ENG 225 Introduction to Film
June 16, 2012
Anti-Hero Called “V”
V for Vendetta in many ways is a movie that has been done before. It presents a post apocalyptic landscape (ex: 1984 (1984), Clockwork Orange (1971)) where a totalitarian leadership rises from the ashes of chaos offering salvation, only to deliver oppression to the masses while demanding blind obedience in return, or else! In this society/film we are given the various archetype villains to hate (Chancellor Adam Sutler, Mr. Creedy), they are the ones we expect in such a film, and every conspiracy theorist believes is behind the plots past, present and surely future. To every archetype villain there must exist a counter, and archetype hero, or in V’s case the anti-hero. V for Vendetta not only gives us a glimpse of the world we may create through our complacency, but also a hero we long to become when social constraints are cast off.
The viewer is given a glimpse of their potential future, a warning if you will, of things to come if trends continue. The world has known a plague called the St. Mary’s Virus, which rivals the Black Plague of old, and has wiped a significant portion of humanity out of existence. At the countries time of greatest despair forward steps a man of vision, the future Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt), followed by all his cronies with a vision for the future. Once establishing themselves as the “go to guy’s” with all the answers, they pull a “holy shades of 1933” (Hitler, Germany 1933) move and tell those in office they need more power for a time to stabilize the country and return it to prosperity. Once full authoritarian power has been established a totalitarian regime is implemented, complete with its thought police, propaganda, fear mongers, and those that disappear. In this world of fear, Evey (Natalie Portman) walks alone to a friend’s house, hoping to make it there safely before curfew. Though her stride is quick her travels are interrupted by three police whom rather than “protect and serve”, plan on concentrating on the serve part with Evey as the main course. While the men are distracted in their tormenting of Evey, none of the officers notice the arrival of our antihero, V who makes short work of the officers and rescues Evey. Through the rest of the film he educates, and reprograms (after a fashion) Evey, and opens her mind to not only the truth of the world, but also other paths that might be taken. He wakens the public to their plight, and opens their eyes to an unvarnished reality, while reeducating, and enlisting their assistance in his plots (though unwittingly). In the end, through careful manipulations, and playing on the powers that be paranoia, he causes the fall of the government (or at least its key players), the death of the two lead villains, and goes out in a blaze of glory. At the final scene he not only set the people free, as shown by the people marching to parliament, but succeeded in leaving an indelible symbol, and the completion of what Guy Fawkes could never do on the 5th of November, the blowing up of parliament. In the end he saw himself as a monster, a creation brought forth by the monsters in power. His purpose for existence was to remove the monsters in control (It is said it takes a monster to destroy a monster) , and shock the system and people out of fear, and apathy, with the full realization the price was his demise at his mission’s end. Story
V for Vendetta is not a movie with violence for violence sake, if it occurs then it is an integral part of the story, a punctuation point of the scripted if you will. If an individual goes to look for blood and gore, they will be sadly disappointed. The writers (Larry Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski) and directors (Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, and Grant Hill) set out to tell a story base on the graphic novel, of a citizen turned lab rat...