Remember, remember the fifth of November... 'Tis the season for V for Vendetta. And if you start the movie at 9:57 pm, Parliament blows up at midnight.
V for Vendetta
Set in a dystopian 2027, the British government is a totalitarian, neo-fascist organisation, controlled by the all-powerful High Chancellor Sutler. People live in constant fear of being disappeared - taken away in the middle of the night, imprisoned and executed in concentration camps.
On November 4, "V" (Hugo Weaving), a vigilante in a Guy Fawkes mask rescues protagonist Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) from the secret police. Together, they watch V's destruction of the Old Bailey, V's protest of the government. V then promises there's much more to come next year.
Did I mention that beloved Stephen Fry is in it? He plays the role of Gordon Deitrich a closeted homosexual and talk show host. Hilariously, when he was asked in an interview what he'd enjoyed about the movie, he said, "Being beaten up! I hadn't been beaten up in a movie before and I was very excited by the idea of being clubbed to death."
Stephen Rea plays Eric Finch, the head of New Scotland Yard. Without a doubt, one of my favourite characters in this movie. He's the quiet, intelligent man who knows he's in a rotten business under a terrible government, but who does his best to do his job.
A warning from the past... but set in the future
This is perhaps one of my favourite movies of all times. In fact, I was a little astonished when I looking around at reviews to find it's really not a critic favourite. Still, I realised long ago that positive reviews aren't as well read as negative ones and even journalists have to make a living.
I think if this movie had come out today, the reviews would have been more favourable...
I first saw this movie at university and while I was blown away, it didn't resonate with me the way it does now. In the eight years since it's release, Anonymous became more outspoken, adopting the Guy Fawkes mask. It's even being used in the Hong-Kong Protests.
We went from a decade of liberalism to a resurgence of right-wing politics. Add into the bargain certain Presidents and Supreme Leaders across the globe, and suddenly the movie has become more significant. This is a weird case of retrospective meaning, where art has informed life and life has redefined the art.
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V for Vendetta is based on a comic book of the same name, written by Alan Moore. Alan Moore is... well, let's say he's very passionate about his creations, as he has a right to be. He almost always dislikes any adaptations of his work, including Zack Snyder's The Watchmen which I honestly thought was amazing. V for Vendetta was directed by James McTeigue and written by The Wachowski Brothers.
So will you, like me, be watching V for Vendetta tonight?
As a tradition, I always start the movie every year on the 4th of November at 9:57 pm. So at midnight, Parliament blows up.
Don't look at me like that. It's worth it.
Despite the negativity from critics and its own creator alike, this is actually an amazing movie. If you've not seen it, with the way the world seems to be going, this is a perfect time to add it to your list.