29, 2006 V for Vendetta by
The Blonde and The Maven
This action-packed, near futuristic drama was originally
written as a graphic novel by Alan Moore and illustrated by David
Lloyd. The Wachowski brothers (Matrix 3) updated the story and their
assistant director on the Matrix movies, James McTeigue, was hired
to direct V for Vendetta. The original writer, Alan Moore (From Hell
and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) has distanced himself from
this film version of his novel, as he did for his previous two. The
movie was set to open In November 2005, in London, to coincide with
the anniversary of Guy Fawkes arrest, but due to the attacks on the
London Underground that spring, the opening was delayed.
story takes place in the near future, around the year 2020. Britain
is under a totalitarian regime that rules through fear of terrorist
attacks and the threat of man made plagues. Adam Sutler, played by
John Hurt (Alien and The Skeleton Key), snatched power ten years
earlier amid chaos. With his rule there is constant government
surveillance, social conformity, no degenerate art, no immoral books
or movies, censored news and curfews. All political dissidents, and
anyone else that seems a threat to the government, is arrested and
sent to internment camps for medical experiments.
introduced to the main character, Evey, played by Natalie Portman
(Garden State and Closer) who is late for a date and is about to run
the curfew. She is intercepted by some bully policemen who are set
to accost her. Evey is rescued by a man in a mask who is quite
proficient with knives and defense in general. The mask is a
likeness to Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 tried and failed to blow up
Parliament. The masked man is called “V” and while quoting
Shakespeare, he whisks her away to watch the fireworks he creates
when he blows up the Old Bailey (Big Ben). The next day he shows up
at the government-run television station (where Evey works), takes
over the airwaves and asks the nation to join him in a year’s time
when he will complete Guy Fawkes mission and destroy Parliament. He
wants to inspire the people to take back their freedom. Of course
the government is not idle during his telecast and tries to capture
“V.” In the scuffle, Evey saves “V” and unwittingly sets herself on
course as his accomplice. Trailing Evey in order to stop “V” is
detective Finch, played by Stephen Rea (The Musketeer and The Crying
Game). During his investigation, we see that he is not enamored with
the government. The only friend Evey has is the star of a television
show for the station she works for who is a closet gay man. Deitrich
is played by Stephen Fry (Gosford Park and Wilde) and, in the
funniest scene in the movie, he uses the comedy of sketch humor to
poke fun at Adam Sutler. He thinks he will get a pat on the hand for
changing the script, but he receives much more than that. Meanwhile
“V” has been busy taking out a few key government figures that were
once all working at the same internment camp.
that the film poses is weather “V” is a terrorist, a freedom fighter
or a vengeance seeking psychotic? Are his actions a justifiable
response to government repression? Most importantly, will George W.
see this film?
The Maven: Wow! Was that movie loaded or
what? The Wachowski brothers did a great job of updating the
politics of the story. Too bad Alan Moore didnt agree. On the heels
of Supreme Court Justice Sandra day OConner warning of the
"beginnings" of a dictatorship, the Patriot Act and all its
ramifications, terrorist acts with suicide bombers and chemical
warfare, where are we headed? What price are we willing to pay by
giving up freedom to feel safe? Most of all, how did Natalie Portman
look so good with her head shaved? That trend alone could send the
hair salons and their products on a whirlwind of destruction. We
should not sit still for this!
The Blonde: I also say
wow! What a truly terrific film this was. I was totally taken back
and quite pleasantly surprised. V for Vendetta was A LOT like
Phantom of the Opera meets Clockwork Orange meets 1984 meets Zorro
meets The Legend of Billie Jean meets present days karma, cover-ups
and conspiracies meets ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS of today from
chemical weapons to the bird flu to the environment issues meets The
Count of Monte Cristo, who all meet up with the Beauty and the
Beast. THIS FILM WAS SENSTATIONAL! The character “V” was the
scapegoat and the accused evil-doer. I wonder if that is the same in
reality as far as Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein is concerned? This
fictional film might indeed have more truths and reality than
fiction. This story makes you think, it will make you angry and it
makes you question everything we have been told. I WONDER if this
film should be a warning to us all as it might be a look into our
future. WHATEVER, it is an eye-opener for sure!
All kidding aside, Natalie did a terrific job of transforming from
wide-eyed waif to a Joan of Arc persona. Her performance was
inspiring. It is hard to compliment Hugo Weaving, as “V” as he was
masked the whole time. His voice was very convincing and his
movements were precise, but there is no category for masked actors.
