The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Movie Review (with spoiler): V for Vendetta

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

People should not be afraid of their governments;
governments should be afraid of their people.

V for Vendetta is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen! At the moment it is my pick for the Best Film of 2006. What a wonderful experience it was to take in this cinematic ambrosia!

V for Vendetta is a political thriller. It is also a cautionary tale for our times, as fear and rage and helplessness are leading us down the road to fascism. It questions ideology and government and the abuse of power. It asks when can violence ever be justified. It is the first subversive film released since 9/11 and it raises our awareness of what’s going on in our society today.

The time is around the year 2020. The United States are embroiled in a civil war. Britain is under the grip of a fascist government in the wake of terrorism (100,000 people had been killed in a biological attack). The government seeks to protect the people from themselves by imposing curfews and restricting free speech, by suppressing homosexuality and controlling the media. If you own a copy of the Koran, for example, you can be executed.

From this political world springs a mysterious man behind a mask. He is trying to foment rebellion, to get the British people to rise up against the cruel and ruthless regime of Chancellor Adam Suttler (John Hurt). He begins by blowing up a famous landmark, The Bailey, on November 5th. He promises to blow up the Parliament Buildings one year hence and he asks the people to gather to witness the event.

The man, known as V, saves a young woman named Evey and enlists her to his cause. As she begins a journey of self-discovery, she becomes an unlikely ally in his fight against the government.

V is driven by personal vendetta, as well. The reason he wears a mask (and gloves) is because his entire body was burned in a violent event in his past. The history behind this event is a key cornerstone of the story.

Hugo Weaving (Lord Elrond; Agent Smith in The Matrix) gives a superb performance as codename V. His performance is all the more remarkable because we never see his face, which is hidden behind the Guy Fawkes mask throughout the entire movie. Through his voice and his body language, he gives a performance that I would compare to Olivier!

Natalie Portman, as Evey Hammond, gives the best performance of her impressive career. In my opinion, this is an Oscar-calibre role but I suspect she won’t even be nominated. For shame!

One of the amusing things I noticed in V for Vendetta is that everyone in the world watches JVC flat panel televisions. And all the police forces use Dell computers. Either this is a consequence of product placement or director James McTeigue had a hidden message in there <grin>.

The action sequences are terrific as V masterfully uses his knives to dispatch his enemies. While special effects are well-executed to highlight the knife action, the really spectacular effect is reserved for the destruction of the Parliament Buildings which is absolutely jaw-dropping. I was absolutely in shock and awe!!

If you never see another movie this year (and that would be foolish because Superman Returns and X-Men III are coming), you must at least go see V for Vendetta. I hope this film gets Best Picture at next year’s Oscars (but I doubt it).

The DVD release is a long ways off and already I am in pure agony waiting for it. I want to watch this film again and again and again and again...

I think I’ll catch it in IMAX in a couple of weeks...


Blogger Patrick Roberts said...

watched V for Vendetta recently, loved it. eye-candy effects, amazing how much character they developed into a mask, then again, maybe he was more than a mask...

2:50 PM  

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