Guilty Pleasures – V for Vendetta

5 min read

If there’s one comic book writer who hates having his work adapted for the big screen, it’s got to be Alan Moore. Comics such as From Hell and Watchmen have all been transferred to the big screen, and you know what? They were excellent!

But out of most of his work that made it onto the silver screen, I’ve got a special place in my heart for V for Vendetta, which put the V in winning for me. That’s winning spelt with two V’s in the front, mind you.

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, “V For Vendetta” tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante known only as “V.”

Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression.

As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself — and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

I loved this film, despite what the naysayers had to say. It’s a movie with relevant themes, and solid ideas, while wrapped up in some tight action and plotting. Sure, it may have deviated from the comic in several areas, but it’s actually better off for doing so.

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And every time, I laugh at the British accent that Natalie Portman uses as Evey. I don’t know why, but it’s just so damn funny. But apart from some dialect issues, you’ve got some spot-on casting here.

Hugo Weaving managed to endure most of the shoot underneath that Guy Fawkes mask, something that the original actor, James Purefoy was unable to, as he left a few weeks after production started on the flick.

The you’ve got John Hurt as the British dictator Adam Sutler, Stepehn Fry flexing his intellectual wit to devastating effect and Tim Pigott-Smith as Peter Creedy, who was basically a soccer hooligan with a passion for gardening and torture.

And who could forget one of the best showdowns, ever committed to celluloid?

But you know what really makes this film special? The ridiculous lengths that director James McTeigue went to, to put the letter V everywhere. You’ve got your more obvious examples, from the fireworks scene, through to the part where V topples some dominoes;

Then you’ve got his name itself, his jail cell number and the part where he slumps on a wall leaving a trail of blood in the symbol, after being shot five times by Creedy. Because five in Roman numerals, is V.

There’s Evey’s name, which sounds like the letter V itself, while also being deeper because the first letter “E” is the fifth letter of the alphabet, “V” is the fifth letter if you’re counting backward and “Y” is the 25th letter, which squared by five, equals V.

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And it just doesn’t stop. At one point, a Quran is seen resting in a V shape on a pedestal, the clock in the constant news programs is always showing time that creates a V and the knives that V throws in the final fight form that shape five times when he throws them.

Or how about the motto that V lives by? “By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe”, which translates into Latin as “Vi veri veniversum vivus vici”.

That’s five words, all starting with V. Crazy!

And there’s so, so much more hidden in that film. It’s one of the fn bits when watching it, as finding all the Vs hidden inside it, turns it into a massive Easter egg hunt.

And who could hate a movie with so much effort poured into it, at the end of the day?

Not I, sayeth us fans.

Last Updated: November 28, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Love both the book and film – see them as completely separate beasts. Weaving was my favourite part but loved the design and love that went into this. In the book, I liked that V was a psychopathic serial-killer with delusions of liberator; you weren’t meant to identify with him. In this, he’s supercool, intelligent and kicks ass better than Bale’s Batman.

    • Darryn_Bonthuys

      That bit at the end where he talks about ideas being bulletproof? Sends a chill down my spine every single time.

  • I really need to revisit this movie.

  • Eetcarr

    I got this bluray long ago. still watch it every now and then

  • Lardus

    Remember remember
    the 5th of November
    the gunpowder treason and plot.
    I can think of no reason
    why the gunpowder treason
    should ever be forgot!
    Brilliant movie, plus helps me remember my father’s birthday!!

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