Wednesday, March 22, 2006

V for Vendetta

V "People shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

* Updated *
Anybody who supports the Second Amendment should enjoy that tag line, even if you don't enjoy the movie. (And I think you will enjoy the movie.)

Set in a totalitarian British state of the not-to-distant-future, where people disappear for the crime of being different - whether gay or any faith but Christian. Where the government is rule of thugs, one man stands up against the system, and one woman decides to stand up as well. The truly disturbing thing about this story is that the description of the rise of a dictatorship in Britain - or any western power - is all too believable.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Rebellion of 1605 is better known in England than in the US, but you will learn a little about it if you see the movie. [Click on the image above for a better view of V in the Guy Fawkes mask.]

This movie is also the Wachowshi brothers back in the form that gave us the original Matrix (not the 2 horrible sequels), or Bound. Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith from The Matrix, Elrond from Lord of the Rings) and Natalie Portman (Star Wars, Mars Attacks) staring with Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire), and John Hurt (A Man for All Seasons, Contact, Hellboy) supporting aren't bad either. Enough action for an action movie, and enough of a real message for those of us who like to think.

One of the very interesting things is that right in the middle of an action movie - that could have easily been a summer action movie - studios NEVER know what they have - there is a tender description in a letter of lesbian love, and a description of how the couple were killed for the horrible crime of being different. [The letter in the link has a few minor differences from the version in the movie, but it is wonderful.]

Update March 25, 2006: There has been much written about how this movie is little more than an attack on Bush and Blair. But the idea of a religious dictatorship in a western power is not a new idea. I direct your attention to A Handmaid's Tale, written by Margaret Attwood in 1985, and turned into a movie in 1990 starring Natasha Richardson. I found A Handmaid's Tale very disturbing at the time. This story is not a new idea.

The idea that V is a Leftist is also laughable. V is a vigilante engaged in vendetta. He is pursuing both private vengeance and punishing those he deems criminal, even if he has no personal grudge against them. Most Leftists I know are a "turn the other cheek," "violence of any kind is bad" type of people. The idea that a Leftist would do what V does is laughable.

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