Steve Bullin
Now V for Vendetta (2005) is one of those films that should be seen for a number of reasons. It’s director James McTeigue’s debut, and possibly best, film. It’s probably the first graphic-novel-to-film interpretation done right, unless you ask Alan Moore. You’ve got this powerhouse of actors; Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry. The film’s “V” character parallels the torment and quest for vengeance of the mastermind Edmond Dantes, the mystery of the tragic misunderstood Phantom of the Opera, and the intrigue and finesse of the charismatic masked bandit Zorro. Combine all those elements in the world of the film and get something remarkable. The cinematography is beautiful and clever; the action scenes are great; the script and score are brilliant; nearly everything executed in this film is just superb. All of these are reason enough to see it; but the reason I place this film as a must see is the it’s influence. Both the influence it brought from it’s time and has since had on the mainstream and the not-so-mainstream culture.
“V” and his theme strongly resonated with its viewers. While the source material of a totalitarian world and a man-against-the-state was almost thirty years prior to the film, the Wachowski siblings’ (the film’s screenplay writers) adaptation brought subject mater that drew very real-life parallels and references from the then-current Bush Administration in the US into the mix. Think about it: black bags worn by prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib or Guantánamo Bay, the government doing away with “undesirables”, religious persecution, persecution of same sex couples or transsexuals, the public fear of terrorism, the war in the Middle East; these were thee hot topics of that era. The themes of the film were a direct reflection of the times; and I’d say the film’s generally positive reception is a direct reflection of the public’s support of the film’s message. That the power of a single voice or act for the better could move the world. “V’s” message of individual empowerment, anonymity, and strength of unity through a common goal resonated most deeply within the internet culture; where anonymity is commonplace.
More specifically it spoke to a group of 4chan users. For those of you who haven’t heard of this particular corner of the internet, 4chan is a imageboard website. What makes it popular is to post there is no need to register or leave any indication who it was that posted at all. This meaning that just about anything and everything can be posted, with almost complete anonymity. Anonymous, the loosely termed “group” of hacktivists that originated two years prior to the film, found in “V” a face to represent their collective efforts. With the film’s popularity, Anonymous projects received instantaneous recognition and interest from the general public. Regardless if you condone the actions of the collective Anonymous or not, it’s increasingly difficult to disregard their influence on our world of today; everything from the Occupy Wall Street Movement, to the Arab Spring, to the Sony’s PSN getting hacked, this is a progressively jacked-in world. You know the saying, among the blind the one eyed man is king.
Beyond the cultural value and back to the actual merits of the film; V for Vendetta is an amazing, memorable action flick. Great action scenes, intriguing characters, probably one of the best climactic endings you’ll see in  one of these comic-to-film translations. A little dark for the kids, little language, sexual theme, some rather artistic blood effects, nothing too gruesome. Over all what sticks with you is the message and that beautifully climactic ending. If you haven’t seen this film, go out and find yourself a copy; and if you’ve already seen it, go ahead and look it up again, see how many times you can spot a reference to V or the number 5.
Till next time, happy movie going everyone.
By: Steven Bullen

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