John Hurt, on the other hand, was convincing as a despot. How
‘deja-vu’ of him! Remember, he was Winston Smith in a version of
The Blonde: I too love Natalie and felt
this was her finest hour; HOWEVER, I did not respect her English
accent. It was not authentic in the least. I did eventually find
myself getting over it and come to appreciate her fine acting
performance. She was moving, believable and brilliant. YOU KNOW
SOMEONE IS TRULY BEAUTIFUL when they look gorgeous with no makeup
and no hair. I thought “V,” played by Hugo Weaving, was fantastic as
well. He was wearing a mask the entire film, but his acting was so
stellar that the mask seemed to change as it took on his words even
though in realty it didn’t. The ruler (Adam Sutler) played by John
Hurt made me feel angry and filled with contempt, like many of our
leaders today do! However, HE was at least intelligent. SPEAKING OF
SCARY, I CANNNOT believe that Natalie really shaved her hair for
this film. That MORE than makes up for the bad
The Maven: WELL, look at Charlize in Monster …
Look at Tom Hanks in Castaway… DeNiro in Raging Bull and let us not
forget Renee in Bridget Jones’ Diary. We have a new breed of actors
that will ugly themselves up for their roles. They have the courage
that the past actors didn’t seem to have.
SO, speaking of ugly up, what is up with the fight between Jessica
Simpson and President Bush? I guess she just got tired of fighting
with her soon to be ex hubby Nick. Was she hitting on the president?
Rock stars aren’t good enough for her now.
The Maven: As usual, you don’t have your information right. She
is NOT fighting with the president.
The Blonde: OH,
don’t tell me she is sleeping with him!
The Maven: WHAT
DOES IT FEEL LIKE INSIDE YOUR HEAD? It must be a very confused and
scary place beneath all of that BLONDE hair.
Blonde: WHAT? I don’t get it?
The Maven: WE know you
don’t! About Jessica, and listen carefully… She’s in Washington as a
spokesperson for Operation Smile. The president’s staff invited her
to a Republican congressional fundraiser, which she declined as she
didn’t want to take attention away from Operation Smile. The
Washington press reported that she snubbed the
The Blonde: So she snuggled the president,
which means they are having an affair! Hence, the true reasons why
the CIA AND the Secret Service are calling it Operation Smile. I
KNEW IT! I am just so sick of these sexual cover-ups in the White
House… DO YOU THINK poor LAURA AND THE TWINS KNOW?
Maven: I would love to play the game “telephone” with you. I think
you would be a hoot. Speaking of a hoot, what about the censorship
in the movie where the state controls the news on television? Do you
see a connection with Comedy Central pulling a “South Park” episode
that poked fun at Scientology?
The Blonde: You are
being so nice to omit that it was Tom Cruise who pulled rank and
demanded it. Man, it is quite sad that the first amendment can now
be controlled by other people’s views if you are rich and famous
enough. The funny thing is he did “South Park” a favor because
people will now want to see it more and just go out and buy the
The Maven: After your previous statement, this
one was so concise. Wait, did you just take a sip of your
The Blonde: I don’t get it?
The Maven: Drink some more. It might help you
understand. In fact, just pore some on your head.
Blonde: Okay… now what? And that hurt! Anyway, maybe Cruise wants to
join the ranks with Mel Gibson and make his own moral statements and
personal beliefs more important than Americans’ right to freedom of
speech. Hold on, I need to get a towel to dry off the coffee.
The Maven: NO, leave it there. It didn’t seep in all
the way yet and it looks nice on you.
Really! For real? You never compliment me. AWWWWWW! You want some on
your head, too? You are so precious to me. I love
The Maven: Perfect… it has seeped in now! In
closing…. A successful movie makes you think about it long after
you’ve left the theater. Although this film probably won’t be high
on the Oscar nomination list for next year, I still recommend seeing
it. It certainly won’t bore you and the acting is good. Visually,
the cinematographer (Adrian Biddle, who died shortly after
completing the film) played with light and shadow in ways that
provide depth to the scenes. The musical track is great and diverse
enough to please many (accept hip/hop). I rate V for Vendetta an A
for aiming an arrow at subjects on many a mind.
Blonde: I went to this film consumed with stress. This movie took me
completely away from my state of mind. You will forget everything
and be swept away into the journey. After all, isn’t that what films
were meant to do? What I found the most amazing about V was that it
was written 30 years ago. How scary is that! EVERYTHING the author
wrote has come true (even though it was updated a bit). I must add
that it was written BEAUTIFULLY. I loved some of the profound lines
such as, “There are no coincidences, only the illusion of
coincidences.” It was also directed, and cast so dead on. I LOVED
THIS FILM. I too rate it an A! For your film snacks, popcorn is a
must, but also go ahead and have a Three Musketeers Bar, as that is
who “V” looked like. Run to see this film and ENJOY!
1. Natalie Portman as Evey and Jeremy Woodhead in Warner
Bros. Pictures’ and Virtual Studios’ action thriller V for Vendetta,
distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.