Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I read the book after seeing the film, but this is an instance where the film is far better.
It’s true that once you move past the basics the two stories diverge, and yes there are some very odd ideas of what is British. But V for Vendetta’s unique setting pairs frighteningly well with a future that has only become more possible since I first saw it.
Visually striking, from the now mainstream design of V’s mask to the Nazi-esque design of the government, this is a thought-provoking story. It’s actually quite an odd film in a lot of ways as it doesn’t feel very Hollywood. Most of the cast is British and it isn’t very flashy bar the odd slow-mo flash. It turns out that these things are some of the reasons I like this film so much.
I don’t like to get political or too deep when discussing films but this one is too damn important.
To think James Purefoy was originally cast as V. We may see him at the start of the film but I can’t imagine anyone else apart from Hugo Weaving voicing this enigmatic character. Similarly the cast is a who’s who of British actors. From William Hurt’s zealous leader, to Stephen Rea’s dogged detective, to Stephen Fry’s challenging media profile, they’re a fantastic group. That Natalie Portman managed this performance around the same time she was giving planks of wood a run for their money in Revenge of the Sith speaks volumes.
‘V’ contains some the most striking dialogue I’ve come across in a film. As an English native I can see that swearing has essentially reduced to admittedly decent use of the work ‘bollocks’, but then we have V and some of my favourite lines from any film.
“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
“Beneath this mask, there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask, there is an idea, Mr Creedy. And ideas are bullet-proof!”
It doesn’t need to be the 5th November to watch this film. The message is powerful and always worth revisiting. I’ve always liked this film, but when I watch it now I can’t help but take it as a confirmation. A confirmation that those of us who are decent, who help others, who speak up against injustice…we will win out. I don’t like to get political or too deep when discussing films but this one is too damn important.
Oh, to think I almost forgot! Best use of dominoes ever.