V: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
Evey Hammond: My father was a writer. You would've liked him. He used to say that artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.
Evey Hammond: [voiceover] Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.
V: A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
Sutler: I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman and child to understand how close we are to chaos. I want everyone to remember why they need us!
Interrogator: I am instructed to inform you that you have been convicted by special tribunal and that unless you are ready to offer your cooperation you are to be executed. Do you understand what I'm telling you?
CoverUps.com Rating: 3 UFOs
By the CoverUps.com staff
Set in a slightly futuristic world (London in 2020), V for Vendetta is that rarity of rarities — a thought-provoking action thriller.
The movie follows the story of a mysterious masked rebel who opposes a totalitarian regime set in Great Britain. Known only as V (The Matrix's Hugo Weaving), he protects the life of an innocent and idealistic young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) as she is about to be attacked by thugs.
But V's artistic and intellectual goals extend far beyond saving just one life. He wants to save the cowering populace of his country from corruption and tyranny — and for his troubles he is branded a terrorist in a threshold post-apocalyptic time when fear of terrorism has become intense and pervasive. And though V has integrity and even altruism, he is also motivated by a desire for vengeance and is perfectly willing to resort to violence to set the world right.
His obsessive vigilante fantasy is troubling: he wants to create a new world order by literally blowing up the houses of Parliament. The cruelty he has been exposed to (in a sort of concentration camp) fuels his desire for revenge almost as much as the government's oppression of its citizens.
The film's climax is ultimately an attempt to purge civilization of its power-mad, extremist and crushing forces.
Weaving is excellent as the masked crusader, able to convey volumes of meaning with subtle, fluid gestures and his highly distinctive vocal cadences. V also has some surprising resonances of the operatic Phantom, though with less emphasis on obsessive love and more on social conscience.
There's also a Pygmalionesque quality to the relationship between V and Evey, and the film has echoes of A Clockwork Orange and Fahrenheit 451.
Despite its many and diverse influences, Vendetta comes off as truly original. The multifaceted film can be appreciated in a number of ways: as an action thriller, or for its deeper message about personal responsibility, political oppression and revolutionary change. One powerful theme in particular is the notion that ideas live on forever, even if those who espouse them do not.
The film was written by the Wachowskis, who based it a graphic novel by Alan Moore.