pronounces as E.V.
There is one last interesting thing just before the ending. Once the revolution has been achieved, all those who died for their beliefs can be seen among the people. This doesn?t mean they came back to life, it is simply a reference to Vs saying, ‘People can fail, they can be caught, but an idea lives on. It cannot be killed, you can’t touch it
This is one movie that will never get old.