In the 2006 suspense fantasy, V for Vendetta, Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman are allies in a revolution against a corrupt government.
V for Vendetta , originally written by Allen Moore and David Lloyd takes place sometime after 2020. It is post a major war between England and the United States. The release of this movie in 2006 takes a stab at America. President Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and years later America is still wondering where they are. Still we recruit soldiers to go over to Iraq and risk there lives every minute, every hour and every day. Britain used a similar tactic creating a virus and distributing it to three major water supplies killing thousands of its citizens. There is commentary on the war on terror.
He is known to the people in charge as code V. V is framed as a terrorist who continues to throw oppositions towards the government. He goes against everything the government and its party stands for because they are corrupt and deceitful. To the people he is known not as a hero, but as a force of justice they have been waiting for. V stands by the people and believes that, “people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people.” It is extremely easy to see injustices and not do anything, but V does not leave that option open.
The British run their country as a totalitarian society as indicated by the curfew, control of the media, and the image of the high chancellor Adam Sutler. The chancellor’s image is always very large and overwhelming to the human eye, and this is where the fear of those in power takes place. The government uses fear as a tactic because they believe it leads to an obedient society.
There is a parallel between the Count of Monte Cristo and V for Vendetta in revenge being the key emotion. Revenge becomes an obsession in both pieces. In the Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes acquires power and wealth; he disguises himself as he seeks out all who helped imprison him. In V for Vendetta, V seeks out those who led to his creation at the Lock hill camp. That is when V finds out that force requires opposite force and without it there would be no way to take those in power down. “Violence can be used for good. “Revenge is best served cold” (Christiana).
The overall film is white and black except for flowers and fire. The film gives power to both beautiful and dark things. The role of music is both powerful and used constructively. Although banned because it is said to cause emotion, music rings throughout the speakers when V is up to his antics for new world order. The actions are echoed by the music’s huge crescendo were followed by the bombing of Parliament and the Lady Justice. Music is also used at the end of the movie when the songs “street fighting man” by the Rollins Stones and Malcolm X’s in the end- “Violence in self defense” are played.
Two themes that play out in the film are: the power of love to change people in the world and the power of ideas to change the world. V is the male lead who is known as the terrorist in the film who wants fairness, justice, and freedom for Britain. When did that become a bad thing? V’s house consisted of preserved arts and artifacts from around the world. Evey who plays the female lead works for a television company named BTN whose slogan is, “this is BTN, we merely report, not fabricate it, that’s the government’s job” referring to the news. The media’s role in the British society is huge because those in power use the media as an instrument for controlling ideas instead of expressing free ideas. Evey is completely aware of the injustices that play throughout the media. She explains how she can tell when a broadcaster is lying with the action of rapid eye blinking. Her parent’s became revolutionaries when their son dies at Saint Mary’s for undisclosed reasons. They were later killed because they were seen as a threat to the “progressing” Britain. The film doesn’t succeed as a romantic love story because V wanted Evey to be with him but could not let go of the revenge. However, the movie does succeed as a story about the love of humanity because in the process of attaining revenge, V helps the British people open their eyes.
Another theme is the power of ideas to change the world. V says, ”beneath this mask there’s an idea, ideas are bullet proof.” V knew of the corruptions of the high chancellor Adam Sutler, Mc Creedy and other members of the government. They were the cause of what he had become. They were the same people who were controlling the media, using slogans to brainwash the people, and implementing curfew. V ultimately takes action against the corruptions of their repressed society. V takes action by destroying the Lady Justice which symbolized justice on the 5th of November, a date with historical significance dating back four hundred years ago. A year later he destroys Parliament, a symbol of the government, which indicated that change is needed. Evey takes action by pushing the lever sending the explosives towards Parliament. The inspector, Mr. Finch takes action by uncovering the truth while searching for the faceless terrorist V, which then leads him to not shoot Evey. They choose to fight against the regime that placed fear in their hearts.
How dare the president of a country say that fear is the best tool to keep his country in order? The Chancellor strikes against anything or anyone to gain control. Chancellor Sutler discriminates against anything he does not like. He is one minded and runs his society like that way. There is no loyalty. In the situation of Mc Creedy, next in line to the “thrown,” he shoots the Chancellor with no remorse in a deal he makes with V to spare his own life. Yes, this can be considered a film about revenge but it’s learned throughout the film that violence can be used as a means of justice